Masked provider sitting on bench

Every September, Phoenix Children’s celebrates Environmental Services Week, where we take time to shine a light on the treasured staff members who work incredibly hard to keep our hospitals and clinics clean and safe for patients, families and staff.

This year, Environmental Services Week is September 12-18, 2021, and we want to share the story of Martha Roman. In 2008, in the heart of the housing crisis, Martha, a single mother of three boys, had been unemployed for nine months and was near foreclosing on her house when she got a job as a housekeeping attendant on the environmental services team at Phoenix Children’s.

“Thanks to this job, I was able to save my home,” said Martha.

This September, she is not only celebrating 13 years with Phoenix Children’s, but she is also close to paying off her mortgage.

“When I step outside my front door, I can see the lights from the top of the building,” said Martha, speaking of how close she lives to Phoenix Children’s main campus.

“I love this job. Everyone is friendly, and I feel comfortable, safe and like I belong to a great team.”

Martha works as a floor tech on the night shift from 9:00 pm to 5:30 am, Sunday through Thursday, cleaning and polishing the floors on the second level of the hospital.

“I like the night shift. It’s much calmer at night; it’s quieter, and there are less people,” said Martha.

When COVID-19 hit, Martha said some staff members didn’t want to work anymore because they were afraid to catch the virus, but Martha stayed and works as hard as she can to do a thorough cleaning.

“That’s something I learned when I first started working here, the importance of cleaning the hospital for the health and the well-being of the patients,” said Martha. “If I were to bring my children here, I wouldn’t want them to catch any other diseases, so it has to be very clean.”

The EVS team at Phoenix Children’s is 188 employees strong. Together, they clean more than one million square feet across the health system. Working in environmental services is not an easy job, but Martha says it’s worth it.

“It’s a great environment and good opportunity,” said Martha. “I encourage anyone to apply to work here. If they learn the steps of the job, they can grow and get promoted.”

During this interview, many people walked by and waved or said hello to Martha, a testament to her character and what happens when you have worked somewhere for as long as she has.

This EVS Week, we extend a special thank you to all our environmental services employees for the incredible work they do day in and day out – or in Martha’s case, night in and night out – to keep our facilities clean and safe for our patients, families and staff.