Behind the Badge logoPatrick Geraghty had a big job to begin with—he’s the Environmental Services operations manager for the weekday day shift, and day and evening shift manager on weekends and a training manager.

Patrick Geraghty headshot
Employee Patrick Geraghty

Then COVID-19 hit. On March 6, Geraghty’s team was called in to help convert the Mass General ambulance bay into the hospital’s first Respiratory Illness Clinic (RIC). He and about a dozen of his colleagues were needed to provide tables, chairs and privacy screens to help transform it from a garage into a functioning clinical workspace for potential COVID patients. “It was a matter of only several hours that the place was reconfigured, and we were up for the challenge,” says Geraghty. “The space was ready for patients that evening.” 

Quick turnaround was also required for the establishment of Routine Ambulatory Care for COVID clinic on Yawkey 7; the conversion of Women’s Health Associates on Yawkey 4 to a RIC; and the conversion of the Sports Medicine clinic at 175 Cambridge Street to a RIC. All required similar steps, such as removing fabric curtains from exam rooms, replacing existing fabric chairs with rented washable chairs, spacing chairs six feet apart, and installing Cal-Stat (hand sanitizer) dispensers, as Geraghty puts it, “wherever you look.” In addition to nightly cleanings, each space has had cleaning support throughout their opening hours.

It was a matter of only several hours that the [ambulance bay] was reconfigured [to become a Respiratory Illness Clinic], and we were up for the challenge.

Patrick Geraghty
Environmental Services Operations Manager

His department has rented about 250 chairs, but tables they’ve managed to scavenge from unused conference rooms and the cafeterias. “When you’re in a pinch, you find whatever is available to solve the problem,” Geraghty says. As for the quick turnaround time, he says it’s part of the job. “We’re a service department so we’re used to providing service sometimes with notice, sometimes with very little notice.”

In addition to these projects, Geraghty and Bill Banchiere, director of Environmental Services, have overseen the collection of clinicians’ N95 respirators to be shipped to the Battelle site in Somerville for decontamination, totaling 8,000 to 10,000 per week. 

Geraghty, who is looking ahead to his 50th anniversary at Mass General in August, has seen plenty during his career but says that these past few months have been unique. “The hospital has gone from a very busy place to a very isolated place. Every day is like a Saturday or Sunday; the volume is way down.” 

And, he jokes, “I went from thinking about retirement to not having the time to think about retirement.”