We offer Influenza (Flu) vaccine for patients 6 months and older. Click here to call one of our clinics to schedule an appointment.

We offer COVID-19 vaccines and testing. Click here to schedule an appointment at our clinics, or click here to get vaccinated at one of our community vaccine clinics.

Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS) logo

Community Health Services

Mission statement

The Community Health Services Department of Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our Salinas Valley community. Our team provides culturally, linguistically, patient-centered services that bridge different health and social service systems.

Who we are

Community Health Advocates play a huge role within healthcare. We address barriers to care and can support patients with insurance enrollment, food support and other social needs. We engage, educate, and empower our communities.

What is a community health advocate?

Community Health Advocates (CHA) are non-clinical workers who are the frontline agents of change by helping to reduce health disparities in underserved communities. CHA’s have a first-hand understanding of those they serve based on shared ethnicity, language and lived experiences. They serve as a link between the health system, social services and the community of Monterey county to facilitate access to services.

Meet Our Team

Our Community Health Services:

Contact Us: (831) 200-4010, (831) 200-3570

We help increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and access to Monterey Country residents.

Click here to learn more about current community vaccine clinics.

Erick Lopez

Community Health Services Director

I am currently the Community Health Services Director for Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS). In 2009, I obtained my B.A from San Francisco State University with a double major in Social-Cultural Anthropology and Political Science. In the same year, I started working at CSVS as a medical assistant, and in 2011 was promoted to the position of manager. During my time as head of department, I have led multiple health campaigns and participated in multiple community committees. Additionally, I am a member of the Internal Review Board for CSVS.

Ruben Ramirez

Community Health Services Manager

I was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. I received my B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Also, I completed my Master’s in Public Health from the University of Arizona, Tucson. There are many things I like about working at CSVS, but my favorite one is to work alongside highly talented, hard-working, and creative people who are passionate about helping our communities of the Salinas Valley. Additionally, CSVS has allowed me to apply what I’ve learned about public health, giving me the opportunity to contribute to the mission of Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas. I am passionate about achieving health equity and social justice for our underserved communities in Monterey County, especially for our low-income farmworkers. I believe we all deserve access to high-quality, culturally and linguistically competent health care services. I believe that through my work at CSVS I contribute to eliminating some barriers preventing our communities from attaining health equity and justice. When I am not working or studying, you can find me walking in the park, hiking, reading personal development books, taking and editing cool photographs, or watching fútbol, #HalaMadrid.

Patty Benitez

Community Health Services Supervisor

I was born and raised in Salinas, California and obtained my certification at Central Coast College. I like working at CSVS because I am motivated by our mission to improve the health of a population that faces many challenges. My organization’s primary mission is “dedicated to providing access to quality comprehensive health care to men, women and children with an emphasis on farm worker families and the agricultural community”. I fully embrace this mission, and in doing so, my goal is to highlight services through our outreach department: Food insecurity, utility assistance, Cancer education, and Medi-Cal application assistance. I love the work I do and find it incredibly fulfilling. I have always been passionate about helping others. I am someone who looks after others and enjoys helping people, rather than just helping myself. My job gives me the opportunity to do what I am passionate about. I also enjoy going to the movies with my family, going on walks, and baking.

Litzi Gutierrez

Community Health Advocate

I am from a small city called Greenfield, California.  I was raised in Greenfield as well. I went to Central Coast College to start my career in medical assisting in July of 2019 and I finished and was certified by March of 2020.  Fast forward to late August of 2021, I enrolled in the Monterey Community Health Worker Training.  By April of 2022, I passed my exam and successfully completed the CHW training course. At CSVS, what I enjoy the most about working is the community. I enjoy going out to community events, meeting our patients, and providing information about resources. It feels good to serve the community who does so much for this country. Something I am passionate about is helping people out.  We only have one planet earth and I think the best thing we can do is help each other out and make this planet a better place. Some of my hobbies include reading about the solar system and astrology, as well as listening to music. I also like hanging out with my cat, Kiki.

Florentina Sanchez

Community Health Advocate

My name is Florentina Sanchez, and I am a Community Health Advocate. I was born in Hermosillo Sonora, Mexico, known as “La Doce,” and grew up in Greenfield, CA. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services with a concentration in Social work at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Working at CSVS fascinates me because it gives me the opportunity to be part of developing projects to delight the quality of services for the Mexican indigenous population. As a person whose first language is “Xna’ánj nu,” known as in Spanish Triqui of Copala, I am very passionate about working with the Native Mexican Community. Whenever I work with the community or communicate, I learn new ways of seeing the world. Outside work, I enjoy watching movies, walking, and spending time with my family.

Cristian Padilla

Social Media Coordinator

I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and raised in Salinas, California. I worked in the agricultural fields, planting celery and artichokes and picking strawberries and cilantro in the Salinas Valley. I cleaned fields in Santa Cruz County and picked grapes in the Scotts Valley mountains during and after high school. After work, I started to film automotive events around Monterey County. I later started to work the night shift, cutting lettuce around Gonzales and Soledad while I kept getting jobs to film events during the day. I took online classes via Google and started to learn social media management on YouTube. I was self-taught and motivated by other undocumented business owners like me. When the opportunity came that CSVS had a position for a social media coordinator, I jumped quickly to apply because, growing up, my family and I got to benefit from their services. What I love most about my work is the people around me and the support they provide. Being able to use my creativity to deliver positive health messages through social media and keep people informed is what brings me joy. I am currently in college pursuing an associate’s degree in e-marketing.

