Many patients at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic already recognize the newest doctor on staff. Dr. Irma Tamayo spent three years at the clinic during her medical residency with the Houston Methodist Family Residency Program.
Patients and staff are glad to see her return, this time as a permanent staff member.
“Patients really appreciate Dr. Tamayo’s ability to understand what they are going through and the time she takes explaining their medical issues,” says Vecino’s CEO Daniel Montez. “She is a great fit for Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic.”
The clinic made a positive impression on Dr. Tamayo.
“There is such a sense of community here,” she says. “Denver Harbor Family Clinic feels like home.”
Native Spanish speaker and first-generation immigrant
Dr. Tamayo is a first-generation immigrant and native Spanish speaker. She is one of four children raised in the Rio Grande Valley by a single working mother.
With that background, she quickly understands and appreciates the challenges that many of Vecino’s patients face.
“The first time I left the valley was for college. It was a culture shock even though I was still in Texas.”
Growing up, two of Dr. Tamayo’s uncles were doctors in Mexico. When she or her brothers got sick, her mother took them over the border to one of their clinics. She remembers sitting and playing with the medical tools as a child. This is when she first started thinking about a career in medicine.
Also during her childhood, Dr. Tamayo’s maternal grandmother died from a heart attack at just fifty nine. After this experience, she knew for sure she wanted to be a doctor.
“I saw how my grandmother’s death affected my family, and I knew I wanted to prevent other people from feeling that pain.”
A “small-town feel” at Denver Harbor Family Clinic
One of the things Dr. Tamayo likes best about Denver Harbor Family Clinic is the small-town feel. It reminds her of working at a rural clinic in Texas while in medical school.
“I like the fact that I get to see the mom, the grandma, the baby, and get to know the whole family,” says Dr. Tamayo. “There is such a sense of community. Denver Harbor Family Clinic feels like home.”
Dr. Tamayo knows many working families and uninsured patients at Denver Harbor Family Clinic can’t take time off work for specialist appointments outside the clinic, or afford expensive tests and labs. Because of this, she says she and the other doctors operate like a small-town clinic.
“We do as much as we can for patients during one appointment, right here at the clinic. We meet patients where they are and serve their healthcare needs in a way that really works for them.”
Unemployed or uninsured?
Don’t worry. Vecino Health Centers offers financial assistance so everyone in your family can get the checkups and other care they need. You may even qualify for other benefits, we’ll help you understand your options.
Just ask about our Get Care program