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Hero Healer luncheon features community health center advocate

A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) welcomed Luis Padilla, MD, FAAFP, the associate administrator for health workforce at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a guest speaker at a George Blue Spruce Hero Healer luncheon on Sept. 12.

Dr. Padilla shared stories about making a difference as a clinician, community health center leader, and government servant. He highly encouraged ATSU students to live in the communities they will be serving following graduation. Dr. Padilla shared a touching story about how one of his patients, a known addict in the community, often failed to show up to scheduled appointments to address and treat his addiction. The patient was surprised to find that he lived in very close proximity to Dr. Padilla and after discovering this, began promptly showing up to his treatments.

Dr. Padilla also serves as director of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Dr. Padilla was senior health policy advisor to the CEO of Unity Health Care in Washington, D.C., a federally qualified health center network with over 100,000 patients. He also served as Unity’s research director and sought academic partnerships with an emphasis on community-based participatory research.

ATSU-SOMA was very fortunate to have such an esteemed and committed advocate for the underserved share his experience with nearly 50 attending students.


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