Linda Byrd

Linda Byrd joined the University of Rochester Medical center as an Environmental Services employee almost 8 years ago, and has been at the Golisano Children’s Hospital for more than 3 years. She started February 23, 2015 – a date that is meaningful to her because “they held the job for me for 8 months until I got my GED” and also because she “needed this job”, but “hadn’t been to school in 40 years.”

After I finished her portrait, I asked Linda what she liked about working here. She replied that “everyone’s nice… the spirit is so good”, adding that “I’ve never worked at a place like this” and that “I have a lot of (physical) pain… but when I’m working, I feel like I’m 15.”

Linda spoke of the 6th floor PICU nurse manager, Karen: “I tell her funny stuff; I tell her serious personal stuff…” and refers to Dawn, who’s on the 3rd floor, as “my heart”. Linda would like to give a shout out to her “work sisters”: Carol, Shamar, Deborah, and Annie.

In her portrait, Linda says: “If I’m going through something, you won’t know about it”. I asked her why, and she spoke of the very recent loss of her daughter, Twanna, on January 31st, 2022 – adding that people have a tendency to give unsolicited commentary in response to loss or adversity. She told me: “I want you to listen; I don’t want your input… just say: I’m here if you need me… just give me a hug; that makes me feel good”. Simply: “Hugs work!

Jerome Hill

Jerome Hill has been working at the Golisano Children’s Hospital (GCH) for 10 years. When he fist came on board, he was impressed that “5 people interviewed him” for the job and that “it was two weeks before I. got here.” While in training, his supervisor told him: “I’m gonna show you how to do this job right.” Jerome adds: “They take it a step further here.”

Jerome feels that the culture here has “better energy” and he likes taking on challenges to prove he can do it. “So many things are possible.” Music has always played an important role in his life. He DJ’d in Germany while serving in the Army and he sings while he works: “It’s been a hard day’s might… I sing that when I’m working hard.”

“You don’t see a black person singing The Beatles. I’m crossing bridges.”

 For more than 33 years, Jerome, a gemini, has been with his partner, Jaenle, a libra and a day care provider who “loves her kids.”