Dr. Ramallo's impact in Milwaukee's Latino community during COVID-19

NOW: Dr. Ramallo’s impact in Milwaukee’s Latino community during COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Dr. Jorge Ramallo from the Sixteenth Street Clinic in Milwaukee has played an important role in the health of Milwaukee's Latino community.

He has also been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic for Latinos through the educational role he has played.

Ramallo is a proud Latino from Bolivia and applies a lot of his cultural values in his everyday work. Ramallo says serving the Latino community of Milwaukee at the Sixteenth Street Clinic these past three years has been an honor.

"Being able to actually identify with this community and being able to really relate to them from a human to human level has been something that has been not only important for my practice, but also just something so satisfying because it's something that allows me to connect at a much deeper level with my patients," said Ramallo.

Ramallo works in internal medicine and pediatrics but he has also played a pivotal role during the pandemic for the Latino community by doing Spanish Q and A video segments on the clinic's Facebook page.

"We realized early on that there was a lot of either misinformation or lack of information regarding COVID-19, especially at the early stages of the pandemic and we felt that there was a void that needed to be filled," said Ramallo.

Ramallo says that professionally, it has been rewarding to be able to provide this important service. He has seen the negative impact COVID-19 has directly had on some of his patients.

"It was very clear that the Latinx community was disproportionately affected by this pandemic. We have a lot of people that are essential workers. We had a lot of people that could not just work from home or a lot of overcrowding in some places so if one person got sick, it very quickly spread to the entire family," said Ramallo.

That's why this role of providing valuable and accurate information on the COVID-19 has been so important to him, noting the positive impact the videos have had in the Latino community.

"Whenever I hear patients saying that they actually talked to friends and shared our video and were able to get together and get vaccinated, is one of the great satisfactions and something that tells me all this work has been worthwhile," said Ramallo.

His time at the Sixteenth Street Clinic is coming to an end. Ramallo will be leaving in mid-October to continue his work but in another state to be closer to his family. Ramallo says he will miss the Latino community he served in Milwaukee.

Ramallo also says he hopes to see the clinic continue this important work and also hopes to see more representation of Latino doctors in the community, knowing how much of a difference it truly makes and how needed it is.

"It's always very rewarding to me to see Latino high school students come in and talk about what they're going to do after graduating and whenever I hear somebody say I'm going to be a doctor, I tell them yes, absolutely. We need more people like us to be in these roles to really be able to help the next generation and it's something that we should be proud of, our culture, our language and it's something to be celebrated," said Ramallo.

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