LIHUE — When Rose Veniegas received her role as a Los Angeles County commissioner, the Kauai-born woman knew she had a golden opportunity to help the Golden State’s people.
“I was excited and honored and humbled at the same time,” Veniegas said.
Veniegas was chosen as the commissioner for the Hospital and Health Care Delivery Commission in L.A and will offer her experience in hospital services and health care to L.A County. She was selected by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis on April 14.
“It was a special honor to be selected by her and to try and address some of the great needs that are in the Los Angeles County,” Veniegas said.
Solis said she believed in Veniegas’ abilities and was pleased to offer her the position.
“With 17 years of experience in the field of health care, Rosemary Veniegas brings a wealth of insight to her position as First District Commissioner of Hospitals and Health Care Delivery,” Solis said in an email. “Ms. Veniegas will effectively advocate on behalf of Los Angeles County First District constituents.”
Veniegas also works as the health care program officer at the California Community Foundation, where she manages $5 million in annual grant marketing to support community prevention, direct services and civic engagement for uninsured and under-served communities.
A 1988 Kauai High School graduate, Veniegas grew up in Hanamaulu and watched her mom, Juanita Jean C. Veniegas, aid immigrants who came to Hawaii by helping them adjust to life in a new place.
“My mom has been a real inspiration to me all these years,” she said.
Veniegas graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii.
Veniegas also served as a research project coordinator in the women’s studies program at UH Manoa from 1992 until 1993 where she administered, compiled and analyzed people’s experiences with harassment or discrimination due to gender, race, sexual orientation and other statuses, according to her resume.
“My training as a psychologist; I could actually use it to help people directly,” Veniegas said.
During her career, Veniegas became more determined to help people speak about their health when a woman in one of her studies shared that she never spoke with a family member who had a similar health condition to her.
“That stuck with me all these years,” Veniegas said.
She hopes to continue her mother’s legacy by helping immigrants in California and improving the quality of service delivered in hospitals. She enjoys life in Los Angeles.
“I feel very lucky,” she said. “We’re a place where all people from a bunch of different backgrounds come together. Kauai was similar to that.”