University HealthCare Alliance

September 06, 2019

Obie Perez | Quality and Population Health

Obie Perez is a Population Health Coordinator in the Quality Department and a Wellness Ambassador. He was nominated for a wellness spotlight award by his colleague, Kiani Moyrong. 

“Obie is an advocate for healthy living and demonstrates this through his hobby of cycling and practicing a vegan diet. He cycles to the office in Newark every day from his home in Redwood City. Our team recognizes his passion for cycling and it has inspired members of our department to try cycling and to add more physical activity into our daily routine.  Obie provided us with information on the benefits of a vegetarian diet and introduced us to meatless alternatives (we love Impossible Burgers now!). Obie always has a positive attitude in the office.”

Congratulations, Obie!  Read on to learn more.

Q. Your nomination shared how your focus on well-being inspired the team. What steps did you take to incorporate wellness in your lifestyle?

A. I’ve been active and in sports since I was a kid. About 5 years ago, my family and I transitioned to a vegetarian diet. I alternate between vegan and vegetarian ways of eating. I feel so much better in my energy, mood, etc. When I made the change, I cut out one animal protein at a time – first pork, then beef, then chicken and finally fish. Using this phased approach, I didn’t find it too hard.

Q. What are your favorite foods?

A. I like Mediterranean food a lot. Falafel is a favorite. 

Q. When did you start cycling? Do you compete or ride for fun?

A. I started cycling about 3.5 years ago. It started with the encouragement of a neighbor who encouraged me to ride and gave me a bike. Last year, I started racing. I’m a race category 4/5. (In cycling, you work your way down to lower numbers. The lower numbers = higher proficiency.) My most recent race with the Red Bull Bay Climb. Out of 100 racers in my category, I finished 12th. In the 2019 Bay Area Bike to Work Challenge, I placed in the top 50 for the number of miles clocked.

Q. Your nomination shares that you’re a bike commuter. What drives you to bike each day and what advice would you give to someone considering biking?

A. I like the freedom and feeling like you’re a kid. I also find it meditative and it’s awesome exercise. I bike it all weather. It’s a 25 mile round trip daily ride. My advice to others is to just do it. 

Q. How do you share your lifestyle with colleagues?

A. They see me and ask about it (for example, biking to work or how I eat). If people ask me, I’ll tell them, but I don’t typically share if I’m not asked. I also share through social media. I’m encouraged and inspired by others’ wellness on social media.  People also see my posts and hopefully it encourages them.  Recently, my department did a team hike at Coyote Hills Regional Park as an active team-building. One of my colleagues even bought a bike for herself and her sons and started to bike.

Q. What brings you joy?

A. My family.

Q. What’s the best part about working as a Population Health Coordinator?

A. Being able to make an impact in patients’ lives. It’s also gratifying to see our population health scores and the direct results of our work. My goal is to help each patient and that makes me happy. My team of Population Health Coordinators is very supportive and we all help one another.

Congratulations, Obie, and thanks to Kiani for recognizing wellness in action!

Obie Perez