2021 Annual VIA: Clifford Brown
If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that hospitals are filled with health care heroes. Some are saving lives on the front lines, others work in quiet service behind the scenes to support staff and ensure that patients are taken care of.
Clifford Brown, coordinator of Nutrition Services at ARRMC, is one of those unsung heroes. Although he holds an oversight role, his duties are better defined as “whatever needs to be done.”
It’s that dedication to service that earned him the annual Values in Action award, Asante’s highest honor. He was honored at a virtual celebration on Nov. 2.
“There are numerous nights when our department is shorthanded,” says food service worker Renee Stebbeds, who nominated Brown for the VIA. “We may not have someone to clean the kitchen, so often you will find Cliff doing these jobs without a complaint or a grumble.”
He has been known to stock shelves, clean carts, empty the garbage, pressure-wash mats or mop the floor.
If for some reason a patient has missed a meal and the cooks have gone home, Brown will whip up a hot dinner for the patient himself rather than grab something from the case.
His selflessness, fairness and genuine interest in others have earned him the respect of his co-workers. Stebbeds recalls the time two electricians were needed on short notice to rewire something in the kitchen. Instead of a mere thanks, Brown bought them a power drink. If an employee is moving, Brown will offer the use of his pickup truck.
“I personally have been going through some very difficult situations,” Stebbeds says. “Cliff asks how things are going, what I will do, etc. He cares about people.”
He was joined at the virtual celebration by his sister, friends and manager Nicole Morgan.
“Being a coordinator is not an easy job,” Morgan says. “He keeps a whole department running, which means not just feeding patients, but feeding the staff — and something always goes wrong. I really appreciate Cliff because of who he is and how he does his job.”
In gratitude, Asante awarded Brown with a charcutier box, flowers, badge backer, gift card and crystal award.
A former cook, Brown says he’s humbled by the recognition. “I was blessed to come here in 2008. I had to start from the bottom but it was worth it.”
Current role: Nutrition Services coordinator
With Asante: 15 years (13 years in his current role)
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