By Ronelle Scardina
Bianca Silva believed her grandfather’s words, “Sí se puede,” and her mother’s advice that “if you can think it, you can make it happen.” On May 20, Bianca graduated with a D.O. degree from Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is preparing for her first job in June as a family medicine resident physician at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo with the intention of serving the local community she once grew up in as a teen.
Bianca’s parents, Martin and Letty Silva, work at the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center. He is a gardener, and she is an administrative assistant. Both parents supported their daughter’s dream of becoming a doctor. After years of hard work, they are excited to see her dreams come true.
“When Bianca was in middle school, my husband would pick her up from school as he was getting off his shift and bring her to me at the pharmacy at the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center,” Letty recounted. “She had to wait for 30 minutes until my shift ended because he worked the night shift and I worked the day shift. Bianca enjoyed her visits. She got to know the team and had an opportunity to be exposed to so much about working in the medical field. One day, Bianca looked up at me and said that she wanted to become a doctor when she grows up.”
Bianca always demonstrated commitment to pursing her dream and working with medically underserved and vulnerable populations. She worked hard—something she learned at a young age. Growing up, she helped her father with landscaping side jobs by picking up sticks and leaves in return for treats at McDonalds.
“We believed it was important to teach them responsibility and commitment,” Martin said. “We said that if they could think it, they could make it happen!”
It has been a long journey, but the family was always there to support and encourage Bianca along the way. She was especially close to her now deceased grandfather, Raul, who encouraged Bianca to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor — “Sí se puede, echale ganas . . . Yes, you can, give it your best!”
“He motivated her to achieve her goal,” Letty noted. “Bianca put in a lot of effort and never gave up. She’s looking forward to the day that she can visit his grave with her degree and let him know all about it. Although he won’t be at her graduation, Bianca knows deep in her heart that he will be there with her in spirit.”
Bianca was born at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center. She grew up in Richmond with her older brother, Martin Jr., and younger sister, Jessica. She later moved to Vallejo to attend Jesse Bethel High School. Bianca received most of her care at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, where she would eventually match for residency. She currently lives at home in Fairfield with her cat, Luna. The family is looking forward to celebrating Bianca’s graduation and new job on June 10.
Martin Silva has been employed at Kaiser Permanente Richmond since March, 1995. He spent seven years in Environmental Services before transferring to the Landscape Team as a gardener, where he has worked ever since. Letty has worked for Kaiser Permanente Richmond since 1987.
A Richmond native, Letty hoped to work at Kaiser Permanente since she was a little girl because she wanted to give back to the local community.
“We love our community,” she said. “We love to help our neighbors and our other family at Kaiser Permanente—it’s considered our home away from home. It took a lot of sacrifice and commitment, and it means everything. We are so proud of Bianca’s accomplishments. It was worth it!”
This article was submitted for publication by Kaiser Permanente.