Samantha Villazan first began seeing the doctors at Open Door Family Medical Center for her pediatric exams as a five-year-old.

Now, as a 22-year-old, she has been named to its Board of Directors.

“I was intrigued to hear what the board was doing and thrilled when invited to join it,” said Villazan, who is a 2017 graduate of Ossining High School. “I think because of my age I may have a different perspective and see things differently.”

Lindsay Farrell, president and CEO of Open Door agreed. “Samantha is a young, bright woman who will add a unique voice to our board. She knows Open Door as a patient and she represents the families we have cared for at Open Door over the years.”

Villazan recently graduated from John Jay College with a degree in Forensic Psychology. She will return to the college this fall to begin her graduate studies.

The daughter of immigrants – her father is from Ecuador and her mother from Uruguay -- her goal is to eventually work with children in the community as a mental health provider. “I want to erase the stigma many Latino families have for behavioral health services,” she said. “Many don’t want to make their problems someone else’s, they often don’t have a connection with how they feel, so they tend to avoid these types of services. That needs to change.”

Open Door Family Medical Center’s mission has remained consistent since 1972: to provide high-quality health care that’s affordable, accessible and efficient.

Today, the center cares for over 60,000 adults and children every year in Westchester, Putnam and Ulster counties – with more than 300,000 patient visits and over 400 babies delivered annually – regardless of ability to pay. In addition to primary medical care, Open Door offers integrated dental care, pediatric care, women’s health care, behavioral health care, and wellness programs in its Ossining, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, Mount Kisco, Brewster, Mamaroneck locations, eight School-Based Health Centers in the Ossining and Port Chester school districts, dental van, and a dental practice is in Saugerties. For more information, visit www.opendoormedical.org

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