Critical Workers

What one usually sees in prominent hallways in hospitals are portraits of the department heads, founding physician fathers and mothers, and board presidents. Important as these persons are, without the persons who clean the floors, keep the air conditioners cooling, transport people from parking garages to front doors and patients from rooms to laboratories, chip off peeling paint and put new color on walls, register patients, and feed visitors in cafeterias, hospitals would not be able to care for anyone.

The purpose of this project is to emphasize, through photographs, the importance of persons working in the hospital in these important supporting roles. In these photographs, to emphasize the significance of their work, they are wearing the same type of attire the deans and CEOs would wear. Each person holds an object symbolic of the vital job he or she does. 

This project has personal meaning to the author. His father moved him and his mother east, from rural Nebraska, so he could get an education. To support them, his father worked as a maintenance worker at a small college, for 75 cents an hour. Seldom was this man told that what he did was of consequence. It was.

At any one time, eight of the photographs shown in this book are on permanent display at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, in a prominent hallway outside the main cafeteria.