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Bob Parson, lead maintenance mechanic (left), and John Jerz, electrician, routinely work together on testing and maintaining generators, including the one on North Pavilion 16th floor. Four generators in the South and West pavilions will be replaced over the next five years as part of a multimillion-dollar project to revitalize the YSC’s emergency power infrastructure. 

A look at: Facilities Engineering 

Behind the scenes, Yale New Haven Hospital’s Facilities Engineering department is like a well-oiled machine, quietly working around the clock to keep its York Street and Saint Raphael campuses well maintained and operating efficiently.

Each campus has its own staff of tradespeople, like Bob Parson, a lead maintenance mechanic who has been part of the YNHH family for over 29 years. He leads 22 maintenance mechanics, who oversee the YSC mechanical systems.

“We are the unseen employees of the hospital,” Parson said. “We deal with challenges on a daily basis, but the only thing people see when it comes to maintenance is the result of things working.”

From changing light bulbs to inspecting, testing and maintaining critical infrastructure, it’s all in a day’s work for more than 100 Facilities staff at the YSC and 29 at the SRC.  

“On the surface, our primary responsibility is to keep our buildings running, but at the root of it, we’re helping to create a safe and comfortable environment of care for our patients, staff and visitors,” said Todd Hedges, YSC director of Facilities Engineering. “Behind the scenes, our customers never see the almost 8,000 work orders a month – 96,000 a year  –  that we receive.”

Facilities Engineering staff also include heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) specialists, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, locksmiths and more. Each team works, without fanfare, to ensure that all building equipment and utility systems across 2.5 million square feet of property at YSC and 1.4 million square feet at SRC are functioning properly. 

Before joining YNHH five-and-a-half years ago, electrician John Jerz was a local contractor. One of his jobs brought him to Smilow Cancer Hospital as a project foreman in 2007. Today, Jerz does everything from testing generators to maintaining hundreds of electrical panels across the YSC. 

“Our primary job is maintenance of the facilities’ normal and emergency electrical systems, but the work varies from day to day,” he said.

Each Facilities employee has an iPad and receives daily notifications about work orders via FaciliNet, an online portal that allows clients across Yale New Haven Health System to submit requests for repairs and other projects. 

“When people complete a work order on FaciliNet for a plumbing problem, light out or broken chair, the order automatically gets re-routed to the right shop," said Tracey Watts, a maintenance systems specialist who has spent eight of her 34 years at the SRC in Facilities Engineering. “Everyone can see the work orders on their iPads, so they can continue to prioritize according to what needs to be done right away."

In addition to day-to-day maintenance and repairs, plumbers, SRC HVAC specialists, carpenters, boiler plant operators and electricians are helping to prepare for the new neuroscience center and inpatient bed tower project, expected to start this spring. “It’s the largest hospital expansion in the state,” said Kevin Koubek, SRC Facilities Engineering director. 

Department staff at both campuses have different skill sets, but they are united by a love of their work, camaraderie among their teams and the satisfaction they get from supporting patient care at Yale New Haven Health. 

“There are a lot of really great people here,” Jerz said.

For Anthony Adante, a “typical” day at the YSC might include making repairs or doing preventative maintenance. “We have a really good preventative maintenance program,” he said. “We’re here 24/7, monitoring HVAC systems at all times.” 


Bob Reed, a licensed HVAC specialist, does double-duty as an SRC building mechanic, working two different shifts every week to help provide around-the-clock coverage. During the day shift, Reed performs preventative maintenance and responds to heating and cooling issues. Two days a week, he covers the second shift, responding to whatever calls come his way. 



James (Jay) Benanto is one of two, full-time locksmiths who cover the YSC and about 15 offsite locations. In addition to cutting hundreds of keys per week, the locksmiths open room safes for patients, along with lockers, rooms and cabinets.