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Hospital housekeepers uphold KMC cleanliness

Keesler Medical Center housekeepers Judy Dickerson, left, and Theresa Migues prepare a room on the Surgical Inpatient Unit for a new patient Sept. 18.  The medical center housekeepers joined their counterparts nationwide Sept.14-20 to observe “National Housekeeper Appreciation Week.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)

Keesler Medical Center housekeepers Judy Dickerson, left, and Theresa Migues prepare a room on the Surgical Inpatient Unit for a new patient Sept. 18. The medical center housekeepers joined their counterparts nationwide Sept.14-20 to observe “National Housekeeper Appreciation Week.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)

Col. (Dr.) Tom Harrell, 81st Medical Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Mike Wood, 81st MDG superintendent, stop by the medical center Housekeeping Department Sept. 17 as the staff observed “National Housekeeper Appreciation Week” with a luncheon.  Harrell and Wood thanked the department staff for their invaluable service to the medical center.  Col. Kathryn Weiss, 81st MDG deputy commander, also added words of appreciation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)

Col. (Dr.) Tom Harrell, 81st Medical Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Mike Wood, 81st MDG superintendent, stop by the medical center Housekeeping Department Sept. 17 as the staff observed “National Housekeeper Appreciation Week” with a luncheon. Harrell and Wood thanked the department staff for their invaluable service to the medical center. Col. Kathryn Weiss, 81st MDG deputy commander, also added words of appreciation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- They are a critical element of the Keesler Medical Center team.

The 50 members of the medical center's housekeeping staff are tasked with ensuring the main facility and outlying buildings of the medical center campus, which adds to almost 1 million square feet, are maintained at the utmost degree of cleanliness.  The health of both patients and staff depends on them.

The medical center housekeepers joined their counterparts nationwide Sept.14-20 to observe "National Housekeeper Appreciation Week."  They marked the occasion with a Sept. 17, luncheon, where 81st Medical Group commander Col. (Dr.) Tom Harrell stopped by to thank them for their valuable contribution to the "Dragon Medic" team.

Working in shifts both day and night, the housekeepers' responsibilities encompass patient care areas from operating suites to clinic treatment rooms, inpatient units and all areas in between.  They can be seen wiping up minor spills in the corridors or delivering linen to the inpatient units and clinics.

Housekeeping director Jannie McInnus, who has been on the housekeeping staff for 22 years, proudly stated, "We take care of you, whatever you need." 

She was one of six staff members who were in the medical center during Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005.  They continued to clean the facility as the storm pounded the area and then helped with cleanup afterward.  She mentioned that most of the housekeeping staff returned to the medical center following Katrina.