cartoon sketch of a blue haired man in a suit holding what looks like a lot of money

In honor of the recent Environmental Services (EVS) week, Cintas Corporation has rewarded the winners of its first ever nationwide C.A.P.E. Award (Cleaning to Advance the Patient Experience). Created to recognize EVS technicians as superheroes, the contest awards each winner $2,500 and offers a $2,500 donation on their behalf to their healthcare institution or charity of choice, according to a press release from Cintas. The winners also receive a Rubbermaid charging bucket along with other Rubbermaid products.

“We received nearly 700 stories about deserving EVS technicians from facilities across the country, which made it difficult to select only eight winners,” says Chad Poeppelmeier, vice president of Healthcare, Cintas. “We created this awards program to celebrate EVS technicians who don masks and gloves, instead of capes, to work on the frontline of patient care while displaying kindness and courage in everything they do. We’re thrilled to recognize these unsung heroes who go above and beyond to provide a clean and safe environment for all staff, patients and visitors at healthcare facilities.”

 The Cintas C.A.P.E. Award is open to all EVS technicians who have worked at their facility for at least one year. Nominations were solicited via the C.A.P.E. Award website between June 22 and Aug. 21.

The 2020 C.A.P.E. Award winners can all be described as highly motivated, energetic and reliable, with the ability to adapt to meet changing needs. Each of these kindhearted and caring winners works hard to support the clinical staff and other teams. Additionally, the winners worked diligently to quickly learn and adopt stringent COVID-19-specific cleaning protocols and guidelines to help maintain the safety of patients and staff at their facilities. The winners include (alphabetical order):

 - Catalina Brennan, Baptist Hospital, Pensacola, Florida

- Latoshia Ford, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

- Shashi Kant, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California

- Lourdes Melo, Pilgrim Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, Peabody, Massachusetts 

- Lucia Minario, HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast, Pasadena, Texas

- Tammy Smith, Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, Ohio

- Elzbieta Szymczakiewicz, Hillcrest Commons (Pittsfield, Massachusetts

- Peggy Weaver, Brandon Regional Hospital, Brandon, Florida

 “We are proud to partner with Cintas to shine a spotlight on these individuals and the invaluable work they perform,” says Marta Aebischer, vice president of marketing, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “Every day, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, EVS technicians play a vital role in helping to keep everyone safe through proper cleaning and disinfecting.”