Recognizing the Founding Employees of Reston Hospital – Spotlight Jim Sweeris

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?
: 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?
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?
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?
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.

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3 Responses to Recognizing the Founding Employees of Reston Hospital – Spotlight Jim Sweeris

  1. Mary Ganger says:

    We are so lucky to have Jim Sweeris working at the hospital. His knowledge about the hospital building and plant is encyclopedic. I have never asked him a question about either that he didn’t know the answer to and he is always willing to explain something so you don’t feel like a dummy for asking. I actually have had the benefit of getting a tour through the plant by Jim. It was really interesting to see everything that has to be kept in working order so that the whole hospital keeps functioning. No one usually gets to see all the generators etc. besides the engineers and as Jim said it is all spotless! and really impressive.

  2. Cindy Glover says:

    Nursing can’t survive without Jim and his guys. We usually call them with a”I need it right now” request and they are wonderful in their response! Many thanks for your hard work.

  3. Holly L. Norris says:

    Thank you for recognizing Jim. He is one of my heroes. I consider Jim one of my good friends. I can go to him about anything, and whether I like it or not he always gives me his honest opinion. He doesn’t like being out front or a lot of acknowledgment, but he is very compassionate about others. Behind the scenes, Jim has supported every community event where the hospital has participated. He has always supported me to include sending troop packages and their families’ supplies. When his staff or contractors move someone, clean out a suite, or work on a project, before an item gets thrown out he checks to see if we can donate anything or give it to staff. Most people don’t know this about him, but Jim even gives scrap metal, that is costly to dispose of and would be added to our landfills, to folks in need so they can make a small profit from scrapping. Over his service here, he has repaired numerous staff members’ vehicles for free or cost of parts only, on his own time at his personal garage, and he has even gotten many of us a great deal on a vehicle. Our departments have to work closely together, whether it’s getting a bed repaired for a patient, cleaning up a large leak, getting lights changed and cleaned out, and list goes on. My department couldn’t do our jobs without Jim, and his departments–Engineering, Security, and PBX departments. The loyalty of his staff is a testament to him and what he means to all of us.

    Thank you,

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