Health Care Advocate Martha Valladarez

I Always Think About How Lucky I Am

Martha Valladarez is an in-home supportive services provider. She was one of the first female letter carriers and female shop stewards in Fresno, California. Her youngest daughter has Down Syndrome, which led her to join the care providers’ union, SEIU Local 2015, for which she is currently the regional vice president. Before speaking on a panel at a Zócalo event, presented in partnership with The James Irvine Foundation—“What Is a Good Job Now? In Health Care?”—she chatted in the green room about feeling lucky, talking to children with disabilities, and …

KVPR News Director Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado

I Saved the Candles From My 18th Birthday

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is the news director for KVPR Valley Public Radio. He grew up in the San Joaquin Valley he now covers, and previously reported the news for the Fresno …

Public Health Professor Helda Pinzón-Perez

Learn to Fail, and Be Thankful When You Have Success

Helda Pinzón-Perez is a public health professor at California State University, Fresno. Her areas of research include health issues of vulnerable populations and in rural areas. Before joining the panel …

Health Care Workforce Researcher Janette Dill

I’m Always Happiest Outside

Janette Dill is an associate professor in the Health Policy & Management Division in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, and the deputy director of the …

Four panelists sitting in front of a blue backdrop that has the logos of Zócalo Public Square and The James Irvine Foundation on it. The panelists are, from left to right: Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado, Janette Dill, Helda Pinzón-Perez, and Martha Valladarez.

Better Health Care Starts with Better Health Care Jobs

The Industry Needs Higher Wages, More Paid Leave, and Pathways to Advancement

The most important healthcare workers in this country—entry-level workers who do the caregiving and provide preventive services—are often paid poverty-level wages and provided insufficient benefits and supports, said panelists at …

My Work as an In-Home Caregiver Shouldn’t Be This Hard | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

My Work as an In-Home Caregiver Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Minimum Wage, Unpaid Hours, Tricky Client Dynamics, and No Outside Support Sometimes Make This the Worst Job I’ve Ever Had

As one of the over 550,000 caregivers in the state’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) programs, I am part of a big system that keeps 650,000 disabled, blind, or elderly Californians …