Mary Wise, Patient Services Worker in our Healthcare line of business, has been making a positive impact on the lives of patients while building a rewarding career that helps her pursue both her professional and personal goals.
From the beginning of her career, Wise has been passionate about helping people who are in need. So healthcare was a natural fit for her passions, even though the work is challenging.
“Healthcare is healthcare,” she says. “When you walk through the door, it doesn’t say it’s going to be a picnic.” Her embrace of the challenge is palpable in her voice when she speaks about the work itself and how she feels Aramark empowers her to succeed. “I always feel like my managers push me to grow in a really good way. Aramark lets me speak for myself and trusts that I’m always going to do the right thing for my patients and my job. It feels good to work here. I can do my daily tasks without being micromanaged.”
Wise also says that career growth at Aramark can look like a lot of different things, and that her time with the company is a great example. As a Patient Services Manager, she was enjoying a large amount of success and responsibility but says that it came at the cost of valuable family time. With her mother battling cancer and the rest of her family missing quality time, Mary says that it was time for a change.
“The days were so long and I really just wanted something hourly, so I could get off at a regular time and be with my family.” Wise acknowledges that while not all companies would be supportive of this sort of career trajectory, Aramark didn’t hesitate to help her for a second. “They helped me every step of the way. When I brought it up, their first response was ‘okay, we’ll find you something else.’ And it wasn’t long before a Menu Specialist position opened up that helped me find the balance I needed.”
In her new role, Wise says she’s able to play a meaningful role in helping patients recover and get out of the hospital.
“You need both food and medicine working together so patients can get out of the hospital, which is really the goal.” She says she’s able to tailor her menu offerings to each patient’s individual medical needs. “Especially with our patients on the COVID floor, the dieticians and I collaborate to create menus that get them the nutrition they need to fuel the body and heal.”
For Mary Wise, making a more positive impact has looked different than climbing the ladder. At the end of the day, she says Aramark helps you pursue the career you want.
“I think you will be more than happy if you give Aramark a try. You can meet new people. You have the room to grow and advance if you want to. It all depends on what you want and Aramark gives you a place where your career can really be what you make it. I have been very happy, I have no regrets about anything.”
— Mary Wise, Patient Services Worker
Hear more from our conversation with Barbara in the Q&A section below.
Can you tell us about a time that you made a positive impact on a patient’s life?
I had one patient who I called Mr. G. So I was downstairs one day and a group of people came by, a whole family. They said they wanted to see the director. I didn't know who they were but it turns out they were Mr. G's family. They were having an issue, saying that Mr. G wasn’t really eating much. Because Aramark helps us all to be proactive and solve problems for people, I was able to take charge and rearrange some things so that we could get Mr. G the food and nutrition he needed. In the end, we got Mr. G to eat and once he did, he started feeling much better. Suddenly he was smiling and happy, you know. Every morning I went in to visit him and do little things to get him smiling and able to walk out the hospital. To this day, his family sends me notes thanking me and telling me that Mr. G is doing great. That was a very special experience.
How does impacting patients’ lives help you feel fulfilled in your career at Aramark?
When it happens, there's a feeling inside of you that you can't explain. But you will know when it happens. When I go upstairs on the floor each morning, I don't know every patient’s story. They don't know my story. But you’re kind to everybody because you just don't know the diagnosis they've been given. A smile means a lot. It warms the heart. It’s why you come in and you're smiling every day. It's also about figuring out how your going to feed all these kids. I remember at one point I took over for someone who was producing the same amount of each food every day, no matter what, which upset me because at the end of the day there would be like 50 pounds of pizza in the garbage. So I took over and said "this is how we're gonna do it now," and lead a team around me to basically figure it out! Eventually the costs at that school went down, the sales went up, and I was told that I did a great job.
Throughout the pandemic, have you felt safe working at a hospital?
Absolutely , we all feel very safe at work. Aramark has given us all the equipment that we need; we have all the right PPE and nobody's going to let you be put into a situation where you're going to be exposed to something. Because there's all kinds of information, even if that patient has tested positive, they train you on what to do. So if you know what’s going on inside each patient’s room, then you know what PPE you're supposed to be wearing and all that stuff. I feel very safe working here because they clearly care for their employees.
How does food and food service play an important part of the recovery process for patients?
Food service is such an important part of that process. The food really helps them heal. You need both food and medicine working together so patients can get out of the hospital, which is really the goal. Especially with the COVID floor, they can't taste anything. Some of them say ‘why eat?’ So we help them with that because they need the food to nourish their body. So I work with the dietician to come up with something, supplements and stuff like that. You need food to fuel the body. We do a little, a lot. We can do small servings all day long for you, just as long as you eat something. That’s the most important part.
Are you able to find a good balance between your work and personal life at Aramark?
Yeah, definitely. When Aramark was awarded the contract at Euclid Hospital, I was a Patient Service Manager. I enjoyed it but, you know, when you're in management, you work a lot of hours. And so I just wanted something hourly, so I could get off at a regular time, so I could be with my family. And at the time, my mom had cancer, so I wanted to be there for her and have a chance to take care of her during her time before she passed. So I needed that time to be with my family. Aramark worked with me to find something that worked with my family needs.
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