Photo Caption: Hilliard McDonald (center) is congratulated by his wife, Anita (left) and Ellisville State School Director Renée Brett (right).
Hilliard McDonald was shocked to hear Dr. Michael Brooks call his name as Ellisville State School’s “2014 Medical Services Employee of the Year” at a recent ceremony. McDonald, a Laurel resident, was told by co-workers that his supervisor would receive the honor. His co-workers even told McDonald he was chosen to present the award to the supervisor.
“They got me real good,” he said after the award presentation. “This comes as quite a surprise. I didn’t expect it at all.”
Brooks, who is the director of Medical Services at ESS, commended all medical services staff for their hard work and dedicated services. He said they all play an important role in the medical services department, even though there is only one award winner.
Although the award is officially known as the “Director’s Award: Medical Employee of the Year,” Brooks does not select the winner alone. The staff votes on the person they think is most deserving of the honor.
“He is probably the most accommodating person I have ever had the privilege to work with,” Brooks said of McDonald. “No matter what job we give him, he never complains. There is nothing but good things to say about him. He truly, truly cares about our people here at Ellisville State School.”
McDonald’s wife, Anita, attested to the fact that her husband cares about the people at ESS. “He loves his job,” she said. “It brings him joy to put a smile on the faces of the people. He is a man that is deserving of this honor because his work speaks for itself.”
McDonald finds it hard to believe he is receiving an award for something he takes pleasure in doing. “I appreciate the award a lot,” he said. “I am thankful to be able to do what I do for people I love and care so much about. I love every one of them.
“I know we aren’t supposed to get too close to them, but it’s just who I am,” added McDonald. “When they hurt, I hurt. When they cry, I cry. When they are happy, I’m happy. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get at least one hug.”
McDonald has been employed at ESS since 1993.