COALINGA – When your child is seriously ill, and his medical benefits are provided by your employer, the last thing you want to do is lose your job and consequently your health insurance. Facing that possibility is Coalinga State Hospital Police Officer Luz Benitez. Due to her son’s three-year battle with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Officer Benitez has exhausted her leave at the most critical time in her son’s treatment. Her six-year-old son has experienced a setback and is now in need of a bone marrow transplant and a lengthy treatment plan at Stanford Lucille Packer Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto.
“My son has a very long year of aggressive medical treatment ahead of him,” said Officer Benitez. “He has experienced many complications along the way and, as his mother, I need to spend as much time as possible by his side as he bravely faces the many months ahead in the hospital. I am in a time of need and I am asking for help.”
Officer Benitez, a member of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) and the Hospital Police Association of California (HPAC) has worked for the Department of State Hospitals as a hospital police officer since 2005. She has been approved for a Catastrophic Time Bank (CTB) and is currently, and greatly appreciatively, accepting donated leave by fellow state employees.
“Our fellow officer, our fellow association member needs us,” said Luis Jimenez, president of HPAC. “It’s easy for those of us who work with Officer Benitez at Coalinga State Hospital to see her need and rise to the occasion, for those who don’t know Officer Benitez personally, we ask, that as part of our fraternal organization, you please consider helping.”
State employees wishing to donate leave can do so by going to their respective personnel office, filling out a donation form, and providing the contact information of Coalinga State Hospital’s personnel specialist: Ana Conchas, Personnel Specialist, Department of State Hospitals – Coalinga, (559)935-7225, Ana.Conchas@dsh.ca.gov
“Thank you for considering this and helping my family as we brace ourselves for a very tough 2019,” said Officer Benitez.