Jesus Prado was 15 when his family moved to Napa and began coming to OLE Health for care. Although he wanted to pursue a career in medicine, trouble in his teenage years, including dropping out of high school, threatened to derail all those plans. Jesus looked at the path he was on and decided it was time to turn his life around. He got his GED and began taking classes at Napa Valley College with a goal of working at OLE so he could give back to his community. He first earned his Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
degree but decided to further his education, graduating in 1996 with his Registered Nursing (RN) degree. His goal of working at OLE Health had to wait until a full-time RN position opened, but Jesus patiently waited and watched for his opportunity. January 20, 1998, Jesus had his dream come true and he began working at the small clinic on Trancas St.
What was OLE like when you started?
At that time most of the providers were volunteers, there was one computer that was used for scheduling, and all patient records were paper charts. Every morning when I came into the office I shared with Dr. Moore, I had a pile of charts and a stack of prescriptions that I had to take care of. As the only full-time nurse I worked long hours and ran from room to room to do triage, patient education, wound care, and give advice.
The clinic was growing quickly to keep up with the needs. We started hiring more providers, and the clinic became so crowded that some providers used closets as their offices. When my team moved to Pear Tree Lane it felt like a huge space.
What roles have you filled at OLE?
I was always a nurse, but for three years I was the nursing manager. However, I preferred being with patients, and I went back to doing more care management. Now I work remotely doing prescription refills.
What are the biggest changes or challenges?
When I was first here it seemed that we were providing services to mostly vineyard workers and the Latino community but OLE just kept growing to meet the needs of the community. We didn’t always have social workers, nutritionists, or care coordinators so we had to provide a lot of wrap around services. Now we have so much more that we can offer to our patients.
We have been through some hard times, and, when help was needed, OLE was there. I have been able to help with setting up vaccination tents, caring for the un-homed, and, when Napa had the earthquakes and wildfires, we were there to help.
What is your favorite part of working at OLE?
It’s been working with the community. I have been blessed to see and help generations. I have built good relationships with our patients and community.
What advice do you have for someone just starting at OLE?
Focus on the difference you are making at OLE. The rewards you get by being there for those who need the most help is far greater than any monetary reward.