At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, for several months, many local restaurants generously donated meals to Alameda Health System (AHS) frontline workers.

This week in a show of continuous generosity and appreciation, two Oakland restaurant owners, Jose “Cheo” Ortiz, of La Perla restaurant and Jun Anabo of Lucky 37 restaurant returned to AHS-Highland Emergency Department (ED) to donate more than 100 meals for staff.

From left to right, Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo-Oakland City Councilman, IS Specialist Tony Fuentes, La Perla Restaurant owner Jose “Cheo” Ortiz and Lucky 37 Restaurant co-owner Jun Anabo

The catalyst for this week’s meal donation originated from restauranter Ortiz who reached out to good friend Tony Fuentes, AHS Information System Specialist to share his gratitude for the exceptional medical care he recently received at the AHS-Highland ED.

“He wanted to thank everyone who supported his medical care and recovery with a special acknowledgement to Physician Assistant, Lisa Monroe who he shared, ‘was outstanding in every way’,” said Fuentes.

The savory Cuban and Filipino meals including chicken fricassee and steak, Latin rice and peas, sweet plantains from La Perla and, house fire wings and rice from Lucky 37 were enjoyed by all.

This meal donation honors the ongoing dedication and commitment of the entire AHS-Highland ED staff but obviously had a special meaning for Monroe who has worked in the ED for nine years.

Monroe was incredibly moved by the gesture. “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and in awe of Mr. Ortiz’s generosity towards our staff,” she said.  “It was an honor and pleasure to care for him.”

Oakland City Council member, Noel Gallo and AHS senior leaders including CEO James Jackson and COO Mark Fratzke joined in the celebration to show their collective gratitude to the ED staff who continue to provide exceptional care for the community every day.