Bolingbrook – For Rudy Cortes, working in health care isn’t a job – it’s a calling. As the lead nuclear medicine technologist at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Cortes performs nuclear medicine studies on patients. But he says his most important responsibility is lifting patients’ spirits.
“My job is to connect with patients on a deeper level, to show them compassion,” Cortes said. “If I can help a sick person by providing a positive hospital experience, I’ve done my job.”
Known around the hospital for his high-energy smile, Cortes is passionate about patient care. For those reasons and more, the 45-year-old Lemont resident was named Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital’s 2008 Employee of the Year.
“Rudy has a way of making his patients feel at ease and acknowledging and alleviating their concerns. For example, he always gives patients blankets and brings them glasses of water before they even ask for these comforts,” said his supervisor, Cecille Truver, manager of radiology/imaging. “Rudy comes to work with a sense of purpose and always has the hospital mission at heart in all that he does. He is a great example to all employees of what it means to serve.”
Cortes also serves as one of the hospital’s spiritual ambassadors. Spiritual ambassadors are employees who are trained to identify, connect with and call upon the source of meaning, purpose and hope in an employee’s life. The program is open to any employee of any faith background who is nonjudgmental, a good listener and able to empathize with colleagues. He took on the role of lead angel in the hospital’s Living Nativity performance in December and was one of more than 25 Adventist Midwest Health employees who went on a medical mission trip to Honduras last month. A native Spanish speaker, Cortes served as a translator and caregiver. He begins each workday with a prayer at his desk.
“It’s not about me,” Cortes said. “I’m just a messenger. I’m here to play a small part in fulfilling our hospital’s mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ. That’s very humbling.”
Hired shortly before the hospital opened in January 2008, Cortes has more than 25 years of health-care experience. His career began when he worked as a patient transporter while he was still in high school. He worked his way up as he pursued his education and training.
Cortes was recognized at Adventist Midwest Health’s annual Employee of the Year celebration, held Feb. 4 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Oak Brook. Each Employee of the Year receives a plaque and a $1,000 check.