2021 40 Under 40 award recipient: Miriam Cuevas

Miriam Cuevas. Courtesy 616 Media

Miriam Cuevas, 36

Language services manager

Spectrum Health

Finding community in a different culture is challenging enough, let alone being able to access health care, but Miriam Cuevas is using her own experience to help Spectrum Health support an underserved populace.

A first-generation immigrant from Honduras, Cuevas moved to the U.S. as a young adult and entered the workforce as a community interpreter. Although she already was fluent in English, it was a challenge for her to build a community and meaningful connections.

“I was in a new country, a new culture, different norms and way of life,” she said. “I had to do what I could to navigate systems and find a place for myself.”

Cuevas said she realized her potential for professional growth when she first started working for Spectrum Health.

As manager for Spectrum’s Language Services Department, Cuevas works to create equitable access to health care by providing language access support to a community that speaks more than 200 languages or communicates via American Sign Language.

“I never thought I would be in a position that influences how we serve an underserved community in 14 hospitals and over 200 clinics,” Cuevas said. “I feel that I am living my purpose of doing good for others that count on my work and advocacy to access something so precious that is health care.”

Cuevas has received numerous awards and recognitions during her tenure at Spectrum Health, including:

  • Cultural Intelligence Certified Facilitator
  • Bronze Certified Process Improvement
  • Spectrum Health Executive MBA Scholarship recipient
  • Graduate of the Ferris Emprende Leadership Program

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