Hector Chavez

Working throughout the pandemic, Hector Chavez relied on his Benefit Fund to protect his health.

Feeling Sick and Can’t Reach Your Doctor?
Save yourself a trip to an urgent care center or an emergency room by calling or logging on to Teladoc 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(800) TELADOC (835-2362)


Did you know that you can also connect with a therapist through Teladoc for behavioral health care?

HEALTH FUNDS
RESOURCE CENTER
KEEPING YOUR COVERAGE
PROTECTING OUR HEALTH
Wellness Resources

As a registered Respiratory Therapist, Hector Chavez has experienced a lot in his 10 years at Montefiore Medical Center’s Moses Campus in the Bronx, but nothing like the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was scary,” Hector explained. “We went from maybe one or two code medical emergencies a day to as many as 15, and just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, they did.” But despite managing two medical conditions—epilepsy and high blood pressure—Hector stuck to his work schedule, taking extra precautions to make sure his wife, Maria, stayed healthy. He even started an online fundraiser for personal protective equipment (PPE), collecting $5,000 in donations that he used to purchase hazmat suits, masks, shoe coverings and even vitamins for himself and his team.

“With 1199SEIU, we have the best [health and training] benefits around. I hear others complain about the limitations they have, but not me—I stay here because of them.”

A 39-year-old immigrant from Ecuador, Hector has been able to manage his epilepsy and hypertension with prescription drugs, which are fully covered by his Benefit Fund. “I’m so thankful for my benefits,” he said. “Just one of those treatments could cost me $1,000 a month!”

Hector is also grateful for behavioral health telehealth visits. “Telemedicine is really a blessing,” he said. “Sometimes you just need someone to talk to.”

An 1199SEIU member for 20 years, Hector started on the path to respiratory therapy at age 15, spurred by his concern for his asthmatic sister and the opportunity to enroll in a medical tech program at his high school. A few years later, he began his professional career in the housekeeping department at Mary Immaculate Hospital. Hector went back to school at Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2010, which helped him land his current position. More recently, he has used his 1199SEIU Funds training benefits to cover continuing education credits at New York City College of Technology, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Health Service Management, graduating summa cum laude in 2014.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Hector is thinking about using his training benefits to pursue a master’s degree in Emergency Preparedness Management, or even his doctorate. “With 1199SEIU, we have the best [health and training] benefits around,” he said. “I hear others complain about the limitations they have, but not me—I stay here because of them.”

What Do Your Benefits Mean to You?

You count on your health benefits to support you in your efforts to stay healthy, whether it’s by getting regular checkups, keeping a chronic condition under control or just improving your lifestyle in general. But has there ever been a time when your health coverage literally saved your life or the life of a loved one? If so, we’d like to hear from you. To share your story with your fellow members in an upcoming issue of For Your Benefit, please contact the Fund at [email protected].

Heidi Espinal: Member Profile

Heidi Espinal: Member Profile

Heidi Espinal Working to improve the health of those in her community, RN Heidi Espinal credits her benefits with helping her protect her own mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.Not everyone has a chance to help the people in their hometown stay healthy, but...

MaryGrace Colobong

MaryGrace Colobong

After a trying year—both physically and emotionally—MaryGrace Colobong reflects on the peace of mind her 1199SEIU health benefits afforded her.

Linda Askew

Linda Askew

Linda has always relied on her 1199SEIU Funds to help keep her and her family healthy—never more so than throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesenia Pena

Yesenia Pena

Recovering from cancer—and a bout of COVID-19—Yesenia Pena gained a newfound appreciation of the support she receives from her 1199SEIU Funds.

Takisha Jenkins

Takisha Jenkins

Takisha Jenkins credits her benefits with helping her get healthy and maintain her well-being.

Oliveen Cowans-Mitchell

Oliveen Cowans-Mitchell

Faced with an increased risk of diabetes, Oliveen Cowans-Mitchell got her health back on track with the help of her Benefit Fund.

Feeling Sick and Can’t Reach Your Doctor?
Save yourself a trip to an urgent care center or an emergency room by calling or logging on to Teladoc 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(800) TELADOC (835-2362)


Did you know that you can also connect with a therapist through Teladoc for behavioral health care?

HEALTH FUNDS
RESOURCE CENTER
KEEPING YOUR COVERAGE
PROTECTING OUR HEALTH
Wellness Resources
Share This