Riley County is proud to announce the December Employee of the Month, Breva Spencer, Maternal and Child Health Supervisor for the Health Department. Nominated by Sara Darnell, who recently joined the department, Breva has showcased exceptional leadership qualities that have not only benefited the team but also supported the community at large.
Breva began her journey with Riley County in 2011, as a childcare licensing surveyor. Over the years, she demonstrated resilience and adaptability, seamlessly transitioning into a coordinator position when faced with changes due to the end of grant funding. Not one to back down from challenges, Breva secured additional grant funding and helped expand the team's service area to include Geary and Clay counties before moving into the supervisor role for Maternal and Child Health.
With a background rooted in social work, Breva’s knack for navigating research and data, combined with a talent for grant writing, has significantly contributed to the department's success.
“I tell our community partners, just send people to us and we’ll help. Whether a new mom needs help finding formula, needs advice about what to do when she can no longer breastfeed, or is experiencing postpartum depression, we’ll do the research and the legwork to find resources and provide real help,” explained Breva.
Breva is passionate about perinatal mental health, drawing from personal experiences as a military spouse. Her commitment to supporting new moms and families during the perinatal period reflects the department's dedication to going the extra mile.
“I want to acknowledge my great staff and the wonderful work they do every day. It’s because of their amazing client-centered work, willingness to go above and beyond, and teamwork that it’s possible for the department to accomplish so much!” exclaimed Breva.
A true advocate for a trauma-informed approach, Breva believes in understanding and supporting her team on a personal level. Monthly one-on-one meetings and weekly team discussions create an environment of open collaboration. Taking the time to connect with each staff member individually, writing thank-you notes, and acknowledging accomplishments are just a few ways she cultivates a positive work environment.
“I try to look at things through the lens of the employee and ask questions to see how I can be supportive or if there’s anything I can do to help,” Breva said.
Acknowledging that social work can be emotionally draining, Breva also ensures family is always a priority. She has two children, ages 10 and 13, and she makes time to attend basketball games and other important events in her kids’ lives. She also makes sure her employees have the flexibility to do the same, recently offering to teach a class for Sara so she could attend her own son’s last home football game.
In her nomination, Sara wrote “It takes a special person to inconvenience themselves to make sure someone else is able to attend something that is important to them. She is a wonderful supervisor and friend, and I am grateful to be a member of her team!”
Breva, we celebrate your commitment to supporting staff and the community. Congratulations on being the December Employee of the Month!