Marbella Chavez has been named the new patient advocate for the Center for Healing & Hope.

Marbella, a 2017 graduate of the Indiana University Bloomington, has been a volunteer intern at the Center since fall. In that role, she assisted as an interpreter and with organizational and advocacy activities. In her new staff role, Marbella will meet with patients who come to the Center, helping to determine if they need additional services and then helping to secure those services for them.

Marbella’s undergraduate degree is in microbiology and she plans to attend medical school at some time in the future. She said, “I want to go into medical care because I find the effects of disease on the body caused by microscopic factors fascinating. But I also want to be involved in bettering the quality of life for all by ensuring we provide quality healthcare to marginalized communities who already have a hard time receiving this care.”

At the Center for Healing & Hope, Marbella said she appreciates the goal of providing holistic care. “We are not just a medical clinic. We also help people with other aspects of need, referring them to community resources. And we do it in a Christ-like manner, following the teachings of Jesus to help all who are our neighbors.”

Bryan Mierau, executive director of the Center, said, “Marbella has quickly acclimated herself into the fabric of our CHH mission as an intern. Now her unique background and skill-set will be more fully used in clinic interactions and new outreach initiatives toward patients who need follow-up support. We are very pleased to have her on our team.”

In addition to her part-time role at the Center, Marbella is an interpreter for Goshen Health and is one of the coordinators of the Coalition Against the Elkhart County Immigration Detention Center.

Marbella fills the patient advocate position that Yolo López Pérez has held for a year and a half. López Pérez is moving into full-time work as Director of Development for the Center for Healing & Hope.