Lillie Bledsoe is a housekeeper in Environmental Services at UMMC Grenada.
Lillie Bledsoe is a housekeeper in Environmental Services at UMMC Grenada.
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People of the U: Lillie Bledsoe

Published on Monday, December 16, 2019

By: Ruth Cummins

As a housekeeper at UMMC Grenada, Lillie Bledsoe does so much more than make patient rooms sparkle because of her attention to detail.

She also puts a little sparkle into each patient’s day.

“I make sure everything is OK with them before I leave the room,” said Bledsoe, who has worked at the Grenada hospital for 11 years, before it became a part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “I ask them how their day is going, and ask them if they need anything. If they do, I let the nurses know.

“I might be the only visitor they have that day.”

Bledsoe, one of about 27 housekeepers, is assigned to a particular floor. She takes responsibility for ensuring that cleanliness, down to the windows, is a standard always upheld.

“I love a room to be mopped,” Bledsoe said. “I love a clean room for our patients.”

Hers is the attitude Dorothy Allison would like to see in all employees.

“Lillie overall works with a purpose,” said Allison, director for environmental services at UMMC Grenada. “That’s one of the things I love to see in all staff. She is exceptional. Her floor is immaculate.”

EVS stands for environmental services, but it’s more than that in Allison’s book: Eye contact with the patient. Clear voice projection. And, always carry a smile into the room.

“Our patients don’t stay that long, but they know Lillie by name,” Allison said. “She has that type contact with them when she’s in their room. They can forget about all of their sickness, and that’s really important.”

Bledsoe loves giving patients small – and large – acts of kindness at a time when they most need it. When she recently swept through one of her patient’s rooms, the woman was upset because she couldn’t find her cell phone.

“I dialed the number, and it was under her covers,” Bledsoe remembered. “She was so happy. I told her I was happy to help her.”

When Bledsoe is not at UMMC, she’s still caring for the people around her. She has a part-time job, and she stays busy with her five granddaughters. “If I’m not here, I’m usually with them,” said Bledsoe, who is an usher at her church, New Life Christian Fellowship.

“Not only is Lillie a sweet individual, but she is just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside,” Allison said. “Her work ethic is one of the best. She always goes with a smile.”

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