Clinic manager becomes radio host to keep Hispanic community informed

Feb 1, 2022, 8:15 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:46 pm

BURLEY, Idaho — Years ago, Lillian Newey left her job with Intermountain Healthcare in Murray to manage one of the company’s clinics in Southern Idaho.

She picked up another responsibility along the way and became an education voice over the airwaves, helping the Hispanic community get important information about COVID-19. 

Downtown Burley doesn’t quite have the same feel as Murray, Utah. 

“At the time, I didn’t even know that we (Intermountain Healthcare) had a hospital in Idaho,” Newey said.  

But Newey and her family made Burley their home after she took a job as a clinic manager.

Part of what drew her there was the large Hispanic community. 

“And then COVID happened, and at that point, we realized that there was a need, and when we started sending out a lot of information about COVID, we were like, ‘Okay, we need to do it in Spanish,’” she said. 

She soon realized that wasn’t enough and she started searching for a way to help. 

That’s when she found herself on the radio. 

“I call this my hobby. I tell them they can pay me in tacos,” Newey laughed. 

She plays some music, but mostly, she talks, sharing the latest information about COVID-19 and other important health topics. 

Newey started as a guest, but now hosts Nuestra Comunidad, or Our Community, every Tuesday night.

She said people are listening and asking questions, and she’s getting to help families much like her own.

“I came to the United States in 1989, so I was 9 years old. I only spoke Spanish,” Newey explained. 

Her show is just one piece of Voz Latina, a volunteer radio station where everyone pitches in — from broadcasting, to clearing the sidewalks, like station president, Ruben Bautista. 

“She helps a lot for us to, you know, to information to the people, you know,” Bautista said. 

Newey says she’s not sure if this is THE reason her family needed to move here, but it’s helped her feel more at home. 

“Gives me that blessing of being able to help others,” she said. 

Newey, who is originally from Guatemala, has talked about other big topics, like suicide prevention, teen pregnancy, and vaping.

She says she encourages listeners to call her directly with questions back at her office at the Intermountain clinic. 

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Clinic manager becomes radio host to keep Hispanic community informed