Garamendi recognizes local woman as a 2020 Woman of the Year

Leticia Quirarte was honored as one of 2020 Women of the year by Congressman John Garamendi. Courtesy photo

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Congressman John Garamendi honored 37 women from the Third Congressional District of California who are leaders and visionaries in their communities, including a Winters woman.

Leticia Quirarte was recognized for her contributions to the Winters community at the 7th annual Women of the Year event. The women being honored are nominated and selected for making significant contributions to society through public service, business, education and local advocacy.

“Every year I have the honor of recognizing the achievements and service of these distinguished women,” Garamendi said. “These leaders come from a variety of backgrounds, but every one of them has made a real difference to their communities and the people around them. It’s a privilege to be able to honor them.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has rippled through our nation, each of these women have worked tirelessly to serve their communities and help vulnerable populations weather this storm. Their service is deserving of recognition, and by receiving this award, their work will be commemorated and chronicled at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.,” Garamendi continued.

Quirarte was co-nominated by Winters City Council Member Jesse Loren and community member Kate Laddish. Both Loren and Laddish were previously honored with the award in October 2018.

“Leticia has talents for bringing people together and for effecting positive change through both her work at Winters Healthcare Foundation and in her leadership role with Winters Hispanic Advisory Committee,” Laddish said. “She makes a very real and very positive difference in our community, and I’m really thrilled that she is being recognized with this honor.”

Loren noted that Quirarte has been a compassionate advocate for many people in the Winters community, and is a champion of Latino culture. She said that Quirarte was instrumental in the formation of Winters Hispanic Advisory Committee and currently serves as president.

Winters Healthcare Executive Director Chris Kelsch said Quirarte has been a solid and critical part of their outreach team.

As a Promotoras Coordinator and a certified Covered California enrollment counselor, she meets with clients daily and provides them with health education resources and refers them to where they can go for services or support.

According to Kelsch, she also helps to support agricultural workers and farmers in the local region from Esparto through Winters and Davis. As part of her role, Quirarte travels to farm worker sites to assist people with health education, insurance and enrollment services, and provide information for additional resources.

Quirarte has a reputation of being kind and trustworthy, which Kelsh said has made her a key team player.

“They respect her opinion,” Kelsh said. “Having someone they can trust — That’s huge. That’s because of her integrity. Leti really has that. She’s super kind, trusting and open,” Kelsh said.

Kelsh said Quirarte embodies the WHC’s focus on relations-based care and being empathetic and helpful to their clients on their health journey.

“Those are key qualities. Leti came with all that. That’s her natural tendency to connect with people and be that,” Kelsh said. “She emulates that, she models that.”

In addition, Kelsh praised Quirarte for her willingness to do anything from traveling to migrant sites to helping to translate information for a pediatrician at WHS.

In their nomination letter, Laddish and Loren applauded Quirarte for efforts in 2017 for serving as one of the keys to success of the HAC’s workshop on immigrants’ rights. They said thanks to the citizenship programs sponsored by Quirarte and HAC, several members have become U.S. citizens. 

The current HAC efforts are in collaborating with ApoYolo and the Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network to raise funds to support local families in the Spanish-speaking community who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through all of this activity, Leticia’s patience and ability to collaborate have stood her in good stead,” stated Laddish and Loren’s nomination letter. “The Winters and Yolo County communities are better places because of Leticia’s professional and volunteer efforts.”

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