Don Scott

Jun 19, 2024

The Richland Hospital and Clinics will be turning 100 years old in 2024. As part of our centennial celebration, we’re highlighting staff members whose long commitment to the organization has helped shape who we are. Without dedicated team members like these, we couldn’t do what we do.

Don Scott began his career at The Richland Hospital and Clinics in October of 1995, hired as a second shift maintenance technician. With his 29 years of experience, he has seen a lot of change in the organization and probably knows more about what lies inside the walls of our 100-year-old building than most. Currently, Don serves as the Director of Facility Maintenance and leads a team of 10.

In addition to caring for the mechanical and structural aspects of the building and maintaining the grounds, Don and his team also respond to 280-300 WorxHub requests each month. “You almost never wind up doing what you planned to do when you came in,” Scott says with a laugh.

Don’s sense of humor and modesty are readily apparent when talking with him. He is quick to give credit to his team, a team he says may be the best he has ever been a part of. “We have a great mix of veteran folks and new guys,” Don says, which is important because “each has something to teach the other.”

In talking with him, it’s clear that one of the things that makes Don an effective manager is his willingness to learn and grow.  Over the years, he says he has learned a lot from looking over the shoulders of service techs who have come to do repairs. “The vast majority of them are eager to share what they know if you are genuinely interested,” he says. By asking questions and paying attention, Don has similarly learned from the architects he has worked with over the years. “Developing my understanding of codes has been really helpful. People want to know why we can or can’t do something, and it often comes down to what the code books say.”

That same orientation to learning affects his team, too. “No one comes in being perfect,” Don says, “but everyone comes in with some skills to share.” Whether one of his team members has mechanical knowledge, experience with refrigeration, or welding and fabrication, Don and his team learn from them and their team gets stronger.

Another principle Don coaches his team on is providing good customer service. “Everything we do is customer service,” he says. Whether it’s repairing a TV in a patient’s room, adjusting the thermostats in one of the building’s wings, or ensuring the generator is in good working order, the Maintenance Team’s work affects the experience of patients and staff.

When he was hired nearly 30 years ago, Don didn’t imagine he would spend his career here. But a love of the area’s natural beauty and an appreciation for the people he works with each day have kept him here. When thinking about the organization’s future, Don’s mind, of course, is on the building. He knows better than most the reasons we’ll need to build a new facility eventually. But Don also shared some advice he was given a long time ago that he thinks is important as we move forward: “Educate your staff and treat them so well it makes it difficult to leave.”

Thank you, Don, for your years of service and your example of strong leadership.