In Houston and around the world, Dr. Alvin Mena Cantero Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) ‘15, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) ‘17, has provided critical healthcare to more than 6,000 low-income patients. A physician in his native Cuba, Cantero came to the United States as a refugee and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing so he could continue to be a healthcare provider. After earning his MSN from Walden, he opened the Alvin Clinica Familiar an urgent care and walk-in clinic that provides cost-effective healthcare for patients in Houston’s Hispanic and African American communities. Through traveling clinics, he expanded his impact worldwide, providing home health visits in rural Texas towns, sponsoring a community clinic in Cairo, and traveling to Haiti to provide wellness checks to people affected by the 2010 earthquake.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he has worked at both the clinic and a local Houston hospital, putting in 14- to 16-hour days. Cantero has also engaged local food banks, the YMCA, federal organizations, and community leaders to enhance risk perception and support underserved populations. “Walden not only gave me an opportunity to become the healthcare professional I always wanted to be but also a leader capable of creating a global impact,” he says.