Finding Comfort in Shared Culture

Maria And Evilio Osorio don’t mind travelling to Vacaville to see Dr. Alfredo Ovalle.

Starting a new life in a new country would be a big challenge at any age, but when you’re in your 70s, finding the right doctor is key. That’s why Evilio and Marina Osorio consider themselves very fortunate to be in the care of Dr. Alfredo Ovalle, who not only speaks their native language, but actually hails from their native land: Guatemala.

“That was so huge for them,” explains their daughter, Maribel, of Green Valley. “They definitely feel at home, and instantly felt respect and trust with Dr. Ovalle. He’s open and listens to their needs and concerns.”

One of the newest additions to the NorthBay VacaValley Hospital campus is the Center for Primary Care, a NorthBay Affiliate, which is on the second floor of the VacaValley Health Plaza. Since it opened in 2011, four doctors have set up practices, including one who specializes in pediatrics, one in internal medicine, and one in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.

Dr. Ovalle, who is board-certified in family practice, just opened his practice at the Center for Primary Care in the VacaValley Health Plaza in 2011. He earned his medical degree from the University of La Salle, School of Medicine in Mexico City, and did a three-year residence at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Chicago. He says he hopes he can fill a need within the Hispanic community in Solano County.

“If you have a health concern, the last thing you want to do is struggle with the language,” says Dr. Ovalle. “For my patients, to be able to communicate in their native language means they can concentrate on the message, and not on a translation. It puts them at ease and helps them focus on the matters at hand— their health.”

Dr. Ovalle enjoys the opportunity to treat the whole family, not just individual patients. “As a family practitioner, I care for entire families, from babies to grandparents,” he says. The goal, he explains, is to use education as the cornerstone for maintaining good health for all his patients.

Evilio, 78, was a rancher who also owned a transportation company in Guatemala City, where he and Marina, 75, raised seven children. Five of those children have migrated to the United States, where most of their grandchildren were born.

“They instantly felt respect and trust with Dr. Ovalle. He’s open and listens to their needs and concerns.”

“They moved in with me and my husband in Green Valley to be closer to family,” says Maribel. “We were so happy to have them here because life in Guatemala had become challenging at best. I wanted them close, so I could help take care of them, and we could enjoy them.”

After cataract surgery, Evilio experienced dizziness and was concerned. Dr. Ovalle took the time to listen, offer advice, and even printed out directions in Spanish for him to follow. “He followed everything that the doctor told him,” reports Maribel. “He wants to get better and be healthy, and he trusts the advice.”

The Osorios don’t mind the trip from Green Valley to Vacaville for appointments, says Maribel, because they are so happy with Dr. Ovalle’s care.

“I feel that he’s the best doctor I’ve ever had,” says Evilio, with his daughter interpreting. “He really takes time to listen and understand and he asks questions. And then he calls with results to follow up. It’s like having a friend.”

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