Meet a Hospital Hero: Lupita Chavez

Lupita Chavez has worked at Dallas County Hospital for 17 years as a licensed practical nurse. In the last year and a half, she has transitioned from a full-time position on Dallas County Hospital’s medical surgical floor to full-time as a Hispanic outreach coordinator.

Initially, her work focused on helping teach diabetes self-management classes by interpreting CPR first aid classes in Spanish. Her work has expanded to facilitating diabetes preventions classes in both English and Spanish, teaching diabetes self-management classes, conducting low-impact aerobics, zumba and high-intensity interval training classes. Many of her students participate in multiple classes.

Lupita was nominated for her impact to our community through her commitment to Dallas County Hospital’s mission: To improve the health of the people we serve. One way she is impacting the community is by leading a partnership between Dallas County Hospital and Iowa State University on a two-year research study called Abriendo Caminos, which focuses on educating Mexican families on healthy diet and the importance of exercise.

Twenty Families are started in the program each year. Half of the families receive six weeks of classroom instruction on healthy diet and exercise, the other families receive written instructions. Data is collected on the families three times throughout the course of 12 months to see how the information has impacted their health. Lupita has had a crucial role in the study by working to recruit families to participate, volunteers to collect data and delivering the program content to the families.

To Dallas County Hospital, Lupita’s impact on newly diagnosed diabetic patients who speak Spanish is one of her most admirable accomplishments. She receives referrals from providers and helps patients by coaching them through the initiation of insulin therapy, self-monitoring, insurance information and finding resources if needed. She even goes above and beyond to check on every patient and helps communicate any concerns they may have to their provider.

Lupita is also an active participant throughout the community. She is a familiar face to many through her volunteerism with the organization Hispanics United in Perry, the school district and various recreational activities.