UMF Corporation Recognizes Zinoviy Gunyak, Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, As Recipient of Hygiene Specialist® Excellence Award

Zinoviy Gunyak (center) is the 2013 recipient of the Hygiene Specialist Excellence award sponsored by UMF Corporation. Gunyak is a member of the Environmental Services Team at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Chicago. He is pictured with the hospital's ES Director Maria Roman, REH, who nominated him for the award, and UMF Corporation CEO George Clarke. (Photo: Business Wire)

CHICAGO--()--Zinoviy Gunyak, a 12-year member of the Environmental Services (ES) team working at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Chicago, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Hygiene Specialist® Excellence award sponsored by UMF Corporation.

The award, in collaboration with IEHA and now in its fourth year, was established by UMF Corporation to acknowledge the important contribution of the Environmental Services departments (ES) – the first line of defense – in hospitals across the country. These dedicated ES people ensure a safe patient environment and are instrumental in contributing to the reduction of preventable healthcare-associated infections (pHAIs). A committee of industry leaders selected Gunyak after a review of nominees.

“New disinfection technologies grab a disproportionate share of the headlines in the battle against pHAIs,” said George Clarke, UMF Corporation CEO. “Regrettably, what is often ignored is the invaluable and dedicated work of the ES staff that is required prior to the use, or deployment, of these technologies. Ultimately, people are the ones who reduce readmissions and contribute to improved HCAHPS scores (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey).”

Maria Roman, REH, ES director, Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, nominated Gunyak for the Hygiene Specialist Excellence award. “As a member of our team, Zinoviy Gunyak goes above and beyond the call of duty in his commitment to patient safety and satisfaction,” Roman said. “He is a model for others to follow. His diligence and attention to detail when processing patient care areas embody the hospital’s goal of eliminating preventable HAIs. Our medical center has been blessed to have a high performer, such as Zinoviy, on our staff.”

The Hygiene Specialist Award includes a vacation for two to South Beach, Florida. Upon learning that Zinoviy and his wife were planning a month long trip home to the Ukraine to visit family, UMF Corporation offered instead to underwrite the trip to the Ukraine, which Zinoviy and his wife gratefully accepted.

Clarke said, “Zinoviy Gunyak and all the other dedicated ES individuals – Hygiene Specialists just like him – have been called ‘the secret weapon’ in reducing and preventing pHAIs in hospitals. As part of an enterprise-wide multimodal intervention plan, their role ranges from helping to reduce the number of days a patient remains in a hospital, to thoroughly processing all areas of the hospital to ensure a safe patient environment – and to save lives.”

“Clearly, the contributions of Zinoviy Gunyak and others like him are invaluable and deserve recognition,” he said.

About HAIs

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have been increasing for years and are now responsible for more than 260 deaths every day – they are the sixth leading cause of death in the USA. Compared with H1N1 and Ebola worldwide, HAIs in this country alone affect ten times the number of people. There are many so-called “superbugs” that are responsible, including Clostridium difficile (C. difficile, C. diff). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports C. diff is at historic highs. The societal cost of this hidden epidemic has been estimated at more than $147 billion per year.

About UMF Corporation

Innovators and specialists in environmental hygiene, UMF Corporation delivers advanced, patented antimicrobial technology with industry-leading PerfectCLEAN® products, education, training, motivation and support. The company, headquartered in the Chicago area, is the only U.S. company that designs, engineers and manufactures high-performance fibers and accessories to help its customers meet tough new challenges in public health and safety.

For more information, visit

About IEHA

IEHA is a 3,500-plus professional member organization for persons who direct cleaning, maintenance, housekeeping, groundskeeping, safety and/or indoor environmental programs in commercial, industrial or institutional facilities. The organization was founded in New York City in 1930, and is now located in Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of the State’s capitol, Columbus. IEHA provides its members with an array of professional development, educational, certification and career opportunities. For more information, visit

About Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center

Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (PSMEMC) is a premier medical center on Chicago's near northwest side and includes the Saint Mary Campus, 2233 W. Division St., and Saint Elizabeth Campus, 1431 N. Claremont Ave. The Saint Mary Campus is certified as a Primary Stroke Center and accredited as a Chest Pain Center. The hospital specializes in behavioral health, cardiac care, digestive diseases, emergency services, neuroscience services, obstetrics and primary care. Visit our website at


UMF Corporation
Ken Swoyer, 847-424-1256


UMF Corporation
Ken Swoyer, 847-424-1256