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Hispanic Heritage Month: Faith and work ethic key to success for AdventHealth leader

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WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Yamile Luna is passionate about her career, family, community, faith, and her Hispanic heritage.

“It has been a joy to serve within the organization because it’s just part of my DNA,” said Luna, who has been with AdventHealth for over 35 years and serves as chief operating officer at AdventHealth Winter Garden and Clermont.

Born in New York to Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian parents, Luna grew up wanting to make a positive impact in the community. Her mom and dad worked at Florida Hospital, now AdventHealth and she knew from a young age that this would be the place she wanted to also contribute her talents. Later she and her sister started their careers with the health care organization.

Yamile Luna, chief operating officer at AdventHealth Winter Garden and Clermont.

“Faith is everything to me. I am who I am today because of my faith,” she said. “Serving others in the way that Christ would want me to serve them is my goal in life.”

Luna started her career at AdventHealth in the medical records department. Through the years she progressed through a variety of roles and later she was promoted to a leadership role in Orlando.

“I went from the basement of the Orlando campus to the 11th floor as part of the executive team,” Luna said. It was a proud moment for her and her family, she recalls.

But just as the family were celebrating her promotion, Yamile was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, her journey with the disease has taught her some important life lessons about success, compassion and self-care.

“It was a hard process,” she recalled. “I did my treatments and continued to work. I thought I was a superhero and could do it all.”

She was later diagnosed with another tumor, and she had to undergo more treatments. This time, she took a medical leave to spend time with her family and get better.

“During my first round of treatments, I spent the bad days with family, as they took care of me; during my good days, I would go to work,” she said. “There was something wrong with that approach. So, I was able to take a step back and during my second battle with cancer, I put my family first.”

Through this experience, she developed a deeper understanding of faith. “Every day is a gift from God. Live life now,” she said.

In celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Luna said it’s important to get an education, work hard and be part and active contributor to your community. “Being Latina is a special privilege -- embrace who you are, learn the language and be an undeniable role model to the next generation,” she added.

“Never let anyone put limits or boundaries on what you are capable of doing,” she said. “I think hard work, good mentors, willingness to be open and being authentic will take you far. And ALWAYS trust God’s plan.”

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