Following are the Human Services Employees of the Month. Click the link to see all the fascinating recipients.
Merina Babers-Bivens has been a stellar member of the Preschool Services Department since 2006. She is currently a Program Generalist. Her duties include recruiting and interviewing prospective families for Head Start Services, and providing family assessments and referrals for all enrolled families. Merina has been handling a large caseload the past two years. During that time, she has delivered excellent customer service and maintained full enrollment at all times. She goes out of her way to meet the needs of all the families and children at our South Redlands Head Start site.
Merina’s hard work, positive attitude, teamwork, and collaborative efforts with other teachers and staff is one of the attributes in making South Redlands run efficiently. During her time off, Merina likes spending time with her family. Her commitment to selfless service ensures that children and families continue to succeed and improve academically.
Andy Copeland is the Resource Supervisor in the Hesperia Transitional Assistance Department (TAD) office. She has been with TAD for 22 years and is currently serving on several internal department workgroups. Andy is responsible for all of the Eligibility Worker III’s and MEDS Specialists in that location. She partners with the Resource Supervisor in the Del Rosa location to provide Resource coverage for the region. Andy is responsible for ensuring staff complete case reviews, provide training and technical knowledge for complex case actions, and assist with district case processing when needed.
Andy has been incredibly instrumental in the success of our Medi-Cal Re-Evaluations and Non-Payment of Premium taskforces. Her goal is to eventually promote into TAD management or Program Development Division. She possesses strong leadership, communication, organization and multi-tasking skills. Her excellent communication skills and attention to details have helped to ensure that our customers are receiving correct benefits in a timely manner. She is quick to take on new tasks and assist wherever she is needed.
Sandra Diaz has been an employee of the San Bernardino County Information, Technology & Support Division (ITSD) for over two years. She was hired as a Business Systems Analyst II (BSA II) in July 2014. As a BSA II, Sandra is responsible for managing IT projects, analyzing technical solutions, and providing technical guidance to Human Services departments.
Sandra has managed various projects including Mobile Device Management and Time Study, both developed for Human Services Administration. Her understanding and application of project management methodologies ensured that both solutions were launched successfully. Additionally, the Time Study project requires collaboration between multiple departments and Sandra utilizes excellent communication skills to ensure that all parties have their voices heard and specific business needs addressed.
Sandra maintains excellent relationships with her customers and understands the importance of collaboration with staff at all levels. She communicates professionally and effectively with customers, co-workers and management. Her focus on excellent customer service ensures that IT customers are provided prompt responses and exceptional support. Above all things, Sandra is a team player. She willingly takes on extra tasks while maintaining a positive attitude. She has proven to be a valuable asset to ITSD and our customers.
Elizabeth Childress is an example of excellent county service. She performs her job with professionalism and compassion. Recently, the department received a call from a veteran threatening suicide. Elizabeth was an integral part in assuring that the veteran received the help he/she needed. She acted promptly and provided a voice of compassion in an extreme time of need.
Elizabeth displays this type of integrity and care each day, whether she is interacting with department customers, co-workers, or producing quality work. She is an exemplary choice for Human Services Employee of the Month.
Mary Bushong has served families for over 14 years with Children and Family Services (CFS), 12 years as an Adoptions worker.
Mary diligently strives to secure the safety of children, promoting their well-being and development, and ensuring that the families are connected in their communities to resources, services and supports. Mary replicates this work ethic by being a role model and leader. She is a champion for Safety Organized Practice (SOP) in an office that champions SOP and the Core Practice Model of engagement and teaming in work with the families. She is a wonderful advocate and mentor.
Mary goes the extra mile for children by engaging with families and children, demonstrating her commitment and investment in their progress and safety, and ensuring they receive quality services in their community. She demonstrates dignity, respect and compassion to everyone. She is mindful and considerate of the needs of each of the members of the adoption constellation and strives to foster connectedness and openness at the highest level possible that van be achieved safely. She advocates for the best interest of the child in the present, but also for the child’s anticipated adjustments that adoptees transition through in their lifetime.
Christina Valdivia-Warren was hired on with the County in March of 2016 as the Human Services’ Volunteer Services Coordinator. Her essential functions include monitoring and screening our Volunteers/Interns/Contract Candidates, collaborating with department administrative staff, and handling outreach as a Human Services representative. While in her position for a relatively short period of time, she has excelled in service delivery and efficiency. She communicates well with customers and consistently receives positive feedback from those with whom she works with.
Before joining the County, Christina played college basketball at Xavier University where she received multiple honors. After finishing her degree from Xavier, she continued her passion for basketball as a high school basketball coach, currently coaching a Varsity Girls’ basketball team. She is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at La Verne University with a projected graduation date of May 2017. The HS Personnel team would like to thank Christine for her meaningful contributions to the division, Human Services and San Bernardino County.