This article provides an interesting overview of the career of Dr. Barbara Staggers and mentions her impact on students like Luz Gomez ’08.

Think of her as Oprah with a stethoscope. Staggers has devoted her life to increasing not only the access but also the quality of health and psychosocial care to minorities in Alameda County, particularly adolescents.

Staggers’ approach is equal parts unconditional love and comprehensive health care. Her community- wide service initiatives empower, mentor and guide young people.

It’s no different for Luz Gomez, a pre-med freshman at Williams College in Massachusetts. She grew up in East Oakland, working to afford school supplies and to help her mother pay bills.

At Faces, she did rotations in the labor and delivery ward at Highland Hospital. Her dream is to open an obstetrics clinic back in Oakland.

On the phone from Massachusetts, Gomez explains: “I want women of color to get the health care they deserve.”

Me too. Whether or not Staggers, Gomez and I would agree on the public policies most likely to result in this happy outcome is a topic for another day. If Gomez does become an obstetrician, she will be following in the footsteps of many other Ephs, including Dawn Powers ’89, who safely delivered my daughter Cassandra.

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