Emanuel Dumitru likes working with people, and was looking for a job that allowed him to spend time with his family in the evening.
Nicole Vivanco, assistant team leader with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Oregon & SW Washington, learned of a new program at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). In 2015, OHSU established a Community Advisory Council for Recruitment and Retention of People with Disabilities to increase the representation of people with disabilities in OHSU’s workforce. The OHSU Job Carving Program was the first project of this advisory group.
“Emanuel decided to go back into job development to find a better long-term career option,” Nicole said. “It was perfect timing because OHSU was just starting to implement their job carving pilot and Emanuel’s strengths and interests matched with the needs and experience that they were searching for in a candidate.”
Described by his supervisor and coworkers as responsible, conscientious, and eager to work hard, Emanuel wanted a job with advancement potential.
Emanuel, 23, started as a Support Services Aide 1 – Hovermatt Specialist in the Patient Transportation Services department in July 2016. He was responsible for the care, maintenance and retrieval of an item called a hovermatt, an item that looks like an air mattress, but is actually medical equipment used to move patients comfortably from one bed to another.
“This position has created a more efficient process for transporting and maintaining our hovermatts,” said Rita Wells, manager of Patient Transportation Services. “Not only was Emanuel’s work essential to patient care, it also saved the hospital time and money.”
Emanuel’s supervisor Srdan Radanovic said Emanuel was cross training on operating elevators for emergency patient transport and to transport medical equipment and supplies.
In September 2017, Emanuel was promoted to a full-time Transportation Aide 1 position within OHSU Hospital Transportation. His new job duties include transporting patient care equipment, lab specimens and blood products. This new opportunity was a perfect fit for what Emanuel already knew and what he wanted to learn in the future. He had set himself up for success.
“It is never the same day twice here, and Emanuel has proven to be adaptable,” Srdan said, adding that he also has a great rapport with his employee. “I’m from Serbia and his family is from Romania so we like to joke around. We talk basketball, soccer. We talk every day.”
Emanuel works largely with natural supports from his coworkers at OHSU, with check-ins from his job coach Hayley Still. When he started, Hayley with UCP helped create lists to help him remember his duties.
“There are a lot of numbers to remember, so I keep a notepad in my pocket,” Emanuel said, adding that the training program at OHSU also helped. “There is a lot of training here and I like that.”
“We have more than one million patient visits per year – and it is a very diverse community,” she said. “We strive to be an employer that is representative of the community we serve, and that very much includes people with disabilities.”
OHSU hired six Support Services Aides as part of the initial phase of the job carving program in 2016. Now the program is expanding with six new positions.
Joe Ness, Vice President of Professional Services at OHSU, has been one of the champions of the job-carving program at the leadership level.
“This program fits perfectly in a hospital setting,” he said. “It also shows we are an organization that values diversity and this is one way to bring that to life.”
Emanuel said he loves his job and looks forward to taking on new duties at OHSU.
“My advice is to do what you love and keep at it,” he said.
Maile Kuenzli and Kathi Johnston were the Vocational Rehabilitation counselors for Emanuel. Sharon Gaskin from Inclusion is his personal agent. Nicole Vivanco from UCP of Oregon and SW Washington provided job developing and Hayley Still is his job coach.
View a slideshow of Emanuel at work.