John Tyler has a philosophy he more or less uses to guide his way through a workday.

John Tyler, October’s Employee of the Month, is responsible for repairs in New Hillman in the Critical Care Nursery and RNICU and in Jefferson Towers in maternity, labor and delivery, three operating rooms and two other critical care nurseries.

“I’d rather ask a stupid question than make a dumb mistake,” he says. “I’m not sure if that’s always the smartest thing to do, but I’m pretty sure things will be much easier if I don’t make any dumb mistakes.”

All who have the privilege of working with Tyler certainly don’t seem to mind any of his inquiries – nor do they question the job he does as a general mechanic in Jefferson Tower and New Hillman. They say Tyler has earned his selection as October’s Employee of the Month.

“If John says he is going to do it, he will do it and he’ll do it quickly,” says Amy Walsh, financial officer in Women and Infant Services. “John is prompt and always reliable. He is always going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Just how far beyond the call is Tyler willing to go? Well, he’ll do more than repair medical gas outlets, fix hospital beds and change light bulbs – he’ll save staff and the smallest of patients from bees, too.

Tyler is responsible for repairs in New Hillman in the Critical Care Nursery and RNICU and in Jefferson Towers in maternity, labor and deliver, three operating rooms and two other critical care nurseries. He says sometimes he will receive calls for some odd repairs, but no call has ever put him in such a sticky situation as the day a bee showed up in the Critical Care Nursery on the fourth floor of New Hillman.

Each month, UAB recognizes an outstanding employee for their dedication, hard work, and contributions to our success. If you know of a great employee and would like to nominate them, e-mail  Jason Turner at

“One of the hardest calls I’ve ever received,” he says. “We have so many babies in there, I couldn’t just go in there swatting and flailing at it. I had to get it cornered away from them. I finally did and took care of it with a napkin. The nurses were happy about that.”

Whether it’s repairing doorknobs, tightening screws or tackling Mother Nature, Tyler often must complete requested tasks in a quick manner, especially with so many families and friends around the patients in the maternity area.

“This is a high-traffic area and if something goes down it has to be fixed immediately,” Tyler says. “But I don’t mind it at all. I actually enjoy it.”

Nurses appreciate that Tyler has their best interests at heart at all times.

“John is always pointing out things to us that need attention and even fixing them before we know that they are broken,” says Brandi Duke. “In a nursing unit the size of ours with 80-100 babies at a time, no one has the time to chase people to get things fixed. We greatly appreciate John for all he does to take care of us and our patients.”

Kerry Aleccia, a nurse and team leader in RNICU, says she appreciates Tyler’s warm personality and his willingness to always step up and provide a helping hand.

“Mr. Tyler always greets me each morning with a smile and a positive attitude,” Aleccia says. “He never tells me that a job I need done cannot be done, and I always know that if I need something done, he will get it done without me asking more than once. He makes rounds on his area and if he sees something in need of repair, he just does it without being asked. I truly feel our unit is taken care of.”

Tyler appreciates the compliments and says when he first arrived at UAB more than three years ago he had a good teacher in John Hulsey, who now serves as maintenance field supervisor at the hospital. “John trained me and showed me how to do things right and in fast, orderly manner – and when I get it done, to get on out of their way,” Tyler says.

Tyler also says he can’t repair everything. Sometimes he has to enlist others in hospital maintenance to help. That means they share a part of this award with him, he says.

“I’ve got a lot of people I can call on when I get in trouble,” he says. “Maintenance is a large outfit and we are a team. It’s great to be highlighted, but there are a bunch of us working to get the job done.”