As we celebrate our 25th year at Reston Hospital Center I thought it would be interesting to periodically interview some of the employees who have been here since the beginning. My first Founder interview: Jim Sweeris, Director of Plant Operations and Security.
Tim: What are you most proud of doing at Reston Hospital?
Jim : I am very proud of taking care of the hospital. People don’t realize that in a lot of ways, it is like taking care of a ship. If our plant doesn’t work no one can do their job and take care of our patients. I don’t do direct healthcare, but it can only be done with my team doing a good job. For a complex organization, we have an exceptional history for very little downtime.
Tim : What made you stay at Reston Hospital for 25 years?
Jim: In my line of work you need to be financially supported to make the operation work. Reston Hospital Center and HCA have always done that for our team. We are better outfitted than most hospitals and have better technologies to stay operational. Companies who don’t support their plant/ infrastructure aren’t good places to work for a guy like me. We are also always growing. The longest we have ever gone without a big construction project was 13 months. We never stop building. We take pride in always taking care of the building. It also makes a difference that I have been lucky to work with good people through my 25 years.
Tim: What are you most excited about in the next 25 years of Reston Hospital?
Jim: I am excited to see how the building of a new hospital (StoneSpring Medical Center in Loudoun County) pairs with Reston Hospital Center. We are in a great growth area with the International Airport and have been fortunate enough to have been somewhat protected from the recession. We fill a niche at Reston Hospital, we are not so small that we can’t do sophisticated healthcare, but we aren’t so big where it is impersonal.
Tim: What is your favorite Memory at Reston Hospital?
Jim: Meeting Dr. Thomas Frist Sr. (the founder of HCA). He came to Reston Hospital when we first opened up. It meant a lot to my department that he left the whole group of VIPs and came to the powerhouse on his own and shook hands with all the engineers. He wanted to make sure we knew that he knew the boiler room was essential. His opinion was if the powerhouse wasn’t clean, the hospital wasn’t clean.
Tim: You drive a long way to and from work every day and have for 25 years. What made you continue to do that versus getting a job closer to home?
Jim: I like where I work and I like where I live (West Virginia). You wouldn’t want me as a neighbor because I collect junk cars in the yard. It is a great place to work so the long drive is worth it.