Focused on sanitation and providing a safe environment for patients, visitors
and staff, Reggie Tyson has an important role in the Environmental Services
(EVS) department of Southeast Georgia Health System. A few stanzas from
a poem often attributed to Mother Teresa sum up his philosophy of life:
Do It Anyway
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
The poem goes on to say:
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Unlike the people mentioned in the poem, anyone who encounters Tyson in
the hospital halls does not forget him. “Reggie is the epitome of
a frontline team member. He is one of the first faces people may see when
they enter the building. He loves talking to people and making them feel
welcomed,” says Shawn Jubuisson, director of Environmental Services.
Beyond ensuring that the hospital entryways are clean, Tyson is a goodwill
ambassador. “If someone is sad or unkind, it makes me try even harder
to be as kind as I can be. If someone doesn’t speak when I greet
them, I speak anyway. How do I deal with grumpy people? I put out what
I want to get back. I want to be a spirit lifter and make people happy,”
The Youngest Helper
Some people enter the world determined to serve others. Outward circumstances
have little to do with their innate generosity. Born the youngest of nine
children in Waycross, Georgia, Tyson never met his father. His mother
died when he was 12. From the age of six, he remembers waking up early
on Saturday mornings and leaving the house to rake neighbor’s yards.
With a little change in his pocket, he would return home, gather his siblings
and make a trip to the store. “We’d buy candy and popcorn
and go home and watch movies,” Tyson says.
Spreading the Love
From childhood to adulthood, Tyson has treated others as he wished to
be treated. While working as a City of Brunswick Sanitation Supervisor,
he inspired crews to give their best. “My bosses asked, ‘How
did you get them to do that?’ and I’d say, ‘I show them
a lot of love.’ When someone shows you love, it makes a big difference,”
Interacting with the public all day can be trying, especially during a
pandemic when tensions run high. Tyson remains unruffled. “I pray
and ask the Lord to guide me. I even love my enemies.”
The Go-to Guy
It’s hard to imagine Tyson having enemies. Around the hospital,
everyone looks forward to seeing him. Supervisors call him the “go-to
guy.” For the last 11 years, he has worked in different departments
across the Brunswick Campus. “If they need floors buffed, carpets
cleaned, trash emptied or supplies delivered, I give it my best so people
will say ‘That’s a Reggie job.’”
Jubuisson knows a “Reggie job” when he sees one. “He
is one of the very few people you don’t have to follow-up on to
see if the job was completed. With Reggie having supervisor experience,
he has been someone we rely on to fill the many holes we have on a daily
basis. I am so proud to have him as part of our staff, especially during
this pandemic. We’ve faced challenges, not only as a department
but as a health system. Reggie has been a big part of seeing us through.
We appreciate everything Reggie has and will continue to do for our organization.”
Working as a Family
Even as a self-described “neat freak,” Tyson says that keeping
up with strict cleaning and safety protocols during the pandemic has not
been easy. His versatile experience means that he is asked to help in
many different areas. He maintains perspective by remembering what he
heard at his employee orientation in Human Resources. “Ms. Angelynn
Thomas helped me understand the Health System mission and values. She
told me to learn everything I could about the hospital.”
For Tyson, the personal aspects of work overlap with the professional.
“Here at Southeast Georgia Health System, we try to be like a family,”
Tyson says. That philosophy led him to hug his director on a particularly
difficult day. When Jubuisson asked, “How did you know I needed
that?” Tyson replied, “I saw the expression on your face.”
Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead
Tyson believes the coronavirus has lessons to teach us about the importance
of cleanliness and consideration for others. “Let’s stick
to cleanliness and be more careful. If you’re sick, stay home. If
you’re out and you cough, cough into your sleeve.”
Even as his department shoulders the daily responsibility of keeping the
hospital clean and safe during a pandemic, Tyson remains hopeful about
the future. “I love traveling. I’ve visited several different
countries and I’m ready to go again!”
Though so much is uncertain today, one thing is for sure. Whether Reggie
Tyson travels close to home or across the globe, he spreads kindness and
love wherever he goes.
To support your community hospital as we care for our community, call Southeast
Georgia Health System Foundation at 912-466-3360.