Divulgando la cultura en dos idiómas.

Cabot Westside has new full-time pediatrician

Story and photos by Angie Baldelomar

After more than a year of being without a full-time pediatrician, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center finally has one at its Cabot Westside Medical and Dental Clinic.
Catricia Tilford, a pediatrics urgent care doctor, is the new full-time pediatrician. Tilford, who is of Mexican descent, believes in the importance of speaking Spanish as a pediatrics doctor, particularly when working in highly Hispanic communities.
“I think (the families) are appreciative of that,” she said. “Language is so important, (as is) having a doctor who understands your culture, understands your language.”
Tilford wasn’t taught Spanish by her family. But through high school and college classes, and living in Miami, she knows enough to understand it.
“I don’t like to tell people that I’m fluent, because my verb conjugation is not the best, but I tell them that my Spanish is little and I understand a lot,” she said.
Tilford went through the six-year medical program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. At first, she considered focusing on psychiatry. Eventually, she went back to her passion: pediatric medicine.
From there, Tilford got a one-year fellowship in pediatrics urgent care medicine in New York. Before coming to Cabot Westside, she worked at Miami Children’s Hospital.
Cabot Westside serves a highly Hispanic population, with 80 percent of the patients being Hispanic, according to Ana Martinez, practice manager. Sometimes, patients don’t have Medicaid or health insurance; however, the team at the clinic has ways to help them, regardless. Most of the staff members are bilingual, and they all work together to help the patient.
“When people come to us, they are at their most vulnerable,” Martinez said. “So when they come in, we’re all striving towards one goal: offering our patients (a) family-like environment.”
That intimate environment helped attract Tilford’s attention. But what sold her was the idea of helping Kansas City, Missouri’s Westside community.
“This is a very underserved patient population,” she said. “It’s all about giving back to the community.”
For Tilford, pediatrics is more than treating children.
“We’re treating the whole family,” she said. “A pediatrician really is a point of reference. You are an extension of their family and the community.”
Martinez said that the community is excited to have a pediatrician, with many patients coming returning to Cabot Westside. As a result, Tilford has been busy. But she enjoys that.
“I want to be known as the pediatrician … (at) Cabot,” she said.


Cabot Westside tiene un nuevo pediatra a tiempo completo

Después de un año de estar sin un pediatra a tiempo completo, el centro de salud Samuel U. Rodgers finalmente tiene uno en su clínica médica y dental de Cabot Westside.
Catricia Tilford, doctora de urgencias pediátricas, es la nueva pediatra a tiempo completo. Tilford, que es de descendencia mexicana, cree en la importancia de hablar español como pediatra, particularmente cuando trabaja en comunidades mayoritariamente hispánicas.
“Creo que (las familias) aprecian eso”, dijo. “El lenguaje es tan importante, (así como) tener un doctor que entiende tu cultura, que entiende tu idioma”.
Tilford no aprendió español de su familia. Pero a través de pasar clases en secundaria y universidad, y después de vivir en Miami, sabe lo suficiente para entender el lenguaje.
“No me gusta decirle a la gente que hablo español fluido porque mi conjugación de verbos no es la mejor, pero les digo que mi español es poco pero entiendo mucho”, dijo.
Tilford estudió en el programa médico de seis años de la Universidad de Missouri-Kansas City. Al principio, consideró enfocarse en siquiatría. Eventualmente, volvió a su pasión: medicina pediatra.
De ahí, Tilford obtuvo una beca de un año en medicina pediátrica de atención urgente en Nueva York. Antes de llegar a Cabot Westside trabajó en el hospital Miami’s Children.
Cabot Westside atiende a una población altamente hispana, con un 80 por ciento de pacientes hispanos, según Ana Martínez, gerente de práctica de la clínica. Muchas veces los pacientes no tienen Medicaid o seguro de salud; sin embargo, el equipo en la clínica tiene formas de ayudarlos de todas maneras. La mayoría de los miembros del personal son bilingües, y todos trabajan juntos para ayudar al paciente.
“Cuando la gente viene aquí, están en su momento más vulnerable”, explicó Martínez. “Así que cuando llegan todos trabajamos hacia un objetivo en común: ofrecer a nuestros pacientes un ambiente familiar”.
Ese ambiente íntimo atrajo la atención de Tilford. Pero lo que la hizo decidir en tomar el trabajo fue la idea de ayudar a la comunidad Westside de Kansas City, Missouri.
“Esta es una población de pacientes muy desatendidos”, dijo. “Se trata de devolver a la comunidad”.
Para Tilford, la pediatría es más que tratar a niños.
“Estamos tratando a toda la familia”, explicó. “Un pediatra es realmente un punto de referencia. Eres una extensión de su familia y de la comunidad”.
Martínez agregó que la comunidad está emocionada de tener un pediatra, con varios pacientes volviendo a Cabot Westside. Como resultado, Tilford ha estado ocupada. Pero a ella le gusta eso.
“Quiero ser conocida como la pediatra que está en Cabot”, dijo.

 

 

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