Surfacide’s 2022 Shining Star Award Winners
Behind the scenes of every hospital are the unsung heroes who play a large role in keeping patients healthy and safe from infection: Environmental Service (EVS) workers. From Crothall’s proven cleaning procedures to their partnership with Surfacide®, the leader in UV-C disinfection, EVS employees hold themselves to the highest standards and take pride in their effect on patient wellbeing.
This year, Surfacide recognized four exceptional EVS workers with their Shining Star Award, two of which work with Crothall Healthcare. Nominations flooded in from around the country as leaders jumped at the chance to highlight their dedicated, hardworking team members. Out of hundreds of submissions, four “shining stars” were selected – the two winners received a $1,500 scholarship to be used toward advancing their education, and the two finalists received $500 in scholarship credits. Both Crothall winners are considering attending the 2023 Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) Exchange, but they are still exploring the other learning opportunities that are being offered.
Gladys Lara is an EVS Operations Manager with Englewood Hospital in New Jersey and one of the recipients of the Shining Star Award. She has worked for Crothall Healthcare for 16 years and says her favorite part of the job is “the people.” When asked how Surfacide’s UV-C machines assist the EVS team, Gladys and her nominator, Director of EVS Peter Lucey, said that the science-backed results provide “reassurance. When the clinicians, caregivers, and patients see us using it, they know we’re taking that extra step to go above and beyond.”
Peter describes Gladys as “the calm in the storm,” citing her leadership and perseverance through the Covid-19 pandemic, critical staffing shortages, and even a flood. “There were thousands of gallons of water running through the building, and there’s Gladys in a pair of boots, running a vac with a smile on her face,” Peter said. “The presence that she has with the staff is treasured.”
When Wanda Johnson, an EVS Tech from MedStar Washington Center Hospital, found out she won the Shining Star Award, she said it felt “so good” to be recognized, because she “has never won anything before.” As the top Surfacide user in her department in a hospital that is one of the top ten Surfacide users in the country, Wanda knows the machines well. “Surfacide is my best friend,” Wanda said. “The machines kill germs and viruses, and they help me help others.”
MedStar Washington Center Hospital has consistently held a 100% Surfacide compliance rate, and Wanda’s nominator, Director of EVS Christopher Menseck, said that Wanda is a big part of making that happen. “Wanda is the first to volunteer to mentor new associates and last to turn down a task, no matter how big or small,” Christopher said. “She is a true EVS hero to our patients and a leader in the department.”
Crothall Healthcare and Surfacide are proud to honor Gladys and Wanda as this year’s Shining Star Award recipients and are grateful to every EVS employee for their part in providing premier patient care.