OAKLAND – In a fitting kickoff to Environmental Services Week, two EVS colleagues were recognized on Monday in a dual BeRemarkable Award ceremony. Teresa Hayes was selected for March’s BeRemarkable Award, while Susan Romaya was chosen for July’s award. Both colleagues were honored for their kindness and compassion toward patients, and for serving as part of the larger care team.
Teresa was nominated after leaders at St. Joe’s Oakland received a letter from a patient family. In the letter, a patient’s sibling wrote to share how Teresa’s kind words inspired her: “Throughout her stay, [my sister] often communicated what a great job all your staff were doing during these extremely difficult times. However, there was one person whom she has mentioned multiple times over the last few months since she left the hospital. She told me that on the day before she was to be released, she mentioned to Teresa Hayes, the housekeeper, that she would be leaving. Teresa said, ‘I’ve been watching you and I just know you’re going to do great.’ Those kind words meant the world to [my sister]. She hadn’t realized that not only your medical staff, but all of your staff, including the housekeepers, had been watching over her, protecting her… being her advocate.” The letter also shared that Teresa’s words had become her sister’s mantra as she continued her recovery.
Susan was nominated by a fellow colleague, who shared how she goes above and beyond to make patients feel cared for and special. The colleague wrote, “Susan Romaya takes excellent care of her work areas, yet also of the people who work in those areas. She has filled a void for the residents who are here away from home with her motherly persona. The residents really appreciate her. She brightens up the residents’ lounge with excellent cleaning, decorating for them and encouraging them on their path.
In addition, Susan’s nominator discussed the parties she holds for residents, stating, “Susan also holds special events for the residents which she ‘caters’ for them food she prepares herself and pays for out of pocket. She sets up the tables with her own lace cloths, fancy serving trays, etc.” The colleague added that Susan makes work more enjoyable for the entire team, and is appreciated by the team’s leaders.
Congratulations to both Teresa and Susan, and thank you for demonstrating how all colleagues can be a vital part of the care team. The empathy and engagement you show with patients and residents makes a real difference in their experience, and we are grateful for you.