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Chief Nursing Officer swaps Smartphone for toilet scrubber
Chief Nursing Officer swaps Smartphone for toilet scrubber
Hospital executives go ‘undercover’ and join the ranks of housekeepers, patient transporters to experience a day in the life of Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. First lesson for the CNO? Lose the heels.

Those shoes gave Mary Murphy away.

“I saw those high heels and thought if she had to do this all day, it was going to be a long day for her,” said Essie Chester, who has been a housekeeper at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital for 32 years. “But she did have a great work ethic and she couldn’t have been nicer. She just needed new shoes.”

Murphy, the chief nursing officer at the hospital, went “undercover” for a few hours this week to see how people really work at her hospital. She wasn’t the only executive who traded the board room for the waiting room. Ed Gervain, chief operating officer, tried his hand in the admitting department while Keith Richardson, the chief financial officer, transported patients alongside Joseph Boland.

The switch occurred during the organization’s annual employee engagement survey. All 5,000 employees from Adventist Midwest Health were encouraged to take the survey and provide feedback on how their supervisors are doing, said Don Russell, regional vice president for human resources at Adventist Midwest Health.

“We value the opinions of our employees and take their feedback very seriously,” Russell said. “This was a way for our executives to demonstrate their commitment to our front line staff.”

Murphy jumped right in to help Chester, cleaning bathrooms and wiping down windows in the lounge. Every day, Chester cleans about 60 patient rooms during her 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift.

“My morning with Essie only reinforced what I already knew – that our employees are some of the most dedicated and hard working around,” Murphy said. “I just hope I didn’t slow her down too much.”

She didn’t. But only because Chester cleaned right alongside Murphy.

“I couldn’t have her get me behind,” said Chester with a smile. “Sometimes I have to go back to some rooms two or three times to get everything just right.”

In the always-busy admitting office, Diane Bolda and Joyce Adams worked with Gervain, who helped them register patients. He even wheeled one patient to the X-ray department.

“He did a pretty good job,” Bolda said. “He even knew how to lock the brake on the wheelchair. I was impressed.”

Adams said Gervain walked away from the experience with a special appreciation for what she and Bolda do every day.

“The rules are always changing and sometimes patients might not understand things like why we need to see their insurance card again,” Adams said. “We were really busy and he jumped right in.”

Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Media contact: Sheila Galloro, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health; 630-856-2359