The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee helps us better serve communities of color, Native communities, individuals living with complex and rare epilepsies, and communities marginalized through social, economic, and political barriers as well as health care providers working most directly with these populations. Martin Hernandez is our Regional Outreach Manager, Southern Minnesota, and a member of the DEI Committee.
Q: What is your relationship to epilepsy?
MH: I have epilepsy/seizures, I work with people who have epilepsy/seizures.
Q: Why do you serve on the DEI Committee?
MH: I serve because I want to ensure that the services EFMN provides are accessible to all communities in Minnesota. Empowering disenfranchised communities to seek us out as a resource and partner in their journey with epilepsy.
Q: What do you want people to know about epilepsy?
MH: I want to know what are the common barriers that they face day-to-day. Sharing with us the intersections of their lives with epilepsy along with their identity as part of a community in Minnesota.
Q: What EFMN program or service do you want to highlight to someone who is new to the organization? Why?
MH: We offer one-on-one Information Services help. People can reach out to us and speak with their local outreach manager on their unique set of circumstances, we can then work together to help overcome obstacles they face to accessing care, as well as barriers in their day-to-day lives.
Q: Tell us something about yourself that others may find interesting – either personal or professional, something that shows the audience who you are.
MH: I started to have Absence Seizures when I was in my mid-20’s and went for about a year without knowing that I was having a type of seizure. I reflect on my own lack of knowledge, as well as why I may have been more likely to write it off as something less severe than what it was.