Rubi Valdez has been hired to help patrons of Teton Valley Health Care find their way through what can be a confusing maze of coverage options. Photo by Jeannette Boner
Rubi Valdez is the newest gem at Teton Valley Health Care. As she fills the hospital’s new role in the Community Relations and Patient Services Development Department, one of her biggest goals is helping the community better understand the Affordable Health Care Act.
“I just love working with people,” said Rubi who is working to finish the CNA program through Idaho Technical College.
With the presidential mandate that the public insure itself, Valdez is the bilingual expert at the county’s largest medical facility. From understanding how the Dream Act works to help immigrant community members find the plan that covers everyone in their families, to plugging in cost saving subsidies, Valdez is available.
“The biggest question I receive is people asking whether they qualify for subsidies or not. And that’s usually because they can’t afford (health insurance). And a lot of people don’t know what all of this means and are surprised how affordable the insurance can be,” she said.
Hired late last year, Valdez has successfully enrolled more than 50 people through the government’s marketplace. Valdez said some of her most successful stories are when low income families and single parent families find insurance for the first time.
“We felt for some time that we needed a dedicated resource to meet with people one on one,” said Ann Loyola, Director of Public Affairs at TVHC. “We’re in the (healthcare) business and it’s comforting to know we can help. Having someone who’s bilingual was important to us too.”
Valdez grew up in the Burley, Idaho, area and moved back to Teton Valley from Arizona several years ago with her husband and son. “I knew in my heart this is where I wanted to be,” she said of moving back to the valley.
Valdez started her medical career working in billing and from there worked in emergency services helping patients with unexpected medical needs understand their health care coverage. And while she finishes her nursing degree, her experiences have worked to perfectly serve in her new capacity of “Community Relations and Patient Services Development,” at Teton Valley Health Care.
Valdez is also working to fulfill the hospital’s charge of educating the Teton Valley community through wellness programs. She practices what she preaches working to continue to lose weight with the online program Total Wellness, offered through the American Institute for Preventive Medicine.
Teton Valley Health Care purchased the Total Wellness program aimed at assisting and encouraging 300 Teton Valley residents (including those who live in Alta) to get healthy and stay healthy this year. Enrollment is still open.
Valdez is also looking forward to hosting a health fair Feb. 22 at the Senior Center in Driggs starting at 9 a.m., running through noon. She will also be rolling out educational programs for the Hispanic community in the next few months.
If you would like to learn more about Valdez’s programs or would like to better understand the Affordable Care Act, please contact her at 208-354-6348 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org