St. John’s Honors Environmental Services Workers on the Frontlines
The theme for this year’s Environmental Services Week (September 13-19) is “Heroes on the Frontlines of Health Care.” The message is fitting, as environmental services team members have indeed taken a lead role in a months-long effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to clean and disinfect living and common spaces across multiple St. John’s campuses.
“It’s been a challenging year with the pandemic,” says St. John’s Environmental Services Director Angel Santiago. “What used to be the norm is no longer; and we have had to change the way we clean and disinfect.” Angel adds that staff have done a great job adapting the the rapid changes that have come along over the past several months.
“Every single day was a struggle both emotionally and physically,” says environmental services assistant supervisor Joanne Weinstein as she recalls the height of the pandemic and the work her team put in to ensure that residents remained as safe as possible. “Everything got done. We got through it.”
Joanne compliments the environmental services team for their perseverance and positive attitude during difficult times. “People might think what we do isn’t hard, but it is one of the most difficult jobs here,” says Joanne, who transitioned into her current role from dining services at St. John’s Meadows about a year and a half ago. She describes her team as “a hard-working bunch of people who come to work and get the job done and don’t complain.”
As for the St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone team, environmental services supervisor Mildred Castillo shares similar sentiments. “My team is awesome,” says Mildred. “They are just always here. Any task– they’re on it. I’ve never had a complaint about any of them.”
Mildred knows just how appreciated their work is, as she often gets positive feedback through merit grams from grateful residents and other St. John’s employees describing how environmental services staff are often called on to help out in a pinch. She also hears from residents about how proud they are to show off their homes to visiting family and friends.
Thank you to all of our entire St. John’s Environmental Services team. Your hard work is appreciated!