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Employee Spotlight – Stephanie Ochoa

Stephanie has been with Vital Decisions since 2016. She started as a Specialist and transitioned to her current Supervisor position in 2021. Stephanie serves on the Spanish bilingual clinical team. She obtained her Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University as a Mental Health Counselor and undergraduate degree from Mercy College in Psychology. She was born in Costa Rica and came to the US as a young child before moving to the Bronx (on the same block as JLo!) Most of her family is still back home in Costa Rica.

☀  How has your background or culture/heritage shaped how you show up in this work or view Advance Care Planning? 

In Hispanic/Latinx culture, Advance Care Planning is not typically discussed. As a Specialist, I was able to offer my Spanish speaking members a different level of understanding. I’d like to think that I was able to meet my members exactly where they were and they appreciated the connection we established over the phone just as much as I did. I believe that my background played a role in members truly feeling heard.  Now, as a Supervisor it has become increasingly important for me to foster that connection within our Bilingual Team. Wanting them to feel supported and confident so that they are able to deliver the same energy to their members.

☀  What brings meaning or joy to your work?

As a Specialist, it was having meaningful conversations with members and understanding that those conversations sound different for each person. I enjoyed taking the time to understand exactly who I was speaking to and honoring their individuality. And in my role as a Supervisor, what brings me the most joy is working with my team, and other Specialists. Understanding their experience as they work with their members and supporting them through the challenges as well as celebrating their accomplishments.

☀  What makes Vital Decisions different than any other organization you’ve been a part of?

The culture supports a growth mindset as well as ideas that are heard and brought to the table. And I’ve found that resources and support are always available to further success. The focus on DEI is genuine in keeping inclusion as a top priority for both members and employees.

☀  What’s been a breakthrough during your time here?

Having the opportunity to work with the DEI team has been most impactful for me. Throughout the years, I have seen the genuine growth of the company to prioritize inclusion and incorporate it as the backbone of how the organization is run day-to-day.

☀  What’s one thing you’d want a potential candidate to know about Vital Decisions?

It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.