Justin Joe, a 28-year-old who manages two community health outreach programs for Providence Health & Services, Southern California, was honored June 8 at the national Catholic Health Assembly in Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the Catholic Healthcare Association, the Assembly honored 10 healthcare workers from across the nation as Tomorrow's Leaders, recognition to encourage young leaders to continue their careers in Catholic healthcare.
“Justin is driven to fulfill our mission, recognizing the needs of the poor and vulnerable of our communities and working relentlessly to meet those needs,” said Rod Hochman, president and chief executive officer of Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services, who will attend the Assembly. “He is a credit to Providence and to Catholic health care and I’m confident he will continue growing as a leader in this ministry.”
Joe has dual roles for Providence in the South Bay, managing a program to enroll residents in MediCal and in Covered California, and serving as practice manager for the Providence Vasek Polak Clinic in Hawthorne, a low-cost program that serves the uninsured and under-insured.
The Providence Community Health Insurance project has helped more than 3,000 South Bay residents sign up for coverage under President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act, which has provided health insurance to millions of Americans. Fittingly, Obama will speak at the close of the four-day Assembly.
“I’m a big supporter of the ACA,” Joe said. “There definitely were bumps in the road, but I have seen people getting healthcare now who weren’t even eligible for coverage before.”
As for his future, Joe, who studied sociology at USC and received his master’s in Public Health from UCLA, plans to continue working as an advocate for those in need.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing, working in healthcare and serving the under-served,” he said.
Joe and the other honorees will participate in a leadership formation retreat prior to the assembly, meeting with healthcare leaders from across Catholic healthcare organizations.
A native of Los Angeles, Joe credits his parents for giving him strong values that led to a desire to help others. He has traveled to Mexico to help residents build houses and to Thailand to teach English to youngsters.
Joe began his career at Providence in 2008 as a part-time physical education instructor for the Creating Opportunities for Physical Activity program that trains teachers to teach PE at neighborhood schools where youngsters rarely have a safe place to play outdoors.
Today, he manages 19 employees for Providence, Los Angeles County’s second largest not-for-profit health care system. His team members have crucial roles in Providence outreach programs – including promotoras, Spanish-speaking health care promoters who work in the Emergency Departments at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro and Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.