UHN celebrates Environmental Services Week

“It’s hard work, but I love my job,” says Lorna Mendoza, an aide in Environmental Services at Toronto Western Hospital. “It’s easy when you work with nice people.” UHN is celebrating Environmental Services Week September 11 to 17. (Photo: UHN)

For Environmental Services Week, which runs September 11 to 17, University Health Network (UHN) is celebrating its 625 Environmental Services (EVS) aides and cleaners across all sites, including those such as Lorna Mendoza, who is known for keeping Toronto Western Hospital’s Orthopedic Inpatient Unit spotless.

After 12 years in the Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations Department (FM-PRO), she has the job down to a science. At 7 a.m., she starts the day by cleaning the ninth floor’s common areas, including staff break rooms and the nursing station. Then, she starts to collect garbage and work her way through patient rooms, sweeping, mopping and cleaning washrooms.

With patients recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery, they often stay a few days in the unit, so Lorna gets to know them. She’ll learn about their interests, whether it’s a love for beaches or movies and chat with them as she works.

By 11 a.m., patients start to get discharged and the pace picks up.

In order to get a room ready for a new patient, she cleans it from top to bottom: disinfects the washroom, removes the bed linens, sweeps the floor, wipes down and cleans the bed – from the head and footboard to the mattress and beneath it – disinfects the drawers, walls, all other high-touch surfaces, puts on fresh bed linens and mops the floor on her way out.

Cleaning after a patient discharge can take a half hour to 45 minutes. She does at least six each shift.

“It’s hard work, but I love my job,” says Lorna. “It’s easy when you work with nice people.”

She also goes out of her way to ensure the supply closet is cleaned and organized for her colleagues.

“I’m always thinking ahead and not only thinking of myself – I want to make sure my colleagues on the weekend are set,” Lorna says as she opens a new box of gloves and re-stocks the shelves.

Lorna is passionate about health care and putting the needs of patients first. In her free time, she fundraises for ALS research – often donating to Krembil Research Institute – in honour of her late nephew who had the nervous system disease.

“I am so proud that I work here at Toronto Western and that Krembil is a part of us,” Lorna says.

Be sure to thank an Environmental Services staff member this #EVSWeek and stay tuned for more stories celebrating Lorna’s FM-PRO colleagues during Support Services Week, November 21 to 27.

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