David Cardenas

Street Medicine Outreach Coordinator

My name is David Cardenas, and I am currently the Street Medicine Outreach Coordinator. I was born and raised in the Salinas Valley. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s in Political Science. I then went on to obtain my certification as an EMT. CSVS’s mission revolves around helping those who are underrepresented, emphasizing agricultural families. I truly believe that I can stand behind that goal, coming from an agricultural family myself, and deliver the best services possible to those who need them the most. Whether it is someone who needs assistance reading a document in English, or someone without a home looking to receive care, being part of a dynamic team willing to cover those needs in an instant is what makes working here worth it and rewarding. My goal is to provide an efficient method of care delivery to those who are unsheltered whether insured or not and contribute to a future where everyone has access to medical care. Now in my free time, I like to spend time with my family, play basketball, obsess over “min-maxing” my workouts, and replaying Sekiro for the 1000th time. “Hesitation is Defeat.”

Ernesto Quitalig

Street Medicine Provider

I am currently the Nurse Practitioner Provider for CSVS Street Medicine Program started last December 2023 but worked for the CSVS Mobile Clinic before as a locum in February 2023. I have worked as a midlevel provider for 8 years.

Milagros Hernandez

Social Media Coordinator

I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. I attended San Francisco State University and I received my bachelor’s in science, specifically biology with a concentration in physiology and a minor in Latinx studies. The CSVS outreach team is very welcoming and hardworking. We understand that we want the best for our patients and work together to do just that. I believe healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. I am very passionate about diminishing the health disparities that many underserved communities in the United States face. I aspire to be a physician and hope to one day be able to aid our communities in a place like CSVS. I enjoy going to the gym, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends and family in my free time.

Kasandra Escobar

Community Health Advocate

I was born and raised in Salinas, California. My Medical Assistant certification was obtained from Central Coast College in Salinas, followed by a B.S. in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. I am also a certified Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist issued by the American College of Sports Medicine and National Physical Activity Society. My most recent certification earned is for a Community Health Worker which was obtained through the Monterey County Workforce Development Board.The numerous opportunities to engage with the community are one of the things I enjoy the most. I also work with an amazing team that makes everything we do possible. I am passionate about health and fitness. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to live a healthy and active lifestyle. It is important to me to set a positive example and help others make better decisions. Education plays a large role in creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I love to spend time with my family and staying active. Some of my favorite memories are hiking, exercising and traveling with them.

Victoria Cabrera

Community Health Advocate

My name is Victoria Cabrera and I am a Community Health Advocate for Clinica’s Community Health Services Department. I was born and raised in Salinas, CA. I have lived here my whole life and am very proud to call Salinas home. After graduating from Alisal High School, I attended the University of California, Los Angeles. I graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Chicanx Studies. CSVS allows me to work on projects that will benefit the Salinas Valley while collaborating with a team of passionate and brilliant individuals. I love how united my team at CSVS is and how dedicated they all are to providing our patients and community with resources. The continuous effort of this team assures me that the work we are doing is necessary and meaningful. I am passionate about providing culturally competent care to underserved communities and growing public understanding of mental health. My mission in life is to continue to serve the Salinas Valley in any and every way that I can.

Miriam Juarez

Community Health Advocate

I am from Salinas, California. I obtained my Bachelor’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Every day is different with Outreach! Whether through health fairs, vaccine clinics, or health education sessions, meeting community members where they are — literally and metaphorically — is incredibly rewarding. I am passionate about bridging gaps in health literacy among low-income patients of color. Empowering our patients to take an active role in their healthcare is key to improving the health of generations to come. I enjoy long-distance running, knitting, and watching baking shows!

Mariela Bucio

Community Health Advocate

I was born and raised in a small community in Michoacán, México and immigrated with my family to Salinas, CA, at the age of 18. The first educational institution I attended in this country was Salinas Adult School. My time at this school allowed me to learn the English language and earned my High School Equivalency Diploma (GED). After this, I decided to pursue a higher education and enrolled at Hartnell College where I received my AA-T in Psychology. Then, I transferred to California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) where I graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures. My life experiences as an immigrant and my education have strengthened my desire to serve and advocate for the agricultural community. What I like working at CSVS is that this organization provides me with opportunities to serve and work directly with the farmworkers and their families. During my time at CSUMB, I volunteered as an ESL tutor at the Cesar Chavez Library. It was through this experience that developed a passion for teaching and learning new skills. I found inspiration in these students, which were mostly farmworkers. Despite a day of hard work in the fields, they arrived to class optimistic, energetic and ready to learn.  In my free time, I enjoy baking, meditating, reading thriller and sci-fi fantasy books, caring for my two dogs, watching binge worthy shows like Big Bang Theory and spending time with family and friends.

We help increase covid 19 vaccine confidence and access to Monterey County residents.

Click here to learn more about current community vaccine clinics.

We help connect our patients to community resources, such as, but not limited to:

  • Food or meals
  • Housing or rent assistance
  • Employment
  • Financial Assistance
  • Health Insurance applications

Fresh Rx Program
This innovative partnership between CSVS and Everyone’s Harvest focuses on preventative health care to fight the rise of chronic diseases related to nutrition insecurity. Participants of this program will receive a weekly $35 voucher to exchange for fresh fruit and vegetables at the Alisal Farmer’s Market. Program participants will also receive group diabetes educational sessions with one of our providers once a month. To be eligible for this program patients must be an established patient of one of our CSVS clinics and have an elevated A1c.

This partnership between CSVS and Stanford University aims to improve access to cancer screening and prevention using community health workers (CHW’s) to meet the needs of Latino adults in Monterey County. Community health workers provide health education on a variety of cancer topics including:

  • Diet and exercise for cancer prevention
  • Strategies for reducing cancer risk
  • Screening assessments and recommended timelines
  • Family history and genetic testing

Our team is involved in health fairs, events, community presentations and workshops.