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Jan 03, 2012 | Monica Rhor

ECHOS Client Manager Featured in Houston Chronicle

Making a Difference: This is the sixth in a series of profiles on Houston-area residents improving their communities.


The shelves of Teresa Uribe's modest home are lined with angels of all shapes and sizes: chubby-cheeked ceramic cherubs, satin-gowned seraphim, armor-equipped winged warriors.


They peek out from coffee tables and counter tops, assemble above the television set, gaze out upon the framed Our Lady of Guadalupe painting and the brightly bedecked Christmas tree.


The heavenly vanguard are all gifts from Uribe's family and friends, but they also serve as tangible reminders of her guiding philosophy: "Our mission in life is to help other people," said Uribe, 40, who has gone from being a domestic violence victim to a conduit for people seeking refuge from abuse, families in desperate need of health care and others mired in the red tape of social services. "God puts us where we are supposed to be, and if he put me here, then I need to shine."


As a senior client manager for the nonprofit Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services, she connects low-income clients with medical and social services offered through the Harris County Hospital District, Medicaid and CHIP. Most of her clients are Spanish speakers who don't know help is available. It's Uribe's job to steer them through the daunting paperwork that can stand between them and the spark of hope.


"If someone comes in that's in desperate need of getting in the hospital district right away, Teresa's well-known enough that if she says it's an emergency, the district will give them a gold card immediately," said Jean Kegler, ECHOS executive director.


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