Unsung Heroes
of Valleywise Health

Behind every successful healthcare system are the people whose dedication and contributions often go unnoticed – yet their impact is immeasurable. In this special series, we shine a spotlight on the individuals who are the backbone of Valleywise Health – our unsung heroes. Each story serves as a testament to the fact that every role within Valleywise Health contributes to our mission of providing exceptional care.

From those who ensure medical equipment and tools are safe to use during procedures, to the diligent maintenance staff who ensure our facilities remain safe and welcoming, these are individuals who work behind the scenes every day, and whose impact on the lives of our patients and their families may not be as obvious.

Nancy Woods, Clinical Laboratory

Nancy Woods is a Sr. Medical Technologist in the Clinical Laboratory at Valleywise Health’s Roosevelt campus.

People like Nancy are essential when it comes to accurate disease diagnosis, monitoring treatment effectiveness, and ensuring patient safety. Through her expertise in performing complex laboratory tests, analyzing data, and troubleshooting instruments, Nancy provides those on the frontlines with the critical information needed to make informed decisions.

Watch the video to learn more about Nancy’s role and why she loves doing what she does.

Tayde Hurtado, Environmental Services

Tayde Hurtado works on the Environmental Services team in Valleywise Health’s Labor and Delivery unit.

Beyond the medical care provided at a hospital, a clean and hygienic environment is another essential element for promoting healing and preventing infections. Team members like Tayde ensure that rooms inside the hospital, in this case in the Labor and Delivery unit, are impeccably sanitized, creating a safe space for mothers to recover and for newborns to thrive.

Watch the video to find out why Tayde says she never wants to leave the work she does.


Clara Mondragon, Central Sterile

Clara Mondragon is an Instrument Coordinator in Central Sterile at Valleywise Health’s Roosevelt campus.

Clara plays a crucial and often overlooked role in ensuring the smooth and safe operation of medical procedures. She is responsible for ordering, sterilizing, inspecting, repairing, and organizing the vast array of surgical instruments used throughout the hospital, ensuring that surgical teams have access to the instruments they need when they need them, reducing delays, preventing infections, and enhancing overall patient care.

Watch the video to learn why Clara considers Central Sterile “the heart of the hospital.”

Ashley Simental, ENT Clinic

Ashley Simental is a Medical Assistant in the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Clinic at Valleywise Health.

Ashley plays a multifaceted role in the clinic, serving as a vital link between healthcare providers and patients. Her versatility allows her to perform an array of tasks that streamline medical operations. From taking patient histories and vital signs to preparing examination rooms and assisting with language barriers, she ensures that the clinic runs smoothly and efficiently. Her interpersonal skills create a welcoming and compassionate environment for patients, helping to alleviate anxiety and build trust.

Watch the video to learn more about how Ashley’s role is essential to patient-centered care, and what brought her to where she is today.


Ara Krikorian, Facilities

Ara is a Sr. Mechanical Technician in Facilities at Valleywise Health’s Roosevelt campus.

Ara plays a critical role in maintaining the physical infrastructure and ensuring the uninterrupted operation of vital medical equipment. In his role, he is responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining a wide range of mechanical systems including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and medical gas systems. His swift response to maintenance issues helps prevent disruptions in patient care and ensures the safety and functionality of equipment. By combining technical proficiency with adaptability, mechanical technicians contribute to a hospital’s overall efficiency, patient well-being, and the continuous delivery of high-quality healthcare services.

Watch the video to hear what makes Ara gives his all each day that he comes to work.


Brett LaRouche, Radiology

Brett is an MRI Supervisor in Radiology at Valleywise Health’s Roosevelt campus.

Brett’s expertise extends beyond the technical aspects of operating an MRI machine. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of MRI operations, ensuring that imaging protocols are followed accurately, thus guaranteeing high-quality diagnostic images while adhering to safety standards and patient comfort. He manages patient interactions during scans, ensuring a smooth and anxiety-free experience, as well as quality control and monitoring the functionality of MRI equipment to ensure consistent and accurate results.

Watch the video to hear why Brett finds his job rewarding.

Want to hear more from our employees? Watch our Employee Stories series!