When Jean Azor received the second annual Heart of Healthcare Award at the recent Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) Exchange 2013 conference in Indianapolis, his excitement and pride were on full display.

Azor, who is a floor care technician at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital and St. Joseph's Cancer Institute, Tampa, Fla., was recognized for his dedication to his work in the environmental services department.

"It was very amazing to win the award and I was very excited," he says.

The award is part of the Heart of Healthcare campaign developed by AHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional to recognize the role that environmental services technicians play in the health care environment.

Azor provides floor care services and ensures that patient rooms and high-touch objects are completely disinfected, helping to improve care for all patients. He also is vigilant in making sure that all caregivers in the unit follow proper personal protective equipment procedures.

"Jean never hesitates to help out when needed, and is exceptionally detailed and thorough with his cleaning, making him a key player in helping to prevent the spread of health care-associated infections in our facility," says Doug Rothermel, director, environmental services, St. Joseph's Hospital.

"It is a pleasure to see Jean's achievements acknowledged by AHE and Kimberly-Clark, as he truly embodies the spirit of the Heart of Healthcare campaign," he says.

While his work ethic is exemplary, the humanistic side to the 33-year-old Haitian who moved to the United States about six years ago makes him even more special. A couple of years ago he made it a point to extend himself to then 2-year-old Renton Bryant, who was receiving chemotherapy for a blood disorder.

Azor vividly remembers the first time he met little Renton at the hospital. "When I first saw him, he was pale, had no hair and was skinny. I thought 'Wow, he needs help. I need to go talk to him, to go play with him,' " Azor recalls.

It was the start of a friendship that helped Renton get through months of chemotherapy and brought joy to Azor, too. He became so devoted that he would go to the hospital on his days off or work extra quickly so that he had time to play with the young boy on days he received treatments.

"I would clean everything faster to make sure everything is good, because I know he's coming and I want to play with him and make him happy," says Azor, who received a plaque and a $700 check for winning the award.

The nomination process for the third annual Heart of Healthcare Awards will open in early 2014; information is available at www.ahe.org. AHE membership is not required to become a nominee.