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Maria Rodriguez

Pulse: Maria, what keeps you busy when you’re not doing things at Pulse?


MR: I’m part of the business management team at a well-known financial institution, specifically in the home loans division. My role really has two parts: the first is employee engagement for a 100% remote workforce. There’s also talent and staffing, budgeting and more.


Pulse: How long have you been involved with Pulse?


MR: Since 2020.


Pulse: And how did that start?


MR: I signed up for a virtual presentation through my local library, and Ilene was the presenter. The topic was “How to Be an Informed Patient”. I was impressed by Ilene, and by the topic. Shortly after, I reached out to her to compliment her on the presentation, and to share some of my interests in the healthcare sector. And she invited me to attend a Pulse program. I started attending PACC (Patient Activation through Community Conversations) as a community member, and then I started volunteering.


As I started learning about the other two regular Pulse programs — PPS (People for Patient Safety) and ACES (Advocates Collaborative Educational Series) — I was intrigued, and I started registering and attending. I learned from those two programs as well.


Pulse: what prompted that interest in health care?


MR: My mother had serious health issues from a young age. I became her interpreter as well as her advocate, although I didn’t realize at the time that’s what I was. That resulted in those interests, and my love for Pulse.


Pulse: How do you see your role at Pulse now?


MR: For me personally, it enables me to keep current with the healthcare system. It allows me to help my mom and other family members navigate through the healthcare system — part of Pulse’s mission. I’m still a volunteer, and an advisor. I believe in the Pulse vision, I see the benefits for myself. In fact, every time Ilene sends an email, I forward it to my growing distribution list of about 50 people.


Pulse: if you met someone who knew nothing about Pulse, what would you want them to know?


MR: I’m going to quote Ilene: “We don’t know what we don’t know.” Attending Pulse programs will expand your knowledge, and help you prepare for something as simple as a doctor’s visit or as involved as a major procedure.





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