Bianca Diaz Brings Enthusiasm and Experience to MCHC Outreach
Introducing Bianca Diaz, MCHC Health Centers’ new outreach coordinator. Diaz has been with Hillside Health Center, MCHC’s Ukiah location, as an employee for four years, but has been attending holiday parties and potlucks there since she can remember.
“My mom works at Hillside, so I’ve been visiting since I was little. Then, when I was in high school, I shadowed there on career day, and a few years later I was hired into the Call Center,” she said.
In the Call Center, Diaz helped people make appointments and answered questions in English and Spanish. Her outgoing personality and supportive attitude made her a favorite with colleagues and patients alike. A couple years later, she moved into the Dental Department, where she continued to grow professionally; and when the health center created a new outreach coordinator position, she was the obvious choice.
“I treat people how I’d want them to treat my family,” she explains. She describes herself as “very close” to her family, as the oldest of six siblings (with four brothers and one sister). “Everything I do, I take them into consideration,” she says.
In her new role, Diaz is responsible for coordinating health fairs and community events, and collaborating with community partners to serve patients. In the past, MCHC hired HealthCorps members to do much of this work. When funding for the national HealthCorps program was cut, MCHC remained committed to community outreach and created an internal position; and Diaz was hired to fill it. Right now she is busy with the Smiles Program, going into local schools and educating children about dental health.
MCHC Health Centers has locations in Ukiah, Willits and Lakeport, so Diaz travels throughout Lake County and inland Mendocino County.
For the Smiles Program, she takes her dinosaur puppet (that features human-looking teeth) into preschools and early elementary school classrooms and explains how to brush teeth, why sugary drinks aren’t healthy, and why students needn’t be afraid of dentists. For older elementary school students, she discusses oral health and nutrition at age-appropriate levels. Diaz then works with dental professionals to provide screenings and fluoride varnish to students with parent permission.
MCHC Health Centers provides a broad array of services in medical, dental and behavioral health care, and Diaz’s work is likely to touch on much of it. She hopes to provide cooking classes for diabetic patients, promote Give Kids a Smile Day in February, and encourage patients to talk with MCHC’s Patient Financial Services representatives if they need help registering for health insurance.
When she’s not busy working, Diaz enjoys spending time with her family, attending country music concerts, crafting, and taking road trips.
MCHC Health Centers provides comprehensive health services including primary medical care, pediatrics, dentistry, women’s health, obstetrical care, counseling, psychiatry, and specialty care, and looks forward to growing to meet the ever-expanding needs of the communities it serves. MCHC Health Centers includes Hillside Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. Learn more at www.mchcinc.org.