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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Dr. Hector P. Garcia's legacy lives on

The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center not only bears his name, but also continues his mission of making health care accessible.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — During Hispanic Heritage Month, we here at 3NEWS want to highlight the change-makers in our community from both then and now, whose contributions continue to inspire. 

One of several who come to mind is Dr. Hector P Garcia.

3NEWS met with his daughter at the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center in Corpus Christi, which continues Garcia's legacy of making basic health care available and accessible to those who need it most.

"Growing up with him, he was very strict," said Cecilia Garcia-Akers, daughter of Hector P. Garcia. "Academically, we had to make straight A's. He limited our social time. I'm sure he had a fear of things bad that could happen to us from his advocacy."

Cecilia said the Center not only carries her father's name but his caring spirit as well.

"Not only do they practice the type of medicine my father did, general practice, family practice, but they don't turn anyone away like my father," Cecilia said. 

The goal of the Center focuses on making health care accessible, something Cecilia said embodies the ambitions her father would have wanted to carry out.

"To have a state-of-the-art facility here on the west side of Corpus Christi is exactly what my father would have wanted," Cecilia said. 

The Center is a place where residents can see their specialists or even get prescriptions filled. In fact, this summer they celebrated their one-millionth prescription.

"Medicine should be practiced to help others and to listen to the patients and help them navigate through a very difficult system," Cecilia said. 

Alma Sanchez is a registered nurse with the health center. She said ever since she was a little girl the idea of helping others has always been a dream of hers. Sanchez has been in nursing for almost 30 years. At the old CHRISTUS Spohn Memorial Hospital, Sanchez met someone who would solidify her purpose, Dr. Garcia himself. 

"Right out of nursing school I was able to work at memorial and so I did meet him there and he's a wonderful person and a lot of people still talk about him," Sanchez said. 

Sanchez considers working at the Center to be a full-circle moment. During a month with so much cultural significance, it's a reminder to continue to pass the torch.

"It's important especially because here in south Texas and Corpus Christi well I grew up here and my Hispanic heritage is important to me," Sanchez said. 

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