Most people are nervous about staying overnight in a hospital. The anxiety they feel upon arrival, when they’re unsure what will happen, or how long they’ll even be there, soon gives way to boredom and discomfort. For people like Brooklyn, who was set to stay at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital in South Carolina, for a month, it was probably a little scary.
Until she made a friend.
“She had to warm up to me,” remembers Kyria Hampton, Patient Dining Associate and Morrison Healthcare GEM of the Year. “But she ended up being the warmest, nicest, and most wonderful presence.”
“Brooklyn went to the Nurse Manager said she didn’t care what she had to do, she wanted Kyria to get a raise,” says Food Service Manager Savanna Bushart, Kyria’s supervisor. “She’d tell us, ‘no matter how crazy my diet got, no matter what I needed, Kyria would do it.’”
“If there was something Brooklyn couldn’t have, we’d discuss it,” says Kyria. “She never got irate, she understood.”
Eventually, Brooklyn finished her stay at Roper St. Francis, but her glowing recommendations led to Kyria being nominated for an Acts of Kindness Award.
“She doesn’t like a lot of attention, so it was hilarious when she reacted to getting the award,” laughs Savanna. “Patients were asking if we had another one of her, if we had a way to clone her. If she could work 24/7. Because her personality is so above and beyond. If she can do anything to help, she will.”
We couldn’t fulfill those patient requests, but Morrison did recognize Kyria on a national level for the new standards she was setting. Last month, we awarded Kyria our Morrison GEM of the Year for 2019. We interviewed Kyria and her supervisor, Savanna, about the big win, as well as Kyria’s trip to Orlando for the Compass Night of the Stars event.
How long have you been with Morrison, Kyria?
Kyria: A year and six months.
Why are you so good with people?
Kyria: Some people have to try hard, but for me, it’s just natural. I like being around food and great people. That’s just my passion.
How did you get this position at Morrison Healthcare?
Kyria: The deal with Compass is that it’s a great company. I want to continue with it. This has been the best experience for me. I get to meet people, talk to different patients, and work with a great team.
Everyone gets along. We communicate, everyone works well with each other, and everyone motivates each other. We’re not just a team; we’re a family. It’s like I’ve been here forever. Like I left and came back. There was no beginning; we started right where we were.
What do you love about your job?
Kyria: A lot of things. I get to wake up every morning and come into work with a wonderful team. And I’m able to serve patients who don’t have choices regarding their health situation, but they can choose what they eat. I like giving them some control over their lives. I like to satisfy the patient. I like to accommodate their needs.
What makes you proud to work here?
Kyria: That I am the National GEM of the Year. That sums it all up right there.
Why does Kyria deserve to be Morrison Healthcare GEM of the Year, Savanna?
Savanna: If you spent five minutes around someone like Kyria, you would understand. From the moment she got here, she’s received accolades, recognition, kudos from nurses and patients.
She has a can-do attitude. She’ll be up and down the stairs 12 million times a day. When I first went to work with Compass, I was told it was a “yes” company. If anyone asks for something, we say yes. (we are a healthcare company, this will not sound right). Kyria is always willing to go the extra mile to say yes. I would put her up for a management position because she has that drive and motivation.
How did you feel when you found out that you were Morrison Healthcare GEM of the Year?
Kyria: They made me cry a little bit. Different emotions. It was a great feeling and amazing to be recognized. At first, I was like, ok, I’m GEM of the Year. Then I found out the numbers, how many people were considered, and I realized how big of a deal it is. It made me love Compass even more that they recognize employees who are doing well.
Savanna: We had all of our leadership Lenny Scranton, our regional vice president, Erin Meehan, division president, and David McDowell, regional director of operations—come out. I was in charge of contacting her family, making sure her husband and cousins could make it out here. Our goal was to make the celebration as big as possible. We told her that all the bosses were here to talk to her about some things. We shut down the café.
Kyria: They set me up.
Savanna: She said what she always says, ‘I’m just doing my job.’ As modest as can be. She didn’t exactly understand what GEM of the Year meant. But we had a video, told her that she’d won an all-expense-paid trip to Orlando, that she was going to the gala, everything was covered for three days. It was Kyria’s first time on an airplane. She was so nervous, but she went. We’re so proud of her. It couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person.
How was your Compass Night of Stars experience as a whole?
Kyria: Oh, my gosh! It was so amazing. Down to the performance. They had singers. We had an afterparty as well. The whole night was just amazing. The whole conference was great. I enjoyed everything, and I want to thank Compass for allowing me to come down here and enjoy myself. To think about work, you know. But also relax.
Check out our Compass One Healthcare Stars at CNOS 2019!
Was it what you expected?
Kyria: To be honest, no. It kind of blew me away. We were at the Hard Rock Hotel. It was so wonderful. When they said everything was going to be paid for and not to worry about it, they meant everything. I enjoyed it right down to the spa treatment.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Kyria: Besides having all the wine, I enjoyed the people. I got to meet a lot of new people. I enjoyed being around Morrison CEO, Tim Pierce. We even did a little handshake. And Bobby Kutteh, Compass One Healthcare CEO, was amazing, we had a dance together at the party.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Kyria: I want to say that I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given, that was one for the books and something I’ll never forget. Thank you, thanks for the experience, there were many firsts. Thanks for everything.
Savanna: Kyria would definitely volunteer to go again next year.
*Patient name changed to protect their privacy.