From the design and construction to the maintenance and compliance of a hospital, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling facilities manager Jason Whaley has been on both sides of the fence.
With a background in construction management, Jason oversaw construction of buildings across the state for several years before joining the team at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling in 2012. Jason said the job was more than he expected.
“I figured if you could build a building, you could take care of a building,” Jason said. “It turned out to be quite a bit more to stay compliant with The Joint Commission."
“As a contractor, you don’t think about what it’ll be like for the people maintaining the building when you’re done,” Jason said. “On the facilities side, it’s hard to work on because things are hidden in the ceiling or replacements aren’t available. I got an awakening for what a facility manager encounters.”
Jason said facilities has taken on a critical role in the fight against COVID-19. By maintaining air filters, isolation rooms and the HVAC system, their work keeps patients’ and employees’ risk of exposure lower by constantly changing out contaminated filters. His leadership role was recognized as he was named Leader of the Year in 2020 and promoted to Facilities Manager II, where his leadership role expanded to include Saint Joseph Berea and Saint Joseph London facility departments.
“We have a lot of great leaders here,” Jason said. “The nursing staff had a tough year with COVID-19 and a lot on their plates, so to receive this award as someone not in direct patient care is super flattering.”
Coming into health care from construction, Jason said his call to serve was not obvious to him at first.
“I enjoyed my job and loved what I was doing, but I didn’t understand the patient’s side of being in this facility,” Jason said. “But three years ago, my youngest son at the time got sick."
“We spent four months in and out of the hospital trying to figure out why. They figured out he ruptured his appendix and was septic. That experience was eye opening. I realized the patient side is the reason I do what I do – so patients can come to our facility and not worry about their security or the building their in.”
Jason and his wife have eight children, ranging from 18 years old to 20 months old. With a support system of family nearby, Jason said his life outside of work comprises of spending time with his family, participating in his children’s various sports and activities and taking family hunting and hiking trips on free weekends.