CommunityHealth mourns many losses in 2020
More than 16,000 Illinois residents died from COVID-19 in 2020, and the Latinx community that comprises the majority of our patients and staff was hit especially hard.
In Chicago, Latinx residents tested positive for COVID-19 at more than twice the rate of any other race/ethnicity in the city. Many of our team members mourned personal losses, at the same time that we were all struggling to live through and combat a pandemic. We remember all of those lost in 2020, and we share in the sorrow of their loved ones.
Despite the sheer magnitude of the pandemic, one keenly felt loss in 2020 had nothing to do with COVID-19. After a protracted battle with cancer, CommunityHealth Office Manager Sara Soledad Villanueva passed away in December.
Sara was an employee for 13 years, whose empathy for our patients was unparalleled because she, herself, immigrated from Mexico as a teenager and had married and raised three children without health insurance in the 1980’s.
Her colleagues recognized Sara for her enormous heart, her green thumb (she filled the office with beautiful plants), and her seemingly boundless wealth of knowledge. More than one staff member could frequently be heard marveling at how “Sara had all the answers!” Sara was an avid cyclist, a volunteer for Instituto del Progreso Latino and for her local polling place, and a beloved wife and mother. She left an indelible mark on CommunityHealth and will be missed.