On Wednesday of SPD Week, it was rainy and dreary outside, but things were very bright at the inspirational SEVY Award Ceremony held in the Community Room at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. 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". Brainchild of SPD Manager Yves Theodule (SEVY spelled backwards is Yves) and John Colburn of V. Mueller, the SEVY award is marking its 11th year of existence. A tasty breakfast buffet was enjoyed by the 70 plus SPD staff and hospital administrators in attendance - which included three previous SEVY Award winners. A shift update was held (the work must go on!). Then the festivities began. First, remarks were made by the President of Advocate Christ Hospital, Rich Heim and Chief Operating Officer Matthew Primak. They praised the important work being done in SPD as well as the commitment of the department to their hospital-wide "Marching to Zero" defects program. Next, the Director of Surgical Services Katie Stalter and Sterile Processing Educator Sheree Coley, and others, recognized the critical importance of SPD in maintaining patient safety. Last, Nick Lorenz, a Special Olympics Ambassador, spoke about keeping a positive attitude in life as well as at the workplace. Then it was time for the big moment. SPD Manager Yves Theodule strode to the front of the room to announce that Mykeal (Mikkie) Hood was selected as the winner of the 2017 SEVY Award. Applause broke out as Mikkie accepted the SEVY plaque as well as a 55" flat screen television and other gifts. Adding to the excitement, Mikkie's Mom, Dad and Step-Mom entered the room, surprising Mikkie, beaming with happiness and pride. Mikkie graciously accepted the SEVY Award, saying how much she enjoyed working in SPD and was gratified by the impact their work had on people's lives. Afterward, Mikkie told me how she had been looking for a full-time job where she could also "help as many people as possible - make a difference". Her Mom, who works in the OR at Christ Hospital, suggested she speak to Yves about a position in SPD. "After speaking to Yves, I realized the important role of SPD in keeping patients safe - even saving lives. He told me that every tray from SPD affects the life of a real person." That really impressed Mikkie, and she was delighted when she was asked to join the team. Eighteen months later, Mikkie says she is enjoying her time in SPD where she "strives to be a calm influence in situations that can be very stressful and chaotic." She particularly loves the day to day teamwork. "In SPD everyone plays a part". After the presentation, everyone hustled off to their shift to continue their work protecting patients - a task they perform every day, without much fanfare. It was nice to see, at least on this rainy day, a well-deserved display of recognition not only for Mikkie - but for everyone in SPD. It was a wonderful reminder why SPD truly is the "Heart of the Hospital"!


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