Stephen Jones, right, a Shore Medical Center employee and big Eagles fan, was honored Oct. 7 with JEVS Human Services’ Inspiration Award. Jones is pictured with Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott at Shore’s health fair at the 2018 Somers Point Bayfest.

by Beth Ann Spiegel

SOMERS POINT — Stephen Jones has been a friendly, smiling face at Shore Medical Center for several years, first working in the linen department as part of Atlantic County Special Services School District’s (ACSSSD) School-to-Work Program, and now as a full-time housekeeping employee where he is flourishing. On Oct. 7, Stephen was honored by JEVS Human Services based in Philadelphia with their Inspiration Award for his efforts to overcome adversity to find fulfilling employment. Stephen accepted his award during a virtual version of JEVS’ 22nd annual fundraising event, Strictly Business. You can view Stephen’s acceptance at the 24:00 mark of the video at this link: https://www.jevshumanservices.org/support-jevs/strictly-business-2020/

After graduation from ACSSSD, Stephen connected with JEVS Human Services’ hireAbility program, which assists individuals living with a disability or chronic disease by preparing them for competitive employment and community integration. Stephen wanted to continue working at Shore, so hireAbility Career Navigator Kim Callahan worked with his Shore manager to see if there was a position that matched his strengths. They negotiated a two-day-week to start, and Stephen was back working at Shore until the pandemic hit. He opted to stay home until he felt comfortable, but when a five-day-a-week job opportunity at Shore arose in June, Stephen jumped at the chance. While he found wearing a mask challenging at first, his mother and career navigator worked to find a mask that Stephen could comfortably wear.

Baylen Botts is the director of environmental services, patient transportation and linen distribution, and is Stephen’s supervisor. He says Stephen has been a joy to work with.

“Stephen has an infectious enthusiasm that brightens everyone’s day. He takes his work seriously and he often points out safety concerns around the building as they occur. He continually expresses how grateful he is to work here with us and he always speaks to everyone he comes in contact with. I am very proud of him and I am glad to see him receive recognition for the things that he has accomplished so far.”

Alan Beatty, vice president of Human Resources at Shore, says Stephen has been a ray of sunshine since the very beginning of his time with Shore. “Stephen is always upbeat and positive. You cannot do anything but smile when you are around him. I actually call him ‘Smiley’ and look forward to seeing him every day he works.”

Lawrence Phillips, director of security, sees Stephen as a breath of fresh air. “Even on the frantic, out-of-control days that we all have occasionally, Stephen reminds me of why I enjoy working at Shore! Plus, I get updates and scheduling on all Phillies and Eagles games. Stephen is great to work with and I am really happy that he has officially joined our workforce.”

Chief Information Officer Fred Banner is thrilled Stephen was able to continue his work at Shore beyond his school experience.

“At six-feet tall, Stephen is quite a presence, but it’s the size of his heart that makes the biggest impact. My life and our medical center are richer as a result of Stephen. His contagious “can do” attitude, his quick wit and sense of humor coupled with his sincere desire to serve and contribute to our mission serve as a role model to all who know and work with him. We are indeed fortunate call Stephen our friend and fellow team member.”

For more information about JEVS hireAbility, visit jevshireability.org

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Posted in Blog JEVS hireAbility JEVS In The News Strictly Business