Press Room

Virginia Garcia is a catalyst for change in health care delivery.

The mission of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate primary health care to the communities of Washington and Yamhill Counties with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farmworkers and others with barriers to receiving healthcare. 

Who is Virginia Garcia?

The story has been told a hundred times, but we must never forget where it all started and the people we are here to help. But who are these individuals?

Virginia Garcia painting - low res

Stock Virginia Garcia photography

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    Outreach photo

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    Virginia Garcia Painting

    Original photo painted by Yolanda Valdez Rementaria.
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    VG Outreach COVID-19 event

    VG Staff at a recent COVID-19 screening event
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    Primary logo

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    Secondary Logo

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2021 ¡Prospera! - Details on our virtual event coming soon

The 2019 Health Care Symposium will explore the toll that trauma takes on everyone that crosses its wake. From those directly experiencing the trauma to those that help us heal, the effect of trauma is real, and unless we take careful steps to mitigate those harms, it will overwhelm us.

Join us as we dive into this topic and discover ways to care for others who have experienced trauma, and to care for ourselves. Renowned author, founder, and director of the Trauma Stewardship Institute, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, will join us to share her experiences, insights, and advice about this very important as we dive into this topic and discover ways to care for others who have experienced trauma, and to care for ourselves. Renowned author, founder, and director of the Trauma Stewardship Institute, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, will join us to share her experiences, insights, and advice about this very important topic.


4:30PM            “Meet the Author” Pre-Event with Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

4:40PM            Welcome

                        Serena Cruz/ Executive Director, Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

4:45PM            Opening Remarks

                        David Bell/ Deputy Director, Oregon Savings Network  

4:50PM            Introduction of Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

                        Dr. Joyce Liu/ Kaiser Permanente    

4:55PM            Meet the Author

      Laura van Dernoot Lipsky      

5PM                 Social time

5:30PM            Meet the Author attendees adjourn to the atrium for networking hour

6:20PM            Doors open/Announcement made to all to join us in PSU

6:30 PM           Symposium Begins/ Welcome

                        Serena Cruz/ Executive Director, Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

6:35 PM           Community address

      Pam Treece/ Washington County Commissioner

6:40 PM           Introduction of keynote speaker and moderator

                        Gil Muñoz/ CEO, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center

6:45PM            Keynote Speaker

                        Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

7:30PM            Questions and discussion with Laura

                        Moderated by Jesse Beason/ President & CEO, Northwest Health Foundation

8:00PM            Closing remarks

                        Serena Cruz/ Executive Director, Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

8:15PM            End of Program


News Release from Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
Posted on FlashAlert: May 9th, 2019 9:27 AM

Downloadable file: Vicarious Trauma - 2019 Health Care Symposium

11th Annual Virginia Garcia Health Care Symposium

Mary Sepulveda never thought she would feel fortunate for getting sick. “It sounds strange to say,” she said, “but getting sick my life.”

Mary started her career with Virginia Garcia at the Beaverton Clinic as a Health Resilience Specialist. Her day consisted of working with patients who had either experienced trauma, or were currently experiencing it. She provided support and resources to individuals with complex medical, mental health and social needs. She helped patients navigate the criminal justice or social security system and often advocated for patients with insurance companies.  On a daily basis she was working to find housing, social supports, substance treatments and myriad of other basic needs for Virginia Garcia patients that had nowhere else to turn or ask for help.

She often left work after a long day feeling defeated or frustrated, knowing that a patient was spending another night without shelter because she couldn’t find them a place to stay or a family was going hungry again because she had not been able to get the support they needed. “I was paid for an eight hour day, but the reality was the work never ended and was always on my mind,” she said. “I felt exhausted and often helpless in the face of the maze of systems we had to navigate. Then I got sick.”

“Sick” came in the form of Stage 4 breast cancer.  Treatment took the form of long-term chemo and surgery. In order to keep her insurance, she kept working but she came to a very quick realization. The stress from carrying the worry of all those she was helping each day had taken its toll on her body. “I realized that if I wanted to continue to do the work and support others, I must strive to build systems that support ways to manage the job-related stress,” she said.  “When someone puts their health second it is not sustainable over the long haul. We have to create mindful ways to take care of others while still taking care of ourselves.”

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky couldn’t agree more. 

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky is the founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute and author of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others and The Age of Overwhelm. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of trauma exposure, she has worked locally, nationally, and internationally for more than three decades.

A decade into her career, Laura experienced what can best be described as a near-psychotic break—which, she came to realize, was the result of years of witnessing and being intimately involved in trauma while lacking insight into how to sustain herself amidst such conditions. She began a journey of inquiry into the lasting effects on both individuals and communities of exposure to the suffering, hardship, crisis, or trauma endured by humans, other living beings, or the planet itself.

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center will welcome Laura on Monday, May 13 at 5:30pm at the OHSU Robertson Life Sciences Building.

Limited tickets are available to both a “Meet the Author” pre-event as well as the symposium at

To obtain a press pass or schedule an opportunity to interview Mary or Laura, please contact Kasi Woidyla.

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center provides high quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care with a special emphasis on those with barriers to receiving health care. Since its founding 43 years ago, Virginia Garcia has grown from a single, grassroots clinic into a full service health care home serving Washington and Yamhill counties. Today, Virginia Garcia employs nearly 650 people, has a budget of more than $62 million, and serves about 48,700 patients at five primary care clinics, six dental clinics, six school-based health centers, a women’s clinic as well as a mobile outreach clinic.

Visit for more information on the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.

Contact Info, for media use only:
Kasi Woidyla

Parking and Transportation
Physical address:
OHSU Robertson Life Sciences Building
2730 S.W. Moody Ave.
Portland, OR 97201- 5042
Paid Parking: OHSU has an underground parking structure. The entrance is located off Moody on Meade Street just east side of the building between the Robertson Building and the new Knight Cancer Research Center.
Free Parking: There is free parking a quick walk away in the OHSU Schnitzer Lot.
Public Transportation:
Portland’s streetcar stops at the corner of S.W. Moody and S.W. Meade, which is across the street and just south of the Robertson Life Sciences Building. Patients and visitors may ride a TriMet bus downtown and transfer to the Portland streetcar. The closest streetcar stop to the downtown transit mall is at S.W. 5th and Market. The streetcar accommodates bikes and wheelchairs. You can find the schedule and fare information here.
MAX and Bus
The South Waterfront/SW Moody Ave. Station on the MAX Orange Line is located right outside the Robertson Life Sciences Building. MAX Orange Line trains run every 15 minutes most of the day, and can accommodate bikes and wheelchairs.There are also a number of bus routes that serve the South Waterfront. Plan your trip here.















Check out our schedule of events, buy tickets and read about upcoming activities at Virginia Garcia.

  • SAVE THE DATE ¡Prospera! 2021

    Mark your calendars and join us for ¡Prospera! on Friday, October 1. This year’s virtual event will be a short program featuring an amazing auction with something for everyone. Look for more details in the coming weeks.

    RSVP today and stay updated on all the latest developments and information.