Skip to Content
CeCe S., Environmental Services Associate
CeCe S., Environmental Services Associate

Life Changing Is ... a Caring Presence

CeCe S., Environmental Services Associate

“I love it because it gave me an opportunity to help people that need help from kindness, caring, and helping."

CeCe has a busy job, but she always makes sure to take extra time to help patients. Sometimes, it's something as simple as talking to them and holding their hand — even if they're in a coma.

“People think that they cannot hear, but they hear," says CeCe, a housekeeper at UPMC Hamot. She remembers one patient who woke up from a coma and recognized her voice.

That patient is one of many that CeCe has touched at UPMC Hamot.

CeCe came to the United States in 2000 from South Sudan and started work at UPMC Hamot in 2009. At the time, she didn't speak English well, but her co-workers helped to teach her.

"It is hard to come from another country and you don't know English really well," she says. "But the doctors, the nurses, my co-workers, they helped me a lot. And I love my job."

Over the years, CeCe has worked on many different floors at the hospital.

“I like people," she says. "I like to talk. I like to help. That is why I'm a float employee."

CeCe's desire to help comes naturally to her. She is a member of the Dinka tribe and has a large family.

She also has a strong faith and believes she came to UPMC Hamot for a reason.

“I love it because it gave me an opportunity to help people that need help from kindness and caring," CeCe says.

CeCe goes above and beyond to help patients with whatever they need. Sometimes, it means helping them find their glasses or picking up a pillow they dropped.

Many times, however, it's just talking to them and being a friendly presence. She'll often say a prayer with patients using her native language.

"She'll come in here and brighten up your day just because she's always positive," says Takisa Vaughn, operations manager, Environmental Services, UPMC Hamot.

It means a lot to CeCe when she sees patients later and they thank her for helping them.

"That makes me so happy," she says. "Because I did a good thing to make somebody appreciate what I did."

CeCe won a UPMC Hamot Guardian Angel award in late 2022 for providing exceptional care. And, more recently, she won a UPMC Award for Commitment and Excellence in Service (ACES) for her service to others. Less than 1% of UPMC employees win this top honor each year.

CeCe says she was surprised and honored by her awards.

“I was shocked, but I was happy," she says. "I'm so happy, and I thank God he put me to be with these people."

At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means bringing happiness to others.

Learn More About UPMC Careers

Stories like this one have helped UPMC earn local, national, and global honors over the years. See how our commitment to Life Changing Medicine continues to receive recognition.