Meet our Southeast Region OEAA winner: Cameron Means

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You could say that helping people is in Cameron “Cam” Mean’s blood. As the son of a registered nurse and a retired firefighter, the importance of helping others was instilled into his everyday life growing up.

He obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of Tampa and joined Encompass Health in March 2021. Means is a rehabilitation therapy tech at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of North Tampa. He plans to become a physical therapist, and colleagues say there’s no better man for the job.

In his short time with the hospital, he’s already made a great impact. Mean was recently named the company’s Southeast region Outstanding Employee Achievement Award winner.

Need a Hand?

Prior to winning the regional award, he was named employee of the year for Encompass Health North Tampa and was given a special parking spot. But when Means saw that a pregnant colleague would benefit more from the proximity to the hospital’s main entrance, he happily offered her the spot.

“That’s just one example of the selflessness we often see from Cam,” said hospital CEO Jeffrey Alexander. “He’s a giver. And that means he’s also a natural leader.”

When Means sees another department experiencing staff shortages, he is quick to step in and fill a role. He has cross-trained in the materials management department as a materials clerk and often assists the nutrition department as well by taking meal orders from patients. Outside of the hospital, he represents Encompass Health by participating in fundraising for the American Heart Association and walking at the local event.

More than a Friendly Face

When Cleo Williams was diagnosed with Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, he sought rehabilitation at Encompass Health North Tampa, where he crossed paths with Means in the therapy gym. He says that Means was “the guy who lifted me out of a rough mental headspace” and was someone who brought daily encouragement.

Patient Cleo Williams found frienship with therapy tech Cameron Means.

“I couldn’t even sit up on my own, but Cam was right there to help,” Cleo said. “We really hit it off and got to know each other. When Cam was around, it felt like a close friend was helping me. I consider him a friend to this day. He made all the difference in my recovery. I will always remember him and wish the best for him.”

Another patient, Sierra Morgan, shared the sentiment. She was admitted to Encompass Health after a car accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. In her time of need, Means was a light in the darkness.

“Cameron was there when I needed him,” Sierra said. “He always encouraged me, either just by being uplifting while helping me with a wheelchair transfer, or having lunch with me in the courtyard so I wasn’t alone. Because we’re around the same age, we had a lot in common. It was easy to connect with him.”

A Mission to Spread Positivity

You’ll often find Means bolting out to the parking lot when he hears a patient is being discharged, just because he wants to say goodbye. The inpatient rehabilitation care setting is unique because patients typically stay long enough to form bonds of friendship with their care team. Means is known for getting to know patients on a personal level and following up to see how they’re doing once they leave the hospital.

He is frequently requested by patients who have heard about his expertise and sunny demeanor. He even calls himself the hospital’s “energizer bunny” because of his upbeat attitude. One colleague may have said it best with this remark: “He makes people smile even when they didn’t think they needed to. You can’t help but to smile around Cam.”

Cameron Means was voted employee of the year for Encompass Health North Tampa by a collection of his peers, and was chosen as the 2021 Outstanding Employee Achievement Award winner for Encompass Health’s Southeast operating region.