NYCHA employee and Chilean American Marina Oteiza leads the way to provide vaccines to tenants

Helping undeserved communities access care is why Chilean American Marina Oteiza says she does what she does.

News 12 Staff

Sep 23, 2021, 11:41 AM

Updated 994 days ago

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Helping undeserved communities access care is why Chilean American Marina Oteiza says she does what she does. Getting meals to seniors and vaccines for NYCHA residents is just part of the work that Oteiza has done in the housing authority.
Ingersoll Houses tenants have been getting shots in their arms thanks in part to Oteiza. She works in NYCHA's family partnerships department and leads the vaccine command center.
"We brought vaccine clinics to the residents because a lot of our developments can be kind of isolated in a way from a lot of the larger clinics that were being set up."
Oteiza believes representation matters. Her family fled Chile during the 1970s and settled in Manhattan. She says her background helps her to serve the diverse NYCHA community.
"If I'm speaking to a Spanish speaker or a native Spanish person, at least I lead with my name and once they hear 'Marina' then I can definitely see how they open up. A lot of weight is lifted off of them and then they feel more comfortable speaking with me."
The vaccination program was a major undertaking with a network of volunteers assisting. Darold Burgess, the tenant association president at Ingersoll Houses, says she's been an asset to the community.
With a sustainable model in place, she hopes it will provide more access for tenants to get vaccinated.


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