“Alma embodies all of the qualities we look for in a Mary C. Jackson award winner,” said PCC President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Graham. “She is committed to the needs of the underserved in our community, and she has made a vast difference in the lives of so many families by securing access to high-quality health care for their children. Hers is the epitome of ‘Good Works.’ And, she has done this so well. As the number of children in the Care for Kids program has risen every year, it is through her leadership that her small but mighty team has stretched what it can accomplish to keep up with the needs of enrolling so many families.”
As supervisor, Aviles oversees three client services specialists and a small Care for Kids team. Parents and legal guardians apply for healthcare services on behalf of their children to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Once DHHS deems a child eligible for the program, Aviles’ team takes over and enters them into the Care for Kids system. Aviles’ team calls and interviews the parents or legal guardians, creates the program’s ID cards mailed to each participant, enrolls the children, and assigns them to a healthcare provider that is as accessible as possible from school or home.
Aviles and her team also work tirelessly with the families to help them navigate the healthcare system. That can involve helping the families set up email accounts and understand technology to communicate better. The Care for Kids program actively serves approximately 10,000 children in Montgomery County.
“Working at PCC is like working with a big family,” said Aviles. “We’re all different and have different backgrounds but come together to fulfill the mission. We accomplish a lot.”
“I love my work. At the end of every workday, I have a funny or happy story, and I feel like I’ve helped someone. That matters to me a lot,” said Aviles. “I also like that people trust me, and I can be creative and find different ways to do my job better. That feels good.”
Outside work, Aviles claims to be an introvert who enjoys quiet time with her husband, two daughters, and two cats, Sumi and Theo. As an animal lover, she admits she would secretly like to “keep adopting cats and be a cat lady,” although a small dog may be in her future, too. Stay tuned for a Pets of PCC feature on Sumi and Theo.