On August 9th, Rey Solis received the Governor’s Volunteer Award at a ceremony in Storm Lake. For more than 15 years, Rey has volunteered on an advisory council for the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) to address the need for certified interpreters, especially within the health care field.
Janice Edmunds-Wells, previous Administrator of the Iowa Department of Public Health Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, nominated Solis for the Governor’s Volunteer Award.
“I nominated Rey because of his outstanding volunteer services provided over many years to OMMH. The Council was designed to address health equity and healthy disparities within the state of Iowa,” shared Edmunds-Wells. “He represented Region 2 and was the catalysis and change-agent in addressing the need for interpreter services through partnership certified training programs and key stakeholders.”
In Iowa, as across the nation, there is a vital need for interpreters, especially in medical care. This group looked at staff members who had the skills to help in this area, and worked to help them become certified interpreters to enhance the workforce.
“Rey was also the voice at the table making sure we looked at all the different diversities present in the community,” continued Edmunds-Wells. “For example, within our Latino communities are many different dialectics. He was the link between the committee and community to take the resources, information, and educational opportunities back to the community. He was instrumental in providing resources to address the health iniquities.”
Coordinated by Volunteer Iowa, the Governor's Volunteer Award program, now in its 34th year, provides an easy way for Iowa nonprofits, charitable organizations, and government entities to honor their volunteers with a prestigious, state-level award. More information is available at volunteeriowa.org.
“It is no surprise to me that Rey was a recipient of this award; he is so deserving!” stated Renee Diamond, MD, who works with Solis at Iowa Specialty Hospital. “His heart to help is evident in his care of patients whether coming in at 8:00 am, midnight, or 3:30 in the morning. He always goes the extra mile. I am honored and grateful to work with him!”