To say Mirta Arrowsmith has a lot to be proud of is a bit of an understatement. She embodies everything we stand for as a ministry – specifically in her role within community health in our Youngstown market.
Mirta works within the Hispanic health program where she provides health care assistance to Hispanic and immigrant communities. She helps them with health screenings and basic health education classes while assisting them with navigating the health care system and advocating for them.
It’s kind of a niche role within the larger health care field, but one that Mirta felt called to from a young age.
“I was the first to go to college in my family,” she shares. “My father had a history of chronic illness, and as a little girl I would go to the doctor’s office with my father to help him with language assistance. That experience inspired me to go into health care to help my Hispanic community.”
We’re taking time during Hispanic Heritage Month to shine a light on people within our ministry like Mirta, whose love and appreciation of their history and culture knows no bounds.
“[I take pride in] our rich culture of customs, the love and passion to be together during holidays and special events, our love of music, the sharing of our traditional foods and work ethic,” she says.
Mirta takes the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month with her throughout her days assisting others.
“To have 62.6 million Hispanic people be able to celebrate their Hispanic heritage during a whole month each year with poetry, reading events, artist events, cooking events and Hispanic festivals is awesome and makes me appreciate the cultures within each Hispanic country,” she says. “I am very proud of being a Hispanic.”
And Mirta’s journey mirrors that of the people she’s devoted her life to helping.
“I came from Puerto Rico when I was 5 years old to Ohio and have lived in Ohio ever since,” she shares. “My language and culture have always been very important to me – as a child and young adult I made it a point to learn to speak Spanish, to study Spanish and to become the best I could with the language of my culture, so I could help others.”
Mirta has a message for anyone considering a future in health care:
“I hope by seeing someone that looks like them working in the Hispanic community that it will inspire young Hispanic students to seek a career in the health care field. So many Hispanic students are needed to go into the health care field. The Hispanic population in the United States is increasing quickly, which means we will need young Hispanic people to become health care workers to assist the growing Hispanic community with their medical needs.”
Learn about the health care services we offer at Mercy Health.