Friday, June 22, 2012

Security officer honored with Ricardo Diaz Award

An MGH FAMILY: From left, Leonard, Larry, Larry Jr., Bernida and Angie Washington, and Monique Milton

On June 13, more than 4,500 employees in operations support roles were honored during the annual Operations Support Staff Day in the Bulfinch Tent. The afternoon luncheon featured the presentation of the 2012 Ricardo Diaz Award to Larry "Tree" Washington, a Police and Security officer who has worked at the MGH for 32 years.

"Larry is the ideal candidate for this award because he is respected by not only those he works for but also those he works with," said Bonnie Michelman, director of Police, Security and Outside Services, who nominated Washington for the award.

Michelman explained how, like Ricardo Diaz, Washington worked for other departments at the hospital before joining Police and Security in 1988. Since then, he has worked his way up to become a leader in the department who not only has the respect of others but shows respect to everyone with whom he comes in contact.

"Tree knows the inner workings of this hospital and has helped build relationships with other departments like no one else," Michelman said.

Outside of his daily duties in Police and Security, Washington has been commissioner of the MGH Basketball League for the last 25 years, bringing people from all areas of the hospital together for fun and recreation, Michelman noted. He also mentors middle school students through the MGH/Timilty Partnership and coaches and referees for several different youth sports organizations in Boston. His involvement in MGH and community activities earned him a YMCA Achievers Award in 2005.

Washington was joined at the ceremony by his mother Bernida, an operations associate who has worked at the MGH for 48 years, his brother Leonard, who works in Police and Security as an ambassador, his niece Monique Milton, who works at the MGH Backup Child Care Center, as well as his wife Angie and son Larry Jr.

In response to calls of "speech!" from the audience as he accepted the award, Washington said earning the respect of others is all about how you treat people. "Whether you're talking to a homeless person on the street at 2 am or a doctor in a white coat, if you treat them like a real person, you'll gain their respect."

The Ricardo Diaz Award is named after the former Buildings and Grounds employee who died in an accident while plowing snow at the MGH in 2003. It is awarded annually to an employee who exhibits Diaz's qualities: hard work, dedication and selflessness.

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