The Fitbit on Carlos Galley’s wrist frequently counts more than 10,000 steps per day.
As the central supply technician at New Community Extended Care Facility, Galley tracks the myriad supplies and equipment used at the 180-bed capacity nursing home in Newark. If an item runs out on a particular floor, Galley can often be found bounding up the stairs with an armful of supplies or ferrying a cart up and down the hallway.
Galley was hired in 2010, after he worked as an intern with the maintenance department at Extended Care. Since then, he has become enough of an expert in the various medical equipment used at the nursing home that he can, for instance, repair a CPAP machine with his own two hands.
“He is very resourceful,” Facility Administrator Robert Smolin said of Galley. “He manages to get the lowest price for the best quality supplies needed for the nursing home. He also has great mechanical ability. You may think a machine is ready to be discarded but he will tinker with it and, voila, the machine is like new.”
Galley’s reputation for being “Mr. Fix-It” extends beyond medical machinery. Often he is called upon to help other staff at the nursing home with computer issues. Forgot your password? Printer not printing? Can’t get a spreadsheet to print on a single page? More often than not, someone will suggest calling Galley over. And if he is available to help, Galley does so with a smile (although he said he prefers that computer-related problems be directed to the Information Technology Department of New Community, per company policy).
“For me, it’s okay if I am free,” he said. “Especially if it’s going to help us get the job done.” He also worked closely with Healthcare Controller David Perez to implement the electronic medical record system at Extended Care and provide support to the staff.
His large stockroom, located in the basement, is meticulously presented in an alphabetical system organized by category (feeding bags on Shelf C, A and D vitamins on Shelf I, etc.). He also researches products and compares prices before making a purchase for the facility. His coworker, Ann Hope, described Galley as being a “conscientious and devoted” colleague. On an average day, Galley orders medical supplies, fixes equipment and organizes the inventory to ensure an adequate stock of items such as gloves, masks, adult diapers, feeding supplies and more.
Born in Lome, Togo, Galley initially worked as an IT consultant before moving to the U.S., where he first landed in Minnesota in 2009 and then moved to New Jersey. He learned of New Community through his older sister, Ramona, who is on staff at the NCC Workforce Development Center.
Galley’s knack for repairs has made him a valuable asset at Extended Care, according to staff. But for Galley, his work ethic is simply in his nature. “I was always trying to fix things and solve problems,” he said.