2013 Outstanding Employee: William Graves Shows He’s ‘Truly a One-of-a-Kind Employee’

William Graves headshot

William Graves

UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2013 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards, the highest U.Va. honor staff members receive for their dedicated service to the University. Today: Bill Graves, surgical supply specialist. To see all of the stories, click here.

At first glance, the personnel file for William “Bill” Graves sounds too good to be true.

“I inherited his file when I became supervisor in Surgical Supply, and as I first looked through his phonebook-sized employee record for the last 36 years, I thought to myself, ‘No one is THAT good,’” Tim Jones wrote about Graves, a surgical supply specialist at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Every day, Graves is that good. Jones described Graves as the most industrious and dedicated employee he has ever managed, bringing together an upbeat attitude with honesty, fairness and reliability.

“He consistently runs toward the heaviest and most difficult tasks that others shy from,” Jones wrote. “His accuracy and efficiency is almost legendary and the benchmarks by which each member of my team are measured.”

Graves arrives early for every shift and will always stay late if needed to help. Even though his seniority gives Graves his choice of holidays, he works every holiday to give his co-workers the opportunity to take time off. Even when he takes a vacation day, he’s still committed to his work.

“He calls me on his time off to insure we are adequately staffed and even if told ‘all is well,’ he will drive across Afton Mountain and stick his head in the door to insure we have the resources to get the job done,” Jones wrote.

Even as his co-workers marvel at his stamina, speed, accuracy and dedication in stocking the operating rooms, Graves remains humble, telling Jones: “I was raised to give a good day’s work for a good day’s pay and that’s what I do."

Graves’ work has impacted thousands of people over the years. “Every patient, every doctor, every surgeon who has performed an operation in some small way owes his or her success to Bill’s efforts,” Jones wrote. “Bill is truly a one-of-a-kind employee and has been for over 3½ decades.”

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