UMF Corporation announced that Custodial Service Associate Lisa Gross has earned the company’s 13th annual Hygiene Specialist® Excellence Award, in a recent news release. An Aramark Healthcare+ employee who has served Methodist Dallas Medical Center for more than five years, Gross was nominated by Aramark Healthcare+ Senior Human Resources Manager Blake Jaren for her commitment to cleanliness and safety, alongside her ability to connect with patients.
“For the entire five years working for Aramark Healthcare+ and Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Lisa has remained committed to ensuring patient rooms and public areas are clean and safe through daily cleaning of rooms, hallways, and public restrooms,” said Jaren. “Furthermore, hospital staff regularly recognize her for her incredible ability to connect with patients. While in patient rooms, Lisa remains focused not only on cleaning impeccably, but on listening to her patients, communicating with compassion, and providing support through prayer. In the last year, she has been recognized formally by patients to leadership over 40 times.”
At Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Gross is assigned to the 6 Sammons unit, which is composed primarily of immunocompromised and immunosuppressed patients (transplant patients). With Gross as the primary housekeeper, this unit continuously maintained low infection rates.
“Hygiene specialists and all other environmental services (EVS) staff are instrumental in providing patients with a safe environment, yet they are so often overlooked,” said UMF CEO George Clarke. “UMF established the National Hygiene Specialist Award more than a decade ago to acknowledge the invaluable contribution EVS departments and their staff play in providing patients with a safe environment – they are the first line of defense in stopping preventable healthcare-associated infections (pHAIs). We remain committed to leading the way in increasing awareness and recognition of the dedicated professionals who have served so bravely in the battle against COVID-19 and pHAIs. We are proud to acknowledge the commendable work and dedication of Ms. Gross, whose work ethic and contributions embody the spirit of the award.”
EVS departments are a first line of defense, providing safe environments in hospitals and long-term care facilities. They help stop the spread of COVID-19, and also help control and prevent HAIs such as CLABSI, CAUTI, and CDI.
According to the CDC, 1 in every 25 hospitalized patients is impacted by HAIs in the United States. The CDC recommends compliance with environmental control measures, including regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces throughout healthcare facilities, to decrease the risk of infection among patients, residents, and healthcare workers.
“Lisa has been instrumental in helping our hospital maintain low infection rates in our high-risk patient population. She is a key team member who has helped our hospital achieve outstanding patient experience scores. Last fiscal year, the 6 Sammons unit, where Lisa primarily serves, ended at the 97th percentile for patient experience and this fiscal year we remain at the 96th percentile,” says John Phillips, FACHE, President of Methodist Dallas. “When the managers give kudos to Lisa, her humble refrain remains the same: ‘I just treat others how I want to be treated!’
Two additional finalists for the 2021 HSA award are:
Felicia Canfield, Sebastian River Medical Center, Sebastian, Fla.
Amber Moore, Ferrell Hospital, Eldorado, Ill.
As this year’s award recipient, Ms. Gross will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, including hotel and airfare, to a location of her choice within the 48 contiguous states.