Mariela Flores is a care team operations supervisor at OLE Health’s North Napa Health Center who has been with OLE Health since 2014. Operations is the type of job that when done well you might take the people doing it for granted. It’s all the crucial behind-the-scenes details that allow our health centers to function. When asked about her role, Mariela didn’t talk about herself; she talked about her team.
“I make sure my team is prepared to start the day, and they feel supported. I provide any supplies they need and make sure I am available to step in to help without being asked.”
Sometimes, that help means finding ways to deescalate tense situations. According to her colleagues Mariela took a potentially very volatile situation with a frustrated patient and was able to smooth it out for everyone involved. She ensured that the patient understood the OLE team was here to help. And this isn’t a one-time thing. Mariela consistently makes the staff feel safe when interactions with patients get confrontational, which unfortunately happens from time to time.
Her passion for her work comes through loud and clear when asked what she considers the best part of working for OLE. If you ask her, she will tell you the best part of her job is, “Everything! The team, our mission, making sure our patients/community are taken care of.”
She started at OLE by chance. After having a baby and spending a year at home with her daughter, she felt ready to return to the workforce. A friend let her know that OLE was hiring. “I didn’t know much about the organization, but I decided to apply! I got hired and have learned so much working here since.”
In her nearly 8 years with OLE, she has seen a lot of changes and growth. And Mariela has grown with the organization. She may not have known much about OLE when she applied, but now it’s a place she loves deeply. That love is evident in how she approaches her work.
“I don’t necessarily interact with patients, but my medical assistants do,” said Mariela. “So, the better I support the members of my team, the better job they will do. I try to be a role model for them and lead by example.”
If you hear the glowing things her colleagues say about her, it seems she succeeds. In fact, in her nomination, someone even called her a hero.
So what will this hero do with her $100 bonus for being named employee of the month? She’s treating herself to a new coat she has been wanting. Because not all heroes wear capes.