A Journey Like No Other: Alain Torres’ Path to Prospero
“Working far away from my family, my friends, and my home country was not easy, but that experience opened my eyes to a different kind of life I wanted for me and my family.”
Alain Torres is a Miami Heat fan who enjoys raw oysters with lemon juice and hot sauce, boating, and the occasional lychee martini. A Clinical Services Manager and Nurse Practitioner with Prospero in Florida, Alain is also married and has three children – two boys and a girl. It’s a nice, quiet life that doesn’t raise any eyebrows.
But life wasn’t always so uncomplicated for Alain.
Born in Cuba, Alain’s passion for medical service led him to obtain his medical degree in Havana. But instead of being able to serve the people of Cuba upon graduation, Alain was forced by his government to sign a contract to work as a doctor in Mendoza—a rural city in Argentina. He received no compensation for his services, despite the fact that the Argentine government paid the Cuban government $7,000 a month for the work that Alain was doing in Mendoza.
“Working far away from my family, my friends, and my home country was not easy,” Alain said, “but that experience opened my eyes to a different kind of life I wanted for me and my family. After one year of working in a rural hospital, I decided to escape from the communist regime, knowing that was the only opportunity I had to obtain freedom.”
Alain fled Mendoza and took a bus to Buenos Aires, arriving there with no money or connections. He hid in a subway station and stayed there, homeless, for the next six months. But faith helped Alain through. “Every day I prayed to God for help, and my prayers were answered.”
One of those answers came in the form of a person who befriended Alain in the subway station and offered him a job as a waiter. Alain worked hard and saved as much as he could. In 2001, he saved enough to come to Florida, and five years later he became a United States citizen and subsequently brought his mom, three sisters, and brother here to join him.
When he first arrived in Florida, Alain knew no English. He enrolled in English classes at Florida National College while working in Palmetto General Hospital as a pharmacy tech. The hospital offered to pay for him to do an accelerated Foreign Physician Program for nursing at Florida International University. In 18 months, Alain obtained a bachelor’s degree and his registered nurse license after passing the Florida board.
“I worked as a RN in the ICU and ER at the same hospital for three more years,” Alain explained. “Then I fell in love with the concept of home care and got experience as a RN working in all kinds of home health care positions: as a field nurse, a clinical manager, coder, QI, DON, regional administrator, and more.” In 2015, Alain decided to go back to school to pursue his master’s degree in nursing, and he graduated as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Chamberlain University.
Alain loves his work, and has thrived with Prospero since he joined the team in December 2020. He currently leads a team of nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and social workers as a Clinical Services Manager.
Alain was inspired to go into the field of medicine as a child by watching his mother, who was a dentist. He also loves working with older adults. “Older people have a wealth of knowledge that they love to share. I also enjoy how appreciative they are when you show you care. They are always so grateful. It’s very rewarding. I treat them the same way I would like to be treated and the way I would like my mother to be treated if she needed care.”
Dr. Karen Kennedy, Prospero’s Southeast Regional Medical Director, occasionally finds herself in awe of what Alain has overcome and accomplished. “When I think of Alain, I am reminded of the following quote by Thomas J. Watson: ‘Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.’ Alain has overcome so many obstacles to be where he is today. He leads by example and has a positive, infectious attitude. It is an honor to work beside him.”
After literally risking everything to find a better life for himself and his family, Alain is humbled to provide medical care and support for the people and families in Prospero’s care. “Prospero’s services close an existing gap in today’s health care system. Our interdisciplinary team of clinicians at Prospero focus on caring for people with serious illness at the most challenging stage of life. Our care expands beyond our patients to their families. For people receiving care from Prospero, each person receives individualized care—the best care possible—because we understand that for someone, that patient is a loved one.”