Jovanna Radillo, DVM, Championing the Next Generation of Latinx Veterinarians
Dr. Jovanna Radillo, DVM, MPPA, is an Area Chief of Staff for Banfield Pet Hospital in the Los Angeles Market. We caught up with her to chat about her career, her experience as a Latinx in veterinary medicine, and superpowers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hola! I am a first-generation Mexican American and an Inner City LA native who made my dreams of becoming a veterinarian complete when I graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. I have been working with Banfield since 2007 and have been a Veterinary Assistant, a Banfield Student Ambassador, an Associate Doctor, a Lead Doctor, a Chief of Staff, and now an Area Chief of Staff (ACOS) of three hospitals.
What was the milestone that has had the most impact on your life/career?
The most impactful milestones in my life are when those I have coached come back and thank me. I love being a mentor and a coach and helping anyone looking to grow and take the next step towards their goal. I always looked to my mentors and could not wait to be a resource like them. A few years ago, I realized I had become that person everyone comes to for guidance. It filled me with such humility for myself and pride in my little grasshoppers wanting to learn.
What excites you most about the future?
What excites me the most—in regards to the ACOS role—is the possibility of stronger doctor relationships, growing our doctor support network, more coaching and multi-modal leadership practice for ACOS, and influencing hospital cultures for growth where needed. On the other side, I’m excited that I have more opportunities to be a mentor for other aspiring Latinxs who want to get where I am.
What can people do to become better allies of the Latinx community and any advice on where to start?
The most significant part of being an ally is to educate yourself in a few areas: the difference of inclusion vs. equity, code-switching, what is white privilege and white-passing privilege, and how those with white/white-passing privilege can use their voice to help others who do not have their voices appropriately heard. I recommend starting with literature from BIPOC authors like Layla F. Saad.
Can you tell us a little more about Banfield DRGS and your involvement in UNIDOS?
I have been able to help whenever there is a mentorship opportunity, and I love it. I love how I got to see it grow from an idea into a mentor program and a welcoming environment for Latinx in Banfield.
Where can those interested find out more about mentorship/coaching opportunities in the veterinary industry?
Banfield UNIDOS is fantastic with coaching and mentoring. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund also has wonderful mentorship options as well.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
This is a hard one. I would say telepathy to converse with others.
What’s your favorite way to spend time outside of work?
I love hiking, boxing, weight-lifting, cooking, baking, crafting, traveling, exploring new places, and reading—especially leadership books.