Serving his community as a bilingual certified registered nurse anesthetist is something Rodrigo Lopez, CRNA, loves about being part of the team at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa.
Lopez has been with our ministry since 2014 when the hospital became part of our health system, and he’s been a CRNA since 2007. His Catholic faith and desire to help others are reasons why he was inspired to pursue a career in healthcare. He’s also a graduate of Our Lady of the Lake College (now Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University or FranU).
“My job entails doing pre-op assessments prior to surgery to make sure patients are optimized before having anesthesia and surgery,” Lopez says. He performs anesthesia in several settings in the hospital including endoscopy, surgery, and labor and delivery. “I love being a CRNA in this community and providing help to people that need it the most.”
Honoring His Hispanic Heritage
Lopez was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and his parents brought him and his siblings to the U.S. in 1980. The family left Nicaragua because of a civil war that tore the country apart. Lopez was only 7 and hasn’t been back home. His parents have made return visits.
Keeping Connections Through Food
Food is a way to connect, both to our own culture and to experience others’ cultures.
Lopez says getting together and eating foods cooked the Nicaraguan way are ways he and his family celebrate their culture and heritage.
Gallo pinto is a form of Nicaraguan red beans and rice that Lopez and his family regularly eat. Another of his favorite dishes is nacatamales, tamales made with maize dough and stuffed with pork, potatoes, vegetables, herbs, and spices and wrapped in a plantain leaf.
“I remember eating nacatamales during breakfast when I was younger,” Lopez says. “So delicious!”
Marking the Holy Days
A favorite family tradition includes celebrating “La Purisima” honoring the Immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary.
“When I was a child, we would go to friends’ house and neighbors’ houses as they would build and decorate an altar of the Virgin Mary and hand out treats and food and play songs to those that visit the altar,” Lopez remembers. “Now as an adult, my favorite family tradition is getting together during Christmas Eve and staying awake until midnight to celebrate the birth of Jesus. with family.”
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Hispanic Heritage Month each September 15 to October 15.