23 Years On, Alma Torres Reflects on Service Improvements

Alma_Torres_OIRThink about how the business environment has changed in 23 years. Technology has increased the speed of communication, improved workflow and responsiveness, revolutionized document storage, and streamlined state agency services for Arizona’s citizens. While some would shy away from a work environment full of change, Alma Torres, Administrative Assistant III in the Office of Intergovernmental Relations, has embraced it. Since joining AHCCCS 23 years ago in the clerical pool, Alma has advanced through many positions and departments. “I honestly don’t realize how much time has passed until I reflect on all that’s changed,” she said.

“I work with such elite people that I keep getting the opportunity to learn more.”

Through all those years, Alma has pursued opportunities to grow her skills and expand her knowledge, taking advantage of internal training and volunteering to accept more responsibility in every position she’s held. Having served in many divisions within AHCCCS, Alma has deep institutional knowledge and understanding of the complexities of healthcare management. Colleagues recognize her attention to quality, her caring demeanor and her attitude of service.

“Management encourages continual learning and gives employees autonomy to do their jobs well,” she said. “I work with such elite people that I keep getting the opportunity to learn more. Now I’m moving into budget management, finance, and accounts payable responsibilities so I’m very motivated to continue to do my very best work.”

In addition to employee development, it’s the mission of AHCCCS that keeps Alma motivated to excel. “I believe in the work this agency does,” she added. “It’s an important service to the people of Arizona.”

We are happy to recognize Alma Torres for her many years of service to AHCCCS. Please stay for 23 more!

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Debra Martinez Bring Compassion To Work Every Day

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“Resourceful” and “compassionate” are two words colleagues use to describe AHCCCS Member Liaison, Debra Martinez. In her role, she is the face of AHCCCS when members have a complaint or unresolved problem. Sometimes the problems are complex and can’t be solved with a single phone call. “I try to have compassion for every member I talk to and put myself in their shoes,” she said. “If I have to find another division, or even a different agency, to help them, that’s what I do.”

“I know I’ve made a difference if I’ve shown compassion and caring for the people I’ve touched.”

Never one to pass the buck, Debra relies on her 18 years of service at the Department of Economic Services, and the contacts she’s made during five years at AHCCCS, to be able to solve members’ problems. “But I certainly can’t do this job alone,” she said. “It takes a whole team working together toward a common goal.”

Debra credits AHCCCS managers and executive leaders with driving employees toward that shared goal. With open doors, support, professional development opportunities and lots of employee recognition, she says the AHCCCS work culture contributes to its overall success.

“It’s a joy to come to work. I believe people should have healthcare coverage, so at the end of the day I know I’ve made a difference if I’ve shown compassion and caring for the people I’ve touched,” she added.

The Division of Member Services proudly recognizes Debra Martinez for her dedication and service to AHCCCS, its members, and the State of Arizona.

 

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Economist Ethan Sheffield Is Motivated by More Than Numbers

Ethan_Sheffield_DBFWith degrees in finance and statistics, and a few years of state service at DES, Ethan Sheffield wanted a job in government that would stretch his statistical skills, throw new data challenges at him, and demand that he continue to hone his strengths. An AHCCCS job posting piqued his interest, and it turned out to be a perfect fit.

“This job is rewarding, challenging, sometimes frustrating, but always collaborative while still allowing me to work autonomously,” said Ethan, who spends his days as an Economist in the Division of Business and Finance (DBF) creating complex databases, analyzing monthly enrollment reports and automating core budget functions.

“Government does a lot of good work. I know I can contribute to the greater good by doing my job well.”

It’s the challenge of building a more accurate forecasting model, a faster statistical process, or producing more usable results, coupled with the high level of executive leadership engagement in his work, that compels him to excel each day. “I know the Director will see my report or analysis; he’s even been known to call me for an explanation!”

Described by colleagues as a high performer with a calm manner and commitment to public service, Ethan says, “Government does a lot of good work. I know I can contribute to the greater good by doing my job well.”

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