The Director of Plant Operations at the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic was recently recognized recently as a “Hospital Hero,” by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). Roger Sandhorst was one of just ten hospital employees selected from the 174,000 hospital workers across the state to receive this honor at the 2013 Iowa Hospital Association’s Annual Meeting. IHA has been recognizing Hospital Heroes for seven years. Sandhorst is only the second facilities manager to earn this distinction.
Roger Sandhorst (center) was presented with his Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) Hospital Hero award by Scott Curtis, IHA Board Chairman, and Pat Markham, CEO of Cass County Memorial Hospital, at this fall’s IHA Annual Meeting in Des Moines.
He was nominated as a Hospital Hero by the Cass County Memorial Hospital Administrative Team. CCMH CEO Pat Markham said “Roger’s dedication to our staff, patients and community is unfailing, and we are thrilled he received this well-deserved recognition.” Markham added that while Sandhorst does not provide direct patient care, “His commitment to service and excellence directly impacts the ability of [our] direct care workers to provide outstanding care to [our] patients.”
The IHA program for the awards ceremony contained the following summary of Roger’s nomination as a Hospital Hero: “Heroes come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some even wear capes! Many though, are much less visible, preferring to fly under the radar. Roger Sandhorst is one of those quiet heroes. Never one to attract attention, to put things off, to give up, or even go on vacation, Roger is too busy taking care of everyone else to put himself first.
“In a hospital full of professional caregivers, the Director of Plant Operations may seem an unlikely recipient of the Hospital Hero Award. He may not have a medical or nursing degree, or even touch patients, but he spends all of his routine 10 – 12 hour days caring for others in his own way. Of course, he is always ready to go in an emergency. Snowstorms, power outages, broken pipes – Roger is leading his crew to save the day quickly, quietly and professionally. But what really makes Roger stand out is what he does every day, when it isn’t an emergency. How he oversees the routine care of a 45 year old building, where visitors routinely comment “It can’t be that old!” How he ensures that routine requests are handled almost as quickly as emergencies. How he sets the standard of professionalism to the highest degree.
“During his 27 years as Supervisor and Director of the Plant Operations Department, Roger has led Cass County Memorial Hospital through two major addition and renovation projects. His expertise has been key to the successful completion of these projects, bringing state-of-the-art medical facilities to the people of southwest Iowa. He makes it possible for the medical personnel to do their jobs just that much better, contributing to the life-saving care they give every day.
“Roger’s dedication to Cass County Memorial Hospital has been unwavering. In 27 years, his vacation days could probably be counted on your toes and fingers. Hours of the day mean nothing to Roger when it comes to taking care of the people and facilities that make up CCMH. Whatever it takes, whenever it happens, Roger is there. He has earned the respect and gratitude of all who have had the privilege to experience his quiet care and compassion. Roger Sandhorst truly is a Hospital Hero.”