NAGS HEAD, N.C.—Office by office, hallway by hallway. Each and every day, and even each night after most all the patients and visitors are gone, the housekeeping staff at The Outer Banks Hospital springs into action. And when they are gone, there’s no clutter, no trash, no spills on the floor. What’s left is one of the first things you notice when you walk into the building, and what many visitors to the hospital are impressed by everyday—a feeling of care and compassion as they walk into well-maintained building and the satisfaction in knowing that someone cared enough to make their visit as comfortable as possible.

For the second straight year, the hospital’s housekeeping staff has been recognized for their hard work and dedication. Throughout the year, The Outer Banks Hospital, along with sister hospitals in the University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina network—Chowan Hospital, Roanoke-Chowan Hospital and Bertie Hospital—are subject to unannounced inspections from Saffelle, a janitorial supply partner, who grades them on cleanliness.

“It’s become a ‘competition’ among our sister hospitals and it has really challenged our staff,” said Mike Lynch, Director of Facilities Services at The Outer Banks Hospital. “They want to win that trophy, but more importantly they want to serve our patients in the best possible way that they can, and they work extra hard to present our patients and visitors with a clean and welcoming environment,” added Lynch

Whichever hospital retains the best composite score at the end of the year is awarded the distinction of “Best of the Best.” The award was presented to The Outer Banks hospital for an overall score of 98.41 percent.

The Outer Banks Hospital’s Environmental Team realizes they’ve got to beat their own record this coming year. “Saffelle’s never given a score of 100,” said Lynch. “But that’s what they’re aiming for.”

The trophy, a handsome glass plaque which reads “Best of the Best in recognition of your outstanding performance, dedication and passion” is proudly displayed at the information desk in the hospital’s main lobby.

Photo note: From left to right: Beatriz White, Chuck Hutchins, Mimi Ornelas, Paula Dowling, Novile Huber, Gisela Valle, Fannie Smith, Norma Frankie, Rebecca Velazquez and Stephanie Wyant.