Hospitality in action

Sixteen-time CSK nominee makes impact on patients

By: Todd Taylor

At first, I figured it was a mistake.

As we sifted through a batch of Customer Service is the Key nominations, the same employee kept popping up. One after the other the name atop the form was Alba Villeda, a UF Health Shands Hospital Food and Nutrition Services catering associate.

“These must be reprints of the same nomination,” I thought.

They weren’t. Alba had 16 CSK nominations over the last 12 months.

We invited Alba to participate in this CSK edition of News+Notes and she politely declined. We couldn’t let that be the end of the story, so I contacted her.

“How do you leave such a great impression on our patients?” I asked. Her answer was refreshingly simple.

“For me it’s not a job, it’s about bringing happiness to people. I like to smile and I like to make people happy,” Alba said. “It doesn’t matter who you are — everyone is important and we’re all
here to help each other.”

Here are just a few of the comments from Alba’s patients in her CSK nomination forms:

“Alba helped me when it was difficult to eat after my operation. She spent time with me and definitely cheered me up.”

“She made me feel more like a family member than a patient.”

“My food was incorrectly ordered … she caught that right away and brought me a delicious substitute meal with a smile on her face. I just had a traumatic injury and that smile meant a lot
to me.”

“Always very pleasant and professional — loves her job.”

“She always asked me how I was feeling, if I was having a good day and if she could do anything for me. I have been a member of the health care profession for 51 years.”

Alba and the outstanding CSK nominees featured in this edition are just the tip of the iceberg; our Human Resources team receives thousands of nominations a year from patients and their families, co-workers and visitors. And, of course, countless other acts of kindness happen here every day that are never captured by our CSK program. Let’s not forget that every action contributes to our patients’ experience, and these thoughtful behaviors really do make a difference.

Thanks for all you do for our patients — keep up the good work!