Glendale Heights – Heeding his doctor’s recommendation to get more exercise in order to lower his cholesterol, Rob Martinez took up running and started biking to work. Not only did the 52-year-old orderly improve his health, he also inspired a diverse group of his colleagues at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital to ditch their cars for their bicycles during their daily commute.
“I don’t want to touch my car anymore because I really like biking,” said Martinez, a Warrenville resident.
Dr. Thomas Krolick, medical director of anesthesia at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, said Martinez inspired him to start biking to the hospital. The Glen Ellyn resident has been doing so for about two years and recently donated a $3,600 bicycle locker to the hospital so cycling employees can safely store their bikes.
Warren Lindemulder, an administrator in the radiology department, has been biking to work since he started working at the hospital nearly two years ago.
An avid cyclist, the Elmhurst resident said one of the first questions he asked when interviewing for his job was whether there was a place at the hospital to store his bike.
Previously, the employees either stored their cycles in an open outdoor rack, a spot outside a second-floor employee entrance or near their private workspace inside the hospital. Although those locations are secure, there’s no room for clothing or other gear employees need to store while they’re working. The locker can hold up to four bikes and was installed on the east side of the hospital campus, near one of the employee entrances.
“The new locker is a major improvement,” Lindemulder said. “We’re so grateful that Dr. Krolick bought it for all of us.”
Krolick is the only employee who bikes to the hospital year-round, rain or shine; Martinez and Sanchez take winters off. But Krolick also has the shortest commute – about 10 miles round trip, compared to 28 for Martinez and 22 for Lindemulder.
Krolick thanked the hospital administration and the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation for helping to make his plan a reality. Employees from the hospital’s facilities department poured the concrete on which the locker sits and installed it at no charge.
“Support from everyone at the hospital was crucial to getting this project off the ground,” Krolick said. “I hope we inspire others to make their commutes a bit ‘greener.’”