Martha Rae is a mental health team leader at Children’s Hospital Oakland.
What inspired you to pursue a career in behavioral health?
My parents, both immigrants from Mexico, migrated to the United States 60 years ago with a 10-month-old baby girl in tow (me). They are my constant inspiration, both professionally and personally. As is common in many immigrant families, at a young age I was my parents’ interpreter, and their bridge to the varied community agencies, schools, clinics, hospitals, stores, and so on. As our family grew, I also took on the responsibility of helping my mother care for my five younger siblings; hence caretaking, and making executive decisions, was mastered. My parents and family endured hardships due to socioeconomic inequities and racial and cultural discrimination. This has all played a major role in my desire to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and that has given me the opportunity to help immigrant families navigate and cope in their new communities.
How has being in NUHW helped you in your profession?
Being part of NUHW has allowed me to have job security, an equitable wage, and training funds for maintaining my license. It also gives me a sense of calm and support if ever I may find myself in a delicate/complicated work situation. I have seen how being a part of NUHW can be life-changing.