‘I love what I do’ Hospital housekeepers are the unsung heroes of the pandemic


ST. LOUIS – During a briefing Wednesday, Dr. Alex Garza, the incident commander of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, highlighted hospital housekeepers as unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cristine Perry of SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital is a shining example.    

Housekeepers’ roles have greatly expanded during the pandemic and not only in terms of the very deep cleaning they give patient rooms day after day. They’re filling in as something patients need more than ever: visitors. 

“I love what I do,” Perry said.  

Her hands clean just about every inch of 24 rooms every day. Perry wipes everything down with virus-killing cleaners and, just as importantly to her, a touch of love. 

“We’re all a family,” Perry said. “It takes a unit to do everything. It isn’t just Cristine Perry. It’s the whole unit: the whole housekeeping, the hospital, the doctors, the nurses, the patients themselves. We’ve got to make sure they get healed and get out of here.” 

She’s part of a 120-member housekeeping team responsible for the hospital’s 300 rooms. All have been full throughout the pandemic, her supervisor said.   

So, most often, Perry does her job with a patient in the room.   With no outside visitors allowed she considers herself family for patients. She visits as she works and works hard because her biggest reward is seeing a patient go home. 

“As long as we have patients who are sick, not even just with COVID; cancer, anything. It makes me feel 100 percent because I made sure that patient’s room was always clean…I love you all,” Perry said.   

Perry has been infected with COVID herself but said that made her more committed to her job, not less. She recovered, got through her quarantine, and went right back to work as housekeeper and hero. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News