Meet OLE Health's Fully Bilingual Registered Dietician
OLE Health is committed to ensuring it provides fully bilingual care to its communities. Though we’ve expanded significantly over our 50-year history, we have never lost sight of our roots: providing high-quality care to Spanish-speaking agricultural workers who live and work in Napa Valley. Many of our providers see Spanish-speaking patients and provide important information in a patient’s preferred language, but their fluency may be limited. It isn’t always easy to find and recruit native Spanish speakers as providers across all of our service areas. That is what makes the addition of Angel Becerra Martinez to our nutrition team so exciting. Angel is our first native Spanish-speaking RD. He joined our nutrition team in 2022, and he’s having a big impact despite his short time with the organization.
Tell me a little bit about your background.
My parents immigrated to Santa Rosa from Central Mexico before I was born, and I spent most of my life in Santa Rosa. I am the middle child of three boys; my younger brother and I are both first generation, but my older brother was born in Mexico. Spanish was my first language, and it was what we spoke at home. I had to learn English outside the home, and it was difficult for me.
Why did you become a Registered Dietician?
I came across dietetics during a general education nutrition course at Santa Rosa Junior College. I transferred from Santa Rosa Junior College to San Diego State University in 2016 and I decided to pursue a degree in Foods and Nutrition. I received my Bachelor’s from San Diego State University in 2018 and soon after attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s dietetic internship in order to sit for the exams to become a registered dietician.
I became a registered dietician to help communities improve their health and manage or avoid development of chronic conditions. Being a bilingual dietitian in Spanish and English is a tremendous help in bridging communication barriers with members of the community we serve.
Nutrition is one aspect of health that can be confusing to many, and I aim to simplify it for our patients.
What drew you to OLE Health?
The emphasis on community drew me to OLE Health. OLE Health has been an ideal fit for me because my long-term career goal was to become a community-based dietitian in underserved communities promoting wellness.
What is the biggest misconception people have about food?
There is no need to fear carbohydrates (sugar) or fat. The human body still requires these nutrients – in moderation.