Janet Gillispie had just finished a fun-filled day with her 5-year-old daughter Brittany Anne at Alabama Adventure when she checked her phone messages.
Why on Earth would Cleve Crews, who recently retired as chief technologist in Diagnostic Radiology and currently works as 3D Lab Supervisor for UAB HSF, be calling her on her cell phone on her day off?
“The message said, ‘This is Cleve Crews. Call me at home. It’s pretty important,’” recalls Gillispie. “I didn’t know what to think.”
After calming Gillispie down and assuring her she still had her job, Crews delivered the good news — Gillispie had been selected Employee of the Year.
“I started crying and laughing. My daughter didn’t know what was going on,” says Gillispie, a radiological technologist in University Hospital. “Being named Employee of the Month was a big deal for me, then they tell me the year, too? What a shock.”
Gillispie certainly earns the honor every day, with her enthusiasm, work ethic and determination to be a comfort to her patients shining through in her duties.
Doctors and co-workers say they have their spirits lifted on a daily basis by working with Gillispie, and they are most appreciative of the care she gives to the patients.
“Janet treats each patient that comes to the GI Radiology hallway with careful attention, explaining the pending procedures, answering the patient’s questions and letting them know that at that particular moment they are the most important reason that we are all here working at UAB,” says Desiree E. Morgan, M.D.
Eric Williams, supervisor in Diagnostic Radiology, says there’s no question that Gillispie’s calling is caring for patients.
“She’s very committed to patient care,” says Williams. “She’s very dependable and she cares for the patients. Overall, she’s an excellent technologist.”
Gillispie says the care her patients receive is what is most important to her job. But she believes the patients aren’t the only ones benefiting from the interaction.
“Our slogan here is medicine that touches the world, and I agree; there’s a medicine that helps everything almost, and we have the best here at UAB,” she says. “But I also think sometimes the next best medicine is what comes out from our hearts to our patients and to each other here at UAB. Doesn’t it just make your day when a patient just comes to ease with a procedure you’re doing and is not so scared anymore?
Or when they reach or you reach for their hand and they hold it tightly? Or when they let you hug them or pray with them and they hug you back? When they smile or laugh with you and forget their pain for just a minute?
“It just tells you that you’re doing your job right, and you’re where you’re supposed to be in life, right here at UAB.” As for those who appreciate Gillispie’s work ethic, she gives them heartfelt thank you.
“I try to give it my best here each day for God, for my patients, for UAB and for myself and it feels good,” she says. And as for her co-workers, she gives them nothing but high marks for their friendship –and for the jobs they perform every day. “Everyone is so willing to help each other here and others outside of UAB,” she says.
“It’s a blessing to work with so many caring people.”