Humboldt General Hospital Says Goodbye to Maintenance Manager

For the past 13-1/2 years, Craig Prest’s vocabulary at Humboldt General Hospital has centered around construction, remodel, expansion, renovation and move, move, move.

Thursday, May 30, Prest’s co-workers, family and friends gathered in the hospital’s Sarah Winnemucca Conference Room to celebrate his many accomplishments—including helping to oversee five major phases of construction at Humboldt General Hospital, all while ensuring a safe, comfortable and well-maintained plant for patients, providers and staff.

HGH Interim CEO Karen Cole, who was unable to attend the retirement celebration, told Prest in a letter written for the occasion: “As I understand it, HGH would have been hard-pressed to accomplish what it did with so little disruption without your professionalism, knowledge and skills. You have very obviously offered your best self at Humboldt General Hospital and I thank you.”

Prest smiled as he recounted that his first days on the job in 2006 involved a major expansion at the HGH EMS Rescue station. From there, Prest’s own “shop” became the hospital’s wellness center, then his next “shop” (a storage building) was torn down and patient records were moved across town to the Peraldo building where he spent many hours sorting and finding on behalf of hospital providers.

And that was all before any major construction really began at the hospital. “It was crazy,” said Prest. “It’s just amazing how things have changed.”

Ironically, the day he exchanged his Maintenance Supervisor position with Duane Grannis, the hospital’s current maintenance lead, was “the day we stopped rebuilding everything.”

Prest is proud of many projects that moved forward under his supervision, including outfitting a very large generator with a transfer switch—a $40,000 transfer switch—allowing the hospital to come under one power source.

A maintenance connection program managed by the hospital’s Materials Management Department also helped coordinate exactly where work needed to take place throughout the hospital. Prest laughed about days when he would simply get a request to change a “lightbulb in the bathroom.” “Which one?” he quipped of the more than 100 bathrooms at the facility.

Prest, whose mother, Virginia Prest, was a nurse, and whose father-in-law, Allen Brown, was a physician at the facility, said he never expected to follow in his family’s footsteps by working in healthcare, “but they brought me in the back way,” he said.

Among many things he has learned, Prest said he knows that staff’s job—regardless of their position within the hospital operation—is to heal, both physically, mentally and spiritually. “We’ve got to do everything we can to heal the whole person,” he said.

Thursday, HGH Maintenance Supervisor Duane Grannis took the lead in presenting Prest with a retirement plaque, a plant and a check representing $100 for every year of service at Humboldt General Hospital.

Prest also garnered a few laughs after passing along his famous blue construction hat to Carlene Patchett, an admit desk employee, who asked for the hard hat nearly 10 years ago when construction first began on the hospital’s medical office building.

As for the future, Prest said he begins his new job Monday as a driver for the Pleasant Senior Center. He also will be spending more time with family, including his ailing father and mother.