UPHS Heroes: David Rickman

What is your title?

Leader for Environmental Services

What’s a typical day like for you?

Every day is different and it will vary based on the needs. If we have team members who work first, second or third shift and there are barriers, I’ll come in to help with our other leaders and take those opportunities to create action and make a follow-through to get a solution. 

Sometimes I come back and work two to four hours on the third shift, helping to train them to make the best of their opportunities and help them learn things like the floor machine. We’re giving everyone the opportunity to better themselves and feel not only that they belong, but generally, their property is important. 

We have a team that loves what they do. They love being supported and getting extra support. This is a beautiful hospital, and our opportunity on the EVS side that I’ve found endearing is we can make a difference every day. Each minute, 365 days a year and 24-7.

What was your inspiration for this field of work?

I’ve been a housekeeper since I was 18 years old. In my first year, I learned that I like the feeling I get from doing the job well and having people feel that I have been a good steward to them and their area, and I wanted to translate that to treating others the way I felt we should be led. 
I take the experiences I’ve had in the past and I try to create a solution to be the best leader that I can be. 

What are some of your interests outside of work?

I believe the better you treat others is the definition of who you are, so with my wife, we rescue puppy mill dogs and we transition them for adoption. Then, my last management team and myself in Minneapolis, we went to Feed My Starving Children once every week and we made meals for kids. In a year, we fed 1,780,000 people.

Here in Marquette, I’m looking to see how I can be a better steward for our hospital and our team and see what we can do to start being stronger in our community and be the leaders of this beautiful hospital.

What is something people may not know about you?

I’m very passionate about the University of Michigan. I volunteer time with the Chad Tough Foundation, whose mission is to inspire and fund game-changing research to discover effective treatments for pediatric brain cancer, with an emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
I am also always reading. I read for changing myself, so if you went and looked in my room, there are a bunch of books on how to be a better person, how to be a better manager and how to be a steward leader, or how to constantly improve so that I can be the change for the better. Never be satisfied with where you get to because there’s always an opportunity to be better.

What is your favorite part about working at UPHS?

Patient care. The staff and the team here at the hospital, everyone cares about what they do and make sure the patients are taken care of. That’s their focus, and that’s what made me make the decision to stay here, because of the family nature of it and the fact the ultimate goal is to help people recover.

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