Jerry Downs, Team Lead, Plant Operations, has been named Healthcare Worker of the Year at Hocking Valley Community Hospital.“This week is designated National Rural Health Week, which celebrates the power of rural and is dedicated to those who work in rural healthcare. I cannot thank our employees enough for all the work they do every day in providing care to patients in our community. WIth the Healthcare Worker of the Year award, we honor our coworkers whose service has exceeded expectations and whose dedication to the hospital is obvious in everything they do,” HVCH President and CEO Stacey Gabriel said. HVCH employees cast ballots to select Healthcare Worker of the Year and Downs won by popular vote. There were a total of five nominees including Downs; Lisa Beatty, RN, Special Care Unit; Amy Markin, BSN, Social Services; Michele Tucker, Physical Therapy Assistant; and Doug Yeater, Environmental Services Associate. “Jerry has been a committed employee of HVCH for more than 13 years,” Gabriel said. “During that time, he has risen to the level of Plant Operations team lead. Jerry knows our hospital inside and out. He brings with him more than 27 years of outside construction experience, which he has used to save the hospital thousands of dollars each year. He is quick to assess a situation and get to work.” “Jerry is always thinking of our patient experience, making sure our visitors always see the best we have to offer. He helps with special events, and always is the first to volunteer. He makes sure he knows the location of every water valve, electric breaker, and light switch, and if something goes wrong, he knows how to fix it. Jerry has worked on countless hospital renovation and improvement projects, and we are so thankful for his guidance and expertise,” Gabriel concluded. The HVCH Plant Operations department consists of painters, mechanics, team lead, director, and department coordinator. The department is responsible for daily maintenance of the hospital and grounds, from the HVAC system to boilers, major plumbing, electrical, and hospital equipment.