Recipient

Andrea W.

New Mexico, United States

Frontline Ob/Gyn for Navajo Nation

I am writing to nominate Dr. Andrea. She is an obstetrician/gynecologist, working at a small hospital in New Mexico right on the edge of Navajo Nation, where she serves a largely Native American population. She is singularly passionate about bringing the best quality of health care to moms, and cares deeply about addressing health inequality - it's why she gave up the opportunity to work at a big-city job in Los Angeles and moved to rural New Mexico - she wanted to work in a place that has a shortage of providers, and where she knows she can put her skills to best use.


Working here is not easy. For a good part of this year, she has been the only ob/gyn working at her hospital, working tirelessly to make sure that every single mom who delivers at her hospital is safe, and has excellent care. This was especially challenging when Navajo Nation became a COVID hot spot; Andrea spent long hours as part of the front-line response in caring for COVID+ patients.


It's been a hard summer and fall for Andrea. In addition to being a doctor in a community that really needs her, her house burned down in July. Fortunately, she had a rare weekend out of town, and her dog was being housed elsewhere - but all of her belongings and a lot sentimental items were ruined - including her recently deceased grandmother's piano, which she'd brought to Gallup as a memory of home. She hasn't had any time off since then - she's living in a rental unit now until her house can be rebuilt, but it looks like she's going to be displaced until Spring.


I happen to know one of her patients, who told me: "I chose Andrea to be my doctor through my pregnancy because she is smart, thoughtful, thorough, and will always be there for me. I feel cared for by her." I think it's time that we take care of her. She never complains about being tired, but I know she misses working out- a Peloton would help her to take care of herself, and she certainly deserves it!

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