Provider Profile – Carmelo Soto

1. What is your role/position with NHCLV and which location do you work at? How long have you worked for the organization?

I’m a Center of Excellence Care Manager and work mainly out of our downtown Allentown community health center (Vida Nueva). I have been working for NHCLV for just over 1 year.

2. Why do you think an FQHC is important in caring for members of the Lehigh Valley community?

It is important because we can better reach individuals that may not have access to healthcare or were afraid to seek out services due lack of education or language/cultural barriers. Also, the convenience of receiving multiple services in one place helps build relationships as well as insures better care and follow up.

3. What’s the most important thing you have learned working for an FQHC?

I have learned that everyone has the right to healthcare and to be treated as whole: mental health, physical health, and addiction.

4. What do you love most about your job?

I love making a difference in patients’ lives. For the COE, seeing them come in struggling with addiction, monitoring their wellbeing, and months later they are like brand new people with more hope for the future. The gratitude they express to the COE team as well as NHCLV is the biggest reward.

5. What one piece of advice do you have for patients when it comes to caring for their health?

That we have to treat ourselves well and do whatever it takes to be healthy, not only for ourselves, but also the people that care about us who also suffer when we are not doing well.