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  • Meet our Team: Maria Reyes

    We’re lucky to have exceptional staff at Vibrant Health who are passionate about their jobs and the patients and community we serve. Today, we get to introduce you to Maria Reyes. 

    What is your job at Vibrant Health?

    Vibrant Health
    Maria Reyes, right, meets with a patient and caregiver.

    I’m the Healthy Steps Specialist – I focus on child development. I work with our patients who are 0-3 years old. When a young child comes in for a well visit, I go into the patient’s room before the doctor and do an evaluation to see if the child is growing and if they are meeting their development milestones – language, social-emotional, gross and fine motor.

    I talk with the parents about the child’s development, and about health and safety. Does the family have WIC? Does the child have a carseat that fits? Are they brushing teeth? Is the child exposed to second-hand smoke? Do they have fire detectors and a fire escape plan? Parents ask me about their child’s teething, when to start using cup, proper nutrition and more.

    These can seem like simple things, but we want these kids to grow up and be successful in life. The first few years of a child’s life are so important because the brain is making so many connections during this time. You must read to your baby, talk to your baby, smile at your baby to bond and attach.

    I help patients understand that the doctor isn’t just looking at the child physically, but also language, emotional, attachment – everything to make the child successful in life. I’m supporting the doctors’ practice and providing more details for families.

    What’s your favorite thing about your job as a Healthy Steps Specialist?

    This is my passion. I love what I do. I see patients that are in school who I saw when they were a baby. We’re a family; a welcoming environment.

    60% of our patients don’t speak English. I can speak Spanish with patients, and I get translators for other languages. We do not have a language barrier here – we can communicate with anyone and that is a great thing.

    I don’t care if I don’t get to take my lunch or I have to stay at work late. It’s important to give the parents what they need to feel successful.

    What advice do you have for new parents?

    Becoming a parent can be very overwhelming at the beginning and there’s so much information, but when parents come to our clinic we can help them navigate how to be a good parent for their child.

    We’ve learned a lot about child development and kids’ brains in the last 20 years, so maybe how your godmom did it isn’t best now. We want to help out parents understand that information and make good choices.

    Parenting isn’t easy and every single kid is different. Look at your child’s strengths and what’s special about them.

    What should parents and patients know about Vibrant Health?

    We’ve been growing and we have a new name, but the people are the same. We are happy to be growing because we have more capacity to serve the community. We embrace anyone who comes here; we never say no. It’s not a place where you come to the doctor, check what you have and leave. We are talking with you, smiling with you, giving your kids stickers. It’s an amazing place to come, and to work. You won’t regret coming here.

    Tell us about yourself!

    I have four kids, two grandkids (ages 15 and 5), and two more grandkids on the way. I love taking care of my family. The teenage years are so difficult – I drive my grandson to school so we can bond. We talk and laugh together, and I paint my granddaughter’s nails. I enjoy it.

    I like to read, go to the library and walk for exercise. I’m also a member of the women’s group at my church. These activities help me to grow – physically, mentally and spiritually. I want to think of others before myself.

    Author: Kristin Littrell

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