On Oct. 11, Coadjutor Bishop Alberto Rojas celebrated an outdoor White Mass to recognize health care professionals. Awards were presented to those selected by an awards committee for their services to humanity within and outside the diocese. Award recipients are those who have gone above and beyond, distinguishing themselves in practice and adhering to Catholic moral values and beliefs.
Sister Margo received the St. Luke Award in recognition of her years of advocacy for the most marginalized. A statement prepared by the diocese and read at the White Mass noted Sister Margo’s years of service as a physician at St. Bernardine Medical Center and her support in helping to establish, as well as volunteer at, the San Bernardino site Lestonnac Free Clinic. One of several Lestonnac free clinics in Southern California, the San Bernardino site opened in fall 2015, funded in part by a grant from the Sisters of the Precious Blood. The clinic serves primarily Hispanic clients, many of whom are undocumented immigrants.
In addition, Sister Margo was recognized for promoting and participating in medical missions, serving as an active member of the Diocesan Healthcare Committee, and collaborating with local agencies that provide low-cost housing to the poor and homeless. The diocese noted that she has been described by her patients as a compassionate, dedicated and talented physician.
Sister Margo said she was surprised and humbled to receive the award.
She continues to provide support for area projects in San Bernardino related to low-income housing initiatives and mental health services for youth. In addition, she is active in providing support for community outreach programs in areas such as identification of community need and response, program development and assessment.
“At present I am exploring how to utilize a clinic space to assist in lowering readmissions and providing timely continuity of care for our vulnerable populations,” Sister Margo said. “Eighty-five percent of the population [in this area] is on Medicaid — which doesn’t address our undocumented population, which is one of the highest in the country. This is only to say I live in an area of high need with decreased resources.”
Story by Mary Knapke