Health is global: 'I've seen the poverty, I've felt the pain'

The depth of feeling Maria Lourdes Reyes brings to her job can’t be put into words. Sometimes, she cries.

“I have seen where some of these people are coming from,” said Reyes, a UC San Diego Extension instructor and pathologist. “I’ve seen the poverty, I’ve felt the pain.”

Instructor Profile: Maria Lourdes Reyes, Introduction to Public Health & Global Issues

Reyes is excited about turning her compassion into a new UC San Diego Extension course, “Introduction to Public Health and Global Issues,” slated to start Jan. 7, 2014.

“For me, it becomes very emotional when you see up-close that there’s so much need, right here in our backyard,” she said. “Sometimes, we don’t know where to begin. There’s so much to do, I feel like crying.”

Headquartered in San Diego, PCI provides medical expertise, disease-prevention aid and empowerment to 16 countries around the world, including clinics in San Diego. Reyes serves as PCI’s director of California programs.

“The world is borderless,” she said. “Health is global and people are people everywhere. We need to share what we know. I love to teach, I really do.”

A native of the Philippines who came to the U.S. as a medical resident, Reyes was formerly volunteer president of the American Cancer Society’s state-wide division. Her PCI office is based in National City, which remains one of the nation’s lowest-per capita cities.

Reyes prefers to see a brighter light: “What I do is joyful giving because I care so much.”

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.

What's your story?

Share your accomplishments, advice, and goals for a chance to be featured.