Director, Environmental Services

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: California - San Diego
Sector: Healthcare
Search ID: 22-0407-28
Submit Resume
Valerie A. Abbott
Valerie A. Abbott


UC San Diego Health has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Director, Environmental Health.

Position Summary / Essential Job Functions

San Diego Health seeks an exceptional individual with strong management experience, excellent interpersonal capabilities and an empowering leadership style to join their organization as the Director of Environmental Services.  Reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer, the Director of Environmental Services is a multi-faceted leadership role, governing operations and almost 500 team members over two large hospital campuses and several outpatient facilities.

The role requires a dynamic leader, who believes in truly understanding the workforce as well as the overall mission and requirements of the health system. The successful candidate must be able to effectively communicate with top leadership across the organization, while also continually communicating with and engaging the entire EVS workforce, thus empowering team members to continually engage and align with the department and health system. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience creating a positive culture of trust, fairness, and integrity, especially when faced with challenges, while acting as key advisor to the Chief Administrative Officer for Facilities and Hospital Services on all matters. Must be well-organized and capable of project management, with strong experience in the technical aspects of custodial service, operating room and bed turnovers, emergency department operations, linens, waste management systems and associated contracts, as well as generally operating within multiple facilities with a highly diverse workforce.

Union experience would be highly advantageous in this role, as would the ability to make strategic adjustments or innovative changes as necessary. As there are several foundational changes to the health campuses including a new outpatient pavilion, administrative buildings, and a future new hospital (complete with new, full logistics and supply chain infrastructure), it is preferred that the incumbent have substantial experience to advise and consult with pre-design requirements of a complete EVS system during the concept and schematic design phases of new projects.

The Director establishes operational objectives and initiatives for the department across multiple facilities. Involved in developing, modifying, and executing policies that affect operations and have hospital-wide impact. Establishes and oversees adherence to budgets, work plans, and performance requirements. Provides resources to meet schedules and goals. Identifies risks and responds accordingly. Works on issues requiring an in-depth knowledge of organizational objectives. Serves as subject matter expert.

Key Responsibilities

  • Dynamic Leader that plans, organizes, and directs custodial operations over two large healthcare campuses. Develops, communicates and implements department goals, objectives and programs to a diverse and dedicated staff of approximately 500 employees. 
  • Recommends innovative approaches to service delivery with a strong customer focus culture that aligns with the patient and staff centered culture at UCSD Health.  
  • Actively leads the formation of standards and policies for environmental sanitation.  Monitors and engages regulatory agency requirements to ensure processes and procedures meet quality standards of The Joint Commission, California Department of Public Health, and other oversight bodies.
  • Develops custodial training programs to ensure staff competency and adherence to infection control requirements. Develops and updates programs and training strategies tailored for our goals (patient focused, Do No Harm, infection control, etc.).   
  • Develops and implements waste management programs, including an advisory role to design teams for our new construction initiatives at both campuses.  Ensures safe handling and disposal of hazardous and bio-hazardous waste, working closely with our Environmental Health and Safety team.  
  • Conducts regular safety inspections and initiates action to correct identified deficiencies.  Reviews and retains inspection reports.  Attends rounds across all facilities, areas and shifts in order to keep a strong understanding of daily issues and changing requirements at our campuses.
  • Oversees human resource activities of subordinate managers.  Has a strong understanding of recruitment, staff development, performance management / evaluations, corrective actions, training, staff competency and retention.  Keeps an eye on innovative methods to monitor attrition and retain staff.
  • Prepares budgets, monitors variances and adjusts expenditures as necessary.  Must be able to prioritize critical space priorities over other space if necessary. Recommends and negotiates vendor service contracts as needed. Oversees vendor work quality and adherence to service agreements.   
  • Develops, implements, and oversees quality improvement programs. Develops system for managing customer issues and/or complaints.  Use of knowledge, innovation and empathy are essential for improving customer service.  
  • Must lead teams to use a proactive mindset to catch negative issues before they could happen, and be comfortable communicating both positive and negative issues up and down the chain of command.  Strives for full transparency.
  • Seeks to develop and maintain effective relationships with hospital leaders, clinical providers, and staff.  Shows enthusiasm and inspires EVS team every day through actions and encouragement.  Is accessible and highly responsive when called upon.

About UC San Diego Health

UC San Diego Health is a leading, national academic health system, and is consistently recognized as a Vizient top 10 performing academic medical center. As the region's only academic medical center, their doctors take care of the sickest and most complex patients, conduct research to advance medicine, and train the next generation of physicians.

UC San Diego Health is the only academic health system in the San Diego region, providing leading-edge care in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service. Their facilities include two university hospitals, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, the only Burn Center in the county, and dozens of outpatient clinics.


San Diego, California


Minimum Qualificatons

  • Bachelor's degree in business, healthcare administration, or related area, or equivalent combination of relevant experience and training.
  • Eight (8+) or more years of relevant experience and proven success in custodial and housekeeping services in a large medical center/health system, including knowledge of codes and policies governing bio hazardous and/or hazardous waste.
  • Blood-borne pathogen and sharps disposal training.
  • Must have comprehensive experience with Joint Commission Environment of Care standards and other regulatory required standards relative to infectious disease and appropriate custodial methodology and approach.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s or other relevant advanced degree preferred.
  • Ten (10+) or more years of experience including at least five (5+) or more years of progressive management (or higher level leadership) within hospital environmental services.
  • Experience leading and mentoring subordinate managers/supervisors.
  • Experience effectively managing an annual budget of several million dollars in labor and non-labor resources.

Special Conditions

  • Must be able to work various hours and locations based on business needs.
  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check and pre-employment physical.

UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Submit Resume