All hands on deck; Gundersen Health System employees take on the dirty work

Employees are trading their desk jobs for cleaning equipment to care for the community

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, Its that people are more aware of and thankful for essential workers. At Gundersen Health System, that includes doctors, nurses, and so many others. As Amy DuPont shows us, caring for the community takes all hands on deck. 

There are no breaks for hospitals facing overall pandemic stress and every day laundry.  Erin Mooney is helping to handle the load.  The Gundersen Health System graphic designer and her colleagues traded their desk job for a spot in the laundry room. “I was doing laundry, very dirty laundry,” explains Mooney.

Like many other employers, Gundersen is struggling with increased sick calls.  Employees are out because they were exposed to COVID-19, have it, oare caring for a loved who does.  “We really started running into difficulty filling all our roles,” says Dr. Scott Rathgaber.  The Gundersen CEO says he had enough doctors and nurses, but not nearly enough cleaning staff, until he asked for help.  “The response has been overwhelmingly great. We had people signing up from the minute that we opened up the opportunity.”

Marketing, reception, finance, and others all came through. Employees like Andrew Paugh say it was the right thing to do. “Absolutely, it’s my part. I want to do whatever I can to help out.” 

They stepped in to do the dirty work and make a difference.  “These are essential jobs. Every job here takes care of patients. There is no other job here,” says Rathgaber.

Jobs, that like the pandemic, can feel never ending. Jobs that are getting done thanks to a team, ready to pitch in where they can. “I’d absolutely do it again. In a heartbeat,” says Mooney.

Although Gundersen has volunteers, the health system is hiring to fill these roles. Click HERE to apply.