When Roxana Valeton immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba at 21 years old, she didn’t have much, but she did have a vision and a passion for helping others—and a fierce determination to succeed. Armed with only an associate’s degree, she was committed to further educating herself and soon learned how to write grants, something she became proficient at. This highly sought-after skill set and her innate ability to create new ideas and operate business enterprises successfully led to a number of positions in health care and bloomed into a 17-year career focused primarily on helping nonprofits and women, and a breadth of experience in business development (profit/nonprofit), business startups, managed care, ancillary service development, and physician contracting.
Today, Roxana is the CEO of First Person Care Clinic, a nonprofit health care clinic that offers numerous services, and the founder of Ladies Turn Inc., a tech-oriented company whose mission is to help female business owners. “When I first came here, I had no money in my pockets, but I had an intrinsic motivation to succeed. I have been criticized for my altruistic personality, some believe you can’t be successful if you are helping others all the time, but I always reply, ‘It feels good to do good,’” she said.
We spoke with Roxana to learn more about her inspiring journey from immigrant to entrepreneur, her passion for helping all women, and other projects she’s involved with.
How did you get your start?
When I was 25, I helped turn around a business and saved the company. I co-founded my first business, ERA Medical Group, which provided primary care services, occupational therapy services, acupuncture, and diagnosis services for insured and uninsured patients. Almost three years later, I sold my shares to my partner and opened a clinic named Holistic Medical Institute. After many years engaged in creating health care programs for the underserved community in South Florida, I was given an opportunity to work on the implementation of new programs to help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in Southern Nevada.
Please tell us more about your grant writing.
I have a high percentage of getting grants, and when I apply for a grant, it is typically approved. For example, when I joined First Person Care Clinic, I was able to secure over $700,000 for the company and they were very happy. Since then, I have brought in over $12 million through a combination of state and federal grants to our organization.
Can you share more details about First Person Care Clinic?
It was founded in 2013 as a nonprofit with one location in Downtown, Las Vegas, and I became CEO in 2017. We have four locations now and two school-based clinics, work with 25 medical providers, and each clinic offers a multitude of services, including mental health, dentistry, infusion therapy, primary care, podiatry, pediatrics, gynecology, and rheumatology, all directed towards a holistic approach. We are one of twelve Federally Qualified Health Centers in Nevada, and through the grant money, we have been able to create new programs and help others, regardless of a person's ability to pay.
What motivated you to start Ladies Turn?
My desire to help those less fortunate succeed, especially other women, has inspired my latest endeavor, which is technology based and focused on helping female entrepreneurs. I started Ladies Turn Global foundation, a nonprofit previously known as The Emerald Foundation, which I incorporated in Las Vegas back in 2017. Six months ago, I decided to open Ladies Turn Inc., and my goal is to help create strong women champions and role models to influence global, female-driven entrepreneurships. This unique business model is a private and secured professional social medial platform for female members only and aims to accelerate digital business transformation in a safe environment that is a cloud-based system. We’ll offer mentoring and support groups, and we partner with high-end brands, other trusted organizations, and established small businesses, with a percentage of the profits going to the foundation.
What other projects and organizations are you currently involved in?
I am involved in two best-selling books, both of which are focused on women, and have contributed a chapter to each book, The ZunZun Within and Time to Pull the Reins. I am currently serving as a director of the board of the Nevada Primary Care Association and as an active member of the National Association of Community Health Centers. I have been an anti-human trafficking activist and a fierce advocate of women’s rights and mental health illnesses for more than eight years and I look forward to continuing my work.
CEO — First Person Care Clinic / Founder – Ladies Turn