Eric Garcia

Master of Health Administration
Yakima, WA

What motivates you about public health and health services?

These fields can systematically improve the health of our diverse communities. There is a great need for culturally-humble health care leaders to develop a more equitable care system that better serves us all.

What are your future goals?

Short term, I will be in Boston this summer for an administrative internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. While there, I hope to further expand my understanding of health systems and how we can improve quality and access. Long term, I hope to obtain a fellowship at a hospital system and to serve my community members at an executive level. Overall, I hope to develop myself as an authentic leader and continue to strive for equity and humility in how we care for patients and families.

How are you doing this currently?

I work part time as a clinical research assistant in the Patient and Family Experience department at Seattle Children’s. Our vision is to give every patient and family an opportunity to be heard, and we do this through experience surveys. I play a key role in our efforts to form more equitable data. I also provide support to our clinical staff and assist families – some with limited English proficiency – in accessing resources.

How do these experience surveys improve health care?

Patients and families can rate and comment on aspects of their encounters. Once this data is collected, we can improve the care of our patients by maintaining a high standard of care and providing feedback to the different departments and units at the hospital.

Why did you choose the UW?

I studied at the UW as an undergraduate in the Department of Geography, studying Globalization, Health and Development. I knew that, as an aspiring health care leader, the School of Public Health’s programs suited my need for developing pertinent skills. I also was captivated by the Health Administration’s diversity recruitment efforts. Had it not been for these efforts, I would not be pursuing a degree in this field.

Tell us about the Latino organization you founded.

I am a co-founder of the UW's Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc., which cultivates Latino unity and brotherhood. Through this experience, I developed leadership skills and a strong desire for community building and assisting students with similar backgrounds as my own.

What do you like most about Seattle?

I have established a strong community at the UW. Seattle has given me a purpose in pursuing executive leadership and changing the narrative of what it means to be a son of migrant laborers.

Do you have any extracurricular activities?

I am involved in the UW Master of Health Administration Student Association, helping to support events and fundraisers. I hope to apply to an executive board position in the future and support the growth of association’s effort in increasing diversity and collaborating with undergraduate and graduate organizations on campus. I also mentor undergraduate students interested in health-related studies.

What are some of your hobbies?

A favorite hobby and also form of self-care is working out. I do weight training and athletic training. I spend time with my dog, Chula. We enjoy taking long walks and eating. I also spend time with my girlfriend, who is a pediatric nurse. We watch movies and have critical conversations about how we can improve health care.

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