Leslie Garcia, Center for Diversity & Inclusion

November 2013 Golden Rose Recipient

Leslie Garcia

Submitted by Adrienne Thompson, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Maileen Hamto, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Jennifer Anderson, School of Nursing, Gabriel Flores, Organizational Effectiveness, George Mejicano, School of Medicine, and Michael Tom, Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity. 

Leslie is the exemplar of someone who goes above and beyond in her daily work by creating and maintaining relationships, advocating for positive change at OHSU and connecting community members with OHSU stakeholders so that relationships are strengthened and deepened across OHSU. Leslie is also someone that doesn’t allow the status quo to stand, she is constantly in motion, and she makes things happen for OHSU. 

Examples of Leslie’s dedication can be seen in the breadth of projects both large and small that she has successfully developed and implemented. Big projects in recent years include the launch of the Diversity Advisory Council, the vision for the Diversity Wall, the creation of the Employee Resource Groups, her work on the Diversity Strategic Plan, the Diversity Awards Banquet, and the unified recruitment activities.

Leslie is also dedicated to smaller projects like the Annual Fall Welcome and supporting individual students through the Summer Equity and Cure programs. Even when funding has been scarce, Leslie has collaborated, connected, and provided support for initiatives that are important to our diversity initiatives and OHSU. Although these may seem like a listing of typical work activities, Leslie’s ability to work with multiple stakeholders, navigate OHSU policies and procedures, and bring people together is quite unique. 

One of her passions is her deep care for the students that she meets and advises.  There are many examples in which she works with students as far back as high school and she follows and supports then in their undergraduate and graduate programs.  She truly cares about the students and takes personal time on top of her regular work duties and busy home life to make sure that the students have support to excel and succeed with their goals. Here is one student’s experience:

I’ve been privileged to meet many individuals during my 14-year tenure here at OHSU, and Leslie is one of those individuals. In 2012, Leslie approached me to join a Latino Leadership Foundation course that was sponsored by the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Oregon, University of Oregon, the Port of Portland, and other community organizations. Not only did Leslie encourage and support my own professional growth through the Latino Leadership Program, she also sponsored my admission.

During this year long course we learned the importance of giving back to our community, being an organizational leader and professionalism in the workplace. This past September it was an honor to graduate from this program, along with 20 other Latino professionals around the state of Oregon, and in true Leslie form, a new OHSU employee has now been selected for the next cohort as it enters its 8th year. Leslie understands the importance of advancing internal employees’ professional growth and encourages those to seek additional learning opportunities through various outlets.

Recently, OHSU was nominated and awarded the BRAVO Award for community giving at a recent Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber event, due in large part to Leslie’s continuous effort to bridge OHSU’s mission with the great Portland community. It is an honor to nominate Leslie for the Golden ROSE Award for her continuous effort in supporting future leaders here at OHSU, and giving back to the greater Portland community.

Whether it is working to improve policies, the learning environment, recruitment, the workplace or simply having a two- minute hallway conversation, Leslie makes OHSU a better place to teach, learn, discover, and care for our patients. She is a consummate professional and is one of the hardest working people I know. We are incredibly lucky to have her work and contribute to our OHSU family.