It was the Wednesday of Central Services Week. As the SPD professionals, in aqua colored scrubs, filed into the conference room for a celebration breakfast, people were buzzing with anticipation. Something big was about to happen that morning at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn Illinois. This distinguished group - recognized as the Healthcare Purchasing News SPD of the Year - was about to single out one of their own, for outstanding performance for 2018. This was the morning when the winner of the twelfth annual 2018 SEVY Award was to be revealed. The SEVY Award (Service, Excellence, Value, You) is given out annually to recognize the SPD tech that best exemplifies the crucial work being done in the "Heart of the Hospital". And Healthmark, who will be co-sponsoring a comprehensive College for Clean seminar at Christ Hospital on Saturday, December 15, was again pleased and honored to be one of three select vendors that were invited to this happy event. After everyone finished their buffet breakfast, a quick shift report was completed, and then the ceremonies began. The festivities commenced with some introductory remarks by Sheree Coley, SPD Educator. The SPD Manager, Yves Theodule, then spoke of his pride in the people in SPD, citing their crucial role in saving lives through infection prevention. Next, Lenore Williamson, SPD Specialist, lauded their dedication and commitment in their key role in keeping patients safe. Then multiple Department personnel came to the podium to offer their appreciation and praise for the work done by SPD: Surgeon Dr. William Bayliss, Nancy Crossett, Manager of Clinical Operation Surgical Services, Katie Stalter, Executive Director, Surgical and Endoscopy Services, Lynne Hennessy Chief Nursing Executive, VP of Nursing, Diane Cooper, Director Outpatient Surgical Services and others. Each recounted the exemplary dedication, professionalism, and good humor that they experience working that this award-winning department demonstrates on a daily basis. Finally, Advocate Christ Hospital President Matthew Primack echoed those remarks, adding that the SPD is more than a group of "Unsung Heroes", pointing out that they are truly "Heroes" due to their ongoing effort to protect patients from harm. He remarked proudly how, when conducting tours of the hospital, he is always sure to include "the best department in the hospital - SPD!". Then came the moment everyone was waiting for as the 2018 SEVY Award winner was announced. The room erupted in applause in appreciation of the deserving recipient - Sandra Hicks. Sandra thanked everyone as she was presented with the SEVY Award plaque, a bouquet of flowers - and a 65" flat screen television. Sandra was soon surrounded by her coworkers offering congratulatory hugs and well wishes. Soon SD Manager Yves Theodule noticed the remaining gathering had turned almost exclusively to Sandra's third shift co-workers. "It feels like the whole team won!" he exclaimed. And they all enthusiastically agreed! Indeed, teamwork was the overriding theme of Sandra's remarks to me when we spoke afterward. "I really love it here. I never experienced the feeling of family at a job like we have here. We all work as a team to make sure everything is done right. The feeling is; if someone fails, we all fail. And everyone pitches in to make sure that whatever needs to be fixed is corrected." Sandra had been working at AT&T and became aware of the stellar reputation of the SPD at Christ Hospital from her daughter, who is a nurse at the hospital. Soon, she earned her CSPDT (Certified Sterile Processing Technician) credential and joined Christ Hospital. And in just 20 months, she has already distinguished herself as a SEVY Award winner! During the proceedings, someone shouted out the theme of the third shift, "Teamwork is Dreamwork!" And you couldn't help but come away from this occasion feeling the camaraderie, commitment, and dedication of this group of professionals. And you knew why they truly deserved to be recognized as SPD of the year!


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