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Pediatric Specialists of Virginia Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Sep 29, 2023

National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. At Pediatric Specialists of Virginia (PSV), we are taking part in this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration by spotlighting some of our dedicated and talented team members—get to know them below and be sure to say hello when making your visit to PSV!

Lillian MartinezLillian Martinez
Interpreter/Patient Services Representative (PSR), Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD)

My name is Lillian Martinez, and I am an Interpreter/Patient Service Representative (PSR) at PSV’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD). I have two adult kids and a grandson. My children are my inspiration. Being a young, single mom sometimes put my kids into the stereotype of those that would have a difficult time achieving success. But I worked hard and got them both through college. After my youngest graduated, I then decided to take my turn. This December, I will be getting a bachelor's degree! I’ve learned that there is no such thing as "too late."

My favorite part about PSV is the opportunity it gives me to work with pediatric patients, who I have enjoyed working with since starting in healthcare. I love seeing the smiles on children's faces, which is what prompted me to get our work pet Goku the Betta Fish. Kids frequently stop by my desk just to see Goku swimming. Outside of PSV, my hobbies include hiking, going out dancing, and travel.

Hispanic Heritage Month (and every other heritage celebration) mean to be proud of who you are. I was born and raised in the United States, but I am still fluent in both languages. Being an interpreter at CCBD, I have learned so much about different cancers and blood disorders, their treatments, and side effects. I am one of those people who also watches the TLC TV show "Dr. Pimple Popper," so learning all this stuff is awesome. I also serve as a liaison for Spanish-speaking families when it comes to insurance or patient issues. They are happy to know that there are people at PSV that can help them communicate their needs.

Mary GarciaMary Garcia
Human Resources Generalist

I was born and raised in Virginia. My parents, however, immigrated from Honduras in the late 80’s. It always felt like I was living in two separate worlds. Growing up, we only spoke Spanish at home, ate every meal my mom cooked for us, and celebrated our traditions. Outside of home, everything was in English, and we focused on learning the American lifestyle. The two cultures would clash from time to time, but I see how they came together as well. Even now, my worlds still come together. For example, I consider myself very Americanized, though I married a Honduran man. Every day we see our backgrounds come together and I wouldn’t change anything about it.

I like working at PSV because of the people. Everyone here is very nice, and I love the different cultures and personalities everyone has. 

I love spending time with my husband, my family, and my border collie. From an early age I was taught that family is everything, so I spend as much time as possible with my mom, my dad, and my siblings.  

My dad is my biggest inspiration. He came to the United States knowing little about the country or the language. He worked many jobs during the late 80’s, all while facing frequent discrimination. He has told me stories about working for a contractor and after four weeks, did not get paid a single dollar. After I was born, he finally got a stable job as a cobbler and worked at two different businesses for 28 years. During the pandemic, my dad lost one of his jobs when the owner decided to close and move to another state. The other owner decided it was time to retire. My dad wasn’t sure what his next move would be, but he knew it had to be a bold one. So, he decided to buy the shoe shop in Great Falls, VA, becoming the owner of business he had worked at for 28 years! He has been running the business successfully for two years now and has a wonderful clientele. His shop was even featured in Northern Virginia Magazine, winning runner up for Shoe Repair in their 2022 “Best of” issue. My dad knows no limits. He believes if put your mind, heart, and all your strength into you what you really want in life, it can be achieved.  

To me, Hispanic Heritage Month means bringing a diverse group of people together. There are 33 countries in Latin America, and they all speak Spanish slightly different, have different ways of preparing food, and have different beats to their music, but they always care about one another. They are always united and that speaks to how we work. We should care about one another and always offer to help whenever possible. 

Stephanie AvilaStephanie Avila
Registered Nurse, Ambulatory Surgery Center

I am Stephanie Avila and I have been a pediatric nurse for 10 years. I am married with have three kids. My husband and I came to the United States as children. I was born in El Salvador and my husband in Mexico. 

My parents are an inspiration to me, having watched them work hard and overcome countless obstacles in a new country. During the start of the pandemic, my husband and I began cooking at home frequently to avoid eating out. We are major foodies, but our favorite food is tacos. This led us to create a family business specializing in street tacos. Fast forward three years, we now have a taco stand at the Washington Commanders’ stadium, which is open during their home games, and we provide catering services. When I am not selling tacos, I am a PRN at PSV. I enjoy working at PSV because I am part of a team that truly cares for our pediatric patients and families. Apart from providing medical care, the providers and staff at PSV always go the extra mile. My favorite memory at PSV was our Thanksgiving donation drive for low-income families. The PSV team donated a Thanksgiving meal, toys, and clothing to these families. It was heartwarming to see everyone participate, and the families were so appreciative! 

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the diverse cultures of Latin America. My culture has shaped me as a person and as a nurse. It has given me a strong sense of family, an appreciation for different cultures, and ability to relate to people of various backgrounds.

Jocelyn Bermudez
Orthopaedics Clinical Supervisor

My name is Jocelyn Bermudez, and I am the Orthopaedics Clinical Supervisor at PSV. I’ve been with PSV since 2020 where I started my journey as a multidisciplinary nurse. My favorite memory here is the 2022 PSV Gala. I loved being able to dress up and take a moment to interact with everyone outside of work. 

I love to play volleyball and participate in other outdoor activities. I also enjoy playing the piano and exploring new coffee shops and bakeries. One unique thing about me is that I am an only child. 

My mother is my biggest inspiration. She came to the United States from Nicaragua and established herself here alone. She worked so hard so that I could have a better life and that is something I will always be thankful for! 

Hispanic Heritage month is significant to me because it is a time we can all come together and celebrate different cultures as one.