September 18, 2020

With a smile and a paint brush, Tim Temple works to bring quality care to patients at VPH

“He problem solves solutions unique to the behavioral health environment and models empathy and compassion for our patients and for his colleagues.”

Elevate Award Winner Tim Temple on July 31, 2020. Photo by Donn Jones/Vanderbilt Medical Center

Photo by Donn Jones 

For Credo Award Winner Tim Temple, a putty knife, a paint brush and a smile are essential tools for providing high quality care to the patients at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital (VPH).

Temple is the facility’s lead general maintenance technician, and it’s his task to keep the place up and running, whether that means patching a hole in a wall, fixing a balky doorknob, replacing floor tiles and fluorescent lights, hanging whiteboards or unclogging toilets.

According to his colleagues, Temple is immensely dedicated to his work and goes about it with a positive and extremely calm and reassuring manner — crucial when working with vulnerable patient populations.

“Not only does Tim improve the quality of our surroundings, he improves the moods of those around him. Tim is always smiling and greeting every staff member when he walks by or arrives on the unit. He is often busy with the multiple facilities requests, but always remains positive,” wrote one of his award nominators.

“Tim approaches our patients with a consistent positive regard and demonstrates an understanding and patience for circumstances many people are uncomfortable with,” wrote another nominator. “He problem solves solutions unique to the behavioral health environment and models empathy and compassion for our patients and for his colleagues.”

Temple first joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Facilities Management team in 2006. Following a time away, starting in 2013, he returned to Vanderbilt in 2017. He’s spent most of his time at VPH and enjoys the relationships he’s developed with the people he works with.

“Once you’re over here you get to know everyone, and it’s like a big family,” Temple said. “There are a lot of really good people here and we work together as a team, which is what I like. I always try to enjoy life and enjoy what I do and help out any way I can as best I can.”

Jen St. Clair, executive assistant at Vanderbilt Behavioral Health, is one of the people who appreciates that timely help. She said Temple is so quick to attend to repair requests that he’s often finished before she even receives confirmation that the work order has been received.

“Each one of those work orders may seem like a small contribution when you look at them individually, but when you consider them as a whole as basic habits of excellence in the way he lives his life, they add up to an overwhelming show of his commitment and dedication to those he serves at VPH,” St. Clair said.

For Temple, that kind of commitment is all part of a day’s work.

“This is my building, so I feel responsible for it,” Temple said.

If you are a VUMC employee, you can nominate a colleague for an Elevate Credo Award, Five Pillar Leader Award, or Team Award. Visit the Elevate website to fill out a nomination formEmployees demonstrate credo behaviors when: they make those they serve the highest priority; respect privacy and confidentiality; communicate effectively; conduct themselves professionally; have a sense of ownership; and are committed to their colleagues. Elevate award nominations are accepted year-round. If a nomination is received after the cut off for an award selection period, the nomination will be considered for the next period. VUMC Voice will post stories on each of the award winners in the weeks following their announcement.