Healthcare Facilities Management (FM) is a demanding industry that requires hard work and determination on every employee’s behalf. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the necessary hard work and determination have ramped up exponentially for the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Facilities team, given the challenging circumstances.

On March 14, 2020, the NMH Facilities team, led by Joe Hernandez, CBRE Chief Engineer, began their workplace fight against COVID-19. Hernandez mobilized the team and served as a key leader while driving unprecedented results. Forty eight days into the fight, the NMH Facilities Team has accomplished and invested the following:

  • Prepared 329 Intensive Care Unit rooms (ICU)
  • Prepared 331 Medical & Surgical rooms (M/S)
  • Tested & converted 335 patient rooms to negative pressure
  • Total Work Orders performed from March 14, 2020 – April 30, 2020 = 13,678
  • Total Labor Hours performed from March 14, 2020 – April 30, 2020 = 20,330
  • Total Overtime Hours performed From March 14, 2020 – April 30, 2020 = 680 hours (85 shifts)
  • Maintained operations of a 6.5 MSF, 894-bed academic medical center hospital

Despite the hardships and health risks, 106 individuals on the CBRE Facilities team continue to show up every shift and perform their duties during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep Northwestern Memorial Hospital operating.

Facilities Management workers are not immune to the hardships of this pandemic. They are unable to hug their children after a long day of work for fear of transmitting the virus. Spouses must sleep in different rooms to stay healthy. Loved ones with pre-existing conditions must remain at a distance, despite living in the same household. These sacrifices are not seen by coworkers, patients or the community, but they are felt by our staff, day in and day out.

These heroes are mothers, fathers, friends and neighbors. They have fought with a resilience, determination and humility that is unparalleled. They embody excellence in everything they do, giving up their own comforts and safety for the betterment of patients, and remaining optimistic during this unprecedented time. In a profession that may be noticed only in its absence, we are proud to honor the men and women who keep Northwestern Memorial Hospital the #1 healthcare institution in Illinois during this season.

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In every corner of the world, our people are supporting local communities, selflessly assisting others, and helping clients and colleagues acutely affected by COVID-19. We're sharing those stories.