There’s one area of UPMC Passavant-McCandless where the sun always seems to shine, the grass is greener, and you can find peace and quiet in nature.
For eight years, Maurice Tyler has carefully tended the grounds and gardens of UPMC Passavant, looking after the greenery that brings color to the hospital community, even on the coldest of western Pennsylvania’s winter days. The gardens are one of the many comforts of home available at UPMC Passavant, and Maurice is honored to play a role in making people smile.
Making People Smile
From clearing snowy pathways to planting flowers that will blossom in spring, Maurice looks after the UPMC Passavant campus in all four seasons. And while there’s no guarantee what each day may bring, the groundskeeper has to come to rely on the positive reactions from passersby.
“When I see people stop to look at something and they smile, that makes me feel good,” Maurice said. “Most people coming to the hospital are sick or they’re coming to see someone who is sick, so it’s nice knowing that I make people smile.”
Maurice considers each aspect of his job important; his favorite time of year is late winter, when he prepares the grounds for spring. Although he may keep his tips for growing the perfect rose a secret, he’s always touched to meet admirers of his gardening skills.
“There’ve been times when people actually stop and tell me that they like something or ask how I got something to grow like that,” he said. “It makes you feel good, I’m not gonna lie.”
In the eight years he’s been working at UPMC Passavant, Maurice has made plenty of memories. Whether fixing the latch on a door to the plant nursery or filling up a sandbox for the youngest visitors to play in, helping people is just what he does.
Maurice credits his green thumb to his grandma, remembering that as a young child he watched her working in her garden. He never envisioned a career as a gardener or groundskeeper, but credits his work at UPMC Passavant with changing his life.
“There is a feeling of accomplishment when you can make things look better and create change,” he said. “The biggest part of this job for me is seeing people smile while they look at something. That would make anyone feel good; it’s all about the interaction I have with other people.”
Making a First Impression
When you arrive at UPMC Passavant, the gardens are among the first sights to greet you. Maurice wants you to feel at ease from the moment you arrive, which is why his work is an integral part of the hospital community.
“I’m in charge of how the grounds of the hospital looks,” he said. “Whatever you see outside is a representation of me. I want people to feel good about coming here, and to give them a good first impression.”
Maurice calls his work at UPMC a blessing. Between the acknowledgments of his supervisors and the smiles from visitors, he’s proud to have a hand—or even a green thumb—in making your visit memorable.
“Helping people is what you do,” he said. “It’s just part of being a person.”