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PeaceHealth Mission and Values Award recipient – Keila Torres

| Everyday Moments | Videos

Keila Torres standing inside the hallway of a hospital

A caregiver models the Value of Social Justice through her efforts to improve the lives of the vulnerable in her community.

No matter what dialect you speak, everyone understands the language of caring. Keila Torres demonstrates her fluency daily to patients at the hospital where she works and in the community where she lives. 

Keila, director of nursing at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington, works to improve communication resources for patients — no matter what language they speak. This helps ensure they understand what to do after they leave the hospital.  

And her caring doesn’t stop when her workday ends. With community partners, she reaches out to people who could use help getting health care. 

Tomato soup with fresh peas, radishes and other veggies

Last September, Keila helped organize and volunteered at an event focused on the Latinx community on San Juan Island. The day began with a first-ever mammography outreach clinic. Many participants received a mammogram for the first time. The event also offered vaccinations and an opportunity to tour a source for local foods. The day ended with a three-course meal. Each course featured fresh ingredients, especially garden produce. Copies of the recipes were available in Spanish for guests to take home. 

“Keila has worked with many community partner agencies to foster trust and relationships that close gaps in available language services,” says Rachel Lucy, director of Community Health for PeaceHealth St. Joseph. “Keila has shown us the lengths we still have to go to ensure the most essential of all patient rights — the right to communicate in one’s preferred language.” 

Keila belongs to PeaceHealth’s Comunidad Caregiver Resource Group. The group promotes ways that ensure PeaceHealth is welcoming, safe and supportive for Latinx patients, caregivers and the community. 

She has a deep commitment to improve the lives of others who may need a little extra help. It shows clearly in what she does at work and in events like health fairs and screenings for Spanish-speaking community members. Keila’s actions are steps toward making access to healthcare easier and more equitable than it has been in the past. 

Keila is PeaceHealth’s 2023 systemwide Mission and Values Award recipient for the Value of Social Justice. These awards recognize inspiring caregivers living PeaceHealth’s Mission and Values of Social Justice, Stewardship, Respect and Collaboration, every day. 

Learn more about PeaceHealth’s other 2023 systemwide Mission and Values Awards honorees: