June 17, 2016 – When people think of a hospital, they usually think of nurses and doctors, but there are so many people behind the scenes that make it possible for the medical staff to give quality patient care. A patient comes in to Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) with an illness for care. Doctors and nurses work to treat and cure the patient and get them home and back to their daily lives as soon as possible. Before and after the care process the housekeeping department ensures that the rooms are clean and sanitary. Some illnesses are contagious, such as the flu. Every day, these caregivers make sure that their rooms are as clean as possible for the incoming patient.
The Laundry department is also critical to making the rooms clean. If an illness is contagious, these caregivers suit up in an isolation gown and collect the bedding that the sick patient used. Over 32,000 lbs of laundry is washed, sanitized, dried and folded every month at GRMC.
"These caregivers take pride in their work, and have received the prestige of being recognized as some of the best in the nation for cleanliness," said Cynthia Anderson, Laundry Supervisor, "A clean environment is critical to the healing process, we could not give the quality care we do without the Housekeeping and Laundry departments."
During their stay at GRMC, a patient needs healthy and tasty food to eat. The Dietary department works night and day to ensure quality meals are prepared and delivered to the patient's room. A dietitian plans the menus for the in-patient meals, keeping in mind dietary restrictions due to such conditions as diabetes or Celiac disease. The cooks and staff prepare the meals as well as operate the Courtyard Café cafeteria that is open to the public.
"The staff in the kitchen really works hard to make good and healthy food," said David Peck, Director of the Dietary department. "It's a tough job, on one hand we are basically running a restaurant with the café and meeting the needs of the community; while on the other hand we are providing nutritious meals to aid in patient care. People cannot get well without quality food."
GRMC was built in 1983, making the building 33 years old. Buildings do not maintain themselves; it takes a dedicated staff that keeps the plumbing, electrical systems, heating, cooling and general structure intact and operational. The Facility Maintenance department works tirelessly at the upkeep of GRMC. Every pipe, wire, window, floor, vent and elevator is their responsibility.
"GRMC is a fairly old facility but it is standing strong," said Pat Nesbitt, Director of Facility Maintenance. "When you think of all of the gases and liquids flowing through the hospital and how critical it is to have electricity for every test and procedure we do, it is a 24/7 job to keep it all up and running."
Healthcare is about caring for people and getting them well and keeping them healthy. There are so many caregivers involved with making this possible. Some are in the front lines, providing direct patient care, and others are behind the scenes.
"Whether they are drawing blood for a test or cleaning a patient room, all of our caregivers are critically important to the healing process and our mission, to provide exceptional quality patient-centered care in a healing environment," said Brian Cunningham, CEO of Gila Regional.
Photo (Left to Right):
Alex Valencia, Housekeeping; Dolores Cendretta, Laundry; and Steve Delgado, Facility Maintenance.