EPIC Medical Case Manager Galo Cruz (left) attends a joint gathering of the Empath Health Care Councils.

Congratulations to our May Impact Award winner, Galo Cruz, a medical case manager for EPIC (Empath Partners in Care).

Cruz has been working with the Hispanic community for many years and dedicated his Master’s thesis to Latinos and HIV. He joined as a medical case manager at EPIC in 2013. His work focuses on helping HIV clients gain access to essential care and medications. He sees social issues, cultural beliefs and language differences as challenges with the Hispanic community getting the services they need. Being a strong advocate for his clients is critical in his role.

“It’s gratifying to me when I see clients become virally-suppressed with HIV and get back to living a healthy life. I’m happy to connect Spanish-speaking clients to the services they need to be able to achieve their goals of controlling their HIV and living a healthy life. I know how hard it often is for this population to access assistance due to the language barriers that often exist,” Cruz shared.

The monthly Impact Award recognizes and celebrates staff for their positive impact on others, demonstration of our values and above-and-beyond service.

Here are words from Cruz’ nomination:

“Galo has been an exemplary employee providing compassionate care to the clients he serves. He goes above and beyond in all circumstances and is always the first to help out when needed.

Galo has provided a vital role assisting his Spanish-speaking clients in their journey to adherence. He attends medical visits and AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) appointments, and is often called by Pinellas Care Clinic to translate for their patients. Galo has assisted many of his clients with symptomatic HIV, in many cases which they would not have survived without that education, advocacy and support. Galo wants to ensure that each of the clients he serves or comes into contact with get the best medical care that is possible.

He is often called upon as a resource within our community to provide education. He holds an active role in our community partnerships with the Spanish-speaking community. Galo has been an active part of the Intercultural Advocacy Institute. Most recently he helped host a healthcare event at his church, where he was the speaker on HIV and Spirituality.”

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