Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Community Health Educator Esther Valerio
Oct 31, 2017 Cedars-Sinai Staff
Meet Esther Valerio, community health educator in the Cedars-Sinai Healthy Habits program. Healthy Habits works to combat childhood obesity by teaching children and their families in underserved Los Angeles communities about better food options.
While growing up in Mexico City, Esther became inspired to teach low-income families how to live healthier lives. We sat down with Esther to learn more about her and what she does at Cedars-Sinai.
Q: What does an average work day look like for you?
Esther: I start at one of my 16 assigned Healthy Habits schools and prep the classroom. The 90-minute workshop starts at 8:30am. First, we do 10-15 minutes of physical activity. Then I provide an interactive workshop about one of the 9 topics we offer. We also do a healthy-food demo for all participants to try.
"I love helping people and seeing the benefits they get from making healthy changes."
My goal is to gain their trust and motivate them to adopt healthy habits, and to keep them engaged so they want to come back the next week. After the workshop, sometimes I go to the store to buy ingredients that I need for the next day's workshop, or I go back to the office—where I read my emails and prep for the next class.
Q: What's the best thing about your job?
Esther: Providing families with health tips and education. I love helping people and seeing the benefits they get from making healthy changes.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not at work?
Esther: I like spending time with my daughter, whether we're having a simple chat or breakfast in a pet-friendly restaurant, because our pug needs to be part of our quality time! I also dance to Latin music and sing karaoke.
Q: How do you survive LA traffic?
Esther: It takes me about 35 minutes to get home from work. When I think about the people who drive two hours or more to get home, I feel blessed!
Q: What's your favorite TV guilty pleasure?
Esther: Netflix! We have a love-hate relationship. Once I start watching it, I can't stop.
Q: What superpower would you want to have and why?
Esther: I'd like to be able to influence people in such a way that I could convince everyone to take care of our planet, stop chasing money and power, and do good for humanity.