Aargh: WVU Hospitals employees enjoy pirate-themed annual recognition picnic

MORGANTOWN – Thousands of WVU Hospitals employees flocked to the Milan Puskar Stadium concourse Wednesday night and Thursday morning and afternoon for the WVUH annual employee appreciation picnic.

The giant screen above the football field declares the day’s theme.

The theme was pirates. A black skull and crossbones flag flying above the entrance gate set the stage, and “Captain Jack Sparrow” greeted everyone as they entered.

Serving tables laden with all kinds of food were set up in the front portion of the concourse and happy revelers enjoying the food filled even more tables. Further in, employees enjoyed themselves at rows and rows of carnival games run by pirate-costumed staffers. And of course, there were a few tables where employees could avail themselves of some free souvenir swag.

“It’s a really neat event,” said WVUH President Michael Grace. It was organized by the Bravo Team, WVUH’s reward and recognition group. “They do a really good job.”

He explained the thought behind the annual event. “I believe very strongly that the best health organizations are the ones that appreciate their employees. They’re cultures in which employees feel valued, and they feel that the organization cares about them as people, not just as resources to get a job done.”

And, “We like to have fun at work – that’s the other component of it,” he said.

We asked about what’s ahead for the hospital and he talked about “capacity enhancement” as it grows to meet the ever-growing demand.

They’re in the middle of a significant renovation project to backfill what was the former children’s hospital on the sixth floor, he said. It will bring more operating rooms, more patient beds and more procedure rooms, and span six floors altogether.

On the sixth floor will be an additional operating suite with additional beds, primarily focused on neurosciences, he said. They’re also doing renovations on the fourth floor – work surrounding support space they’ve desperately needed as they’ve grown. And the second floor will see more endoscopy labs, procedure rooms, and pre- and post-procedure beds for short procedures.

His final thought, “We appreciate the community support of WVU Medicine and WVU Hospitals.”