If you have been to our Akron campus, chances are you have met Matthew Nelson. His cheery hello and kind smile is well known by patients and employees. Matthew is a member of our support staff in Environmental Services (EVS) and has worked at the hospital for more than 16 years. Over the years, he has made a lasting impression on many people, including Chris Gessner, president and CEO at Akron Children’s.
“Matthew is a genuinely kind, considerate, friendly, selfless, fun-loving person who once you get to know, you will never forget. He touches and brightens the lives of so many of our patients, families, visitors and staff. Every time you cross his path, he has a way of making you feel good inside.”
When asked what makes Akron Children’s special, Matthew answers without missing a beat. “It’s the people,” he says with a giant grin on his face.
Whether he is greeting a patient family or talking with another employee, Matthew says these moments stick with him. And it shows. If you have walked with him down the hall, you will notice that everyone stops to say hello. No one is just a face. He remembers your name and makes you feel special every time he sees you.
Matthew gives so much to those at the hospital and is quick to tell you who fills his cup. He speaks highly of his managers in EVS and his coworkers, describing their family-like department. Matthew can count on anyone in the department for a laugh or support on a hard day. When the hospital used to host an annual talent show, Matthew was a regular participant and his department helped pack the house for his gospel-singing performances. In fact, Matthew’s fondest memory at Akron Children’s was from one of those shows when he won the top prize!
In addition to singing, Matthew gives back to the Akron community in other ways as well. He spends his Fridays at Summa Health System, volunteering as an ambassador in triage where he escorts guests back to their loved ones. It’s the perfect role for someone who is known for being such a positive light.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of workers of all abilities. Matthew plays a huge part at the hospital just by being himself. His friendly face sticks with you as you head back to work or off to an appointment.
When asked what he wants people to know about him, it all comes down to kindness. “Just be kind,” he says. “You never know who you’ll meet.”