Excerpts from the Cambrian newspaper by Kathe Tanner – December 16, 2021
Cesilia “CeCe” Lomeli is Cambria’s 2021 Citizen of the Year — and the announcement of her being chosen as the community’s top citizen barely scratched the surface of why those who selected her believe the nurse practitioner deserves the annual honor.
“I was shocked! I’m very honored and so very blessed about this award. I feel a huge connection to the community. I’m vested here. This is my home. I do what I love to do.”
CITIZEN OF YEAR IS FORCE BEHIND CAMBRIA VACCINE CLINICS
This has been quite a time for the healthcare provider, with her always-busy practice, this award, preparing for the Cambria CHC clinic’s move next month and all those COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
The clinics might not have happened at all in Cambria had not Lomeli and her CHC clinic manager, Corrine Ratliffe, pushed so hard to host them in the small town in the northwestern corner of the county.
They were forcefully adamant about the need because they knew that it would have been difficult for many of their patients — including many elderly people and many service workers — to get to sites elsewhere where and when the vaccinations were being administered.
Their first Cambria clinic was on March 6. Lomeli estimated that since then, they and a volunteer team of medical professionals have vaccinated more than 800 people at the Cambria clinics. They’ve done the same for many more at other vaccination locations, as far away as Santa Maria, at a special clinic for farmworkers at which at least 400 people received health checks and food assistance along with their COVID and flu vaccinations.
Her volunteer work extends far beyond those vaccination clinics and even her decade as unpaid advisor and leader for Cambria’s 4H in Cambria.
Lomeli’s ongoing local affiliations include various Coast Union High School, church and community activities that range from providing sports physicals to students and volunteering with the FFA (both starting in 2016) to coffee-and-cookie ministry for a decade at the Cambria Vineyard Church.
She served on the North Coast Advisory Council, representing Latina/Latino interests, and was the top vote-getter by far for a seat on the Cambria Community Healthcare District. She left the latter board when the agency reverted to a meeting schedule that clashed with her professional responsibilities to her patients.
“The COVID pandemic has been the most challenging period in my professional life,” she said. “I work every day with the attitude that, with every person I meet, it is an honor and privilege to be able to care for them. The bottom line is the safety of everybody.”
You can read the full article here.