By J. Gabriel Andrade, MD, MBA
Facility Medical Director, Hospital Medicine
Honoring Ancestry and Contributions
Hispanic Heritage Month, observed from September 15 to October 15, is a dedicated time to honor the valuable contributions of individuals whose ancestry can be traced back to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. This celebration highlights the indelible impact these communities have made on American society and culture. The significance of September 15 lies in its association with the independence anniversaries of several Latin American countries. Notably, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all commemorate their independence on this day. Following closely, Mexico and Chile celebrate their own independence on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
From Ecuador to the U.S
My name is Dr. Jose Gabriel Andrade, and I am a TeamHealth Facility Medical Director as well as a husband and father of three daughters. I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I was positively influenced by my mom and my grandparents who kept me out of trouble while growing up in a troubled neighborhood. My mother was the first woman in the family to complete high school and college—obtaining degrees in accounting and economics. My mother and my grandparents were my role models who inspired me to pursue my dreams.
When I was younger, I visited New York during a vacation and ended up attending 7th, 8th and 9th grade there. I also learned English through ESL classes during my time in school. After attending school in the United States, I went back to Ecuador for high school and medical school, but once I graduated medical school I came back to the United States where I matched to an internal medicine program in the Bronx, New York. By coming back to the United States, I had to leave friends, family and colleagues back at home. I believe that Hispanic immigrants looking for greater opportunities are resilient and willing to make sacrifices in the pursuit of their dreams.
Keeping Hispanic Heritage Alive Throughout the Year
Hispanic Heritage Month is so important to me that my family and I continue to celebrate throughout the entire year. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to commemorate our culture, traditions and experiences while promoting equity, respect, understanding and growth within our organization. I want to share my journey as I continue to pursue my dreams. Some of the ways I like to celebrate include watching South American soccer, cooking traditional foods, listening to traditional music, telling folklore stories to my daughters and sharing personal experiences of growing up in South America.
Empowerment Through Inclusivity
I joined a Hospitalist Medicine program in New Jersey, became Assistant Medical Director in 2015 and then a Medical Director in 2017 with TeamHealth. Since then, I have enrolled in multiple TeamHealth national committees and initiatives such as the HM Clinical Documentation Committee, HM Education Subcommittee, HM Productivity Redesign and the Hispanic/Latinx Resource Group. Recently, I completed the University of Tennessee’s master of business administration program supported by TeamHealth. I am currently pursuing a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) credential by The American Association for Physician Leadership. TeamHealth is committed to building a supportive and inclusive workplace. I feel valued and have opportunities that keep me actively engaged in my work. I am proud to be Hispanic and to contribute to TeamHealth and U.S. society.
Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion at TeamHealth.