Francisco Floro is so warm and open, that when speaking to him, it’s easy to imagine you’ve known him for ages. And after serving for close to 18 years in Mount Sinai Hospital’s kitchen, it’s entirely possible that you’ve seen Francisco in the halls of the hospital, or in the kitchen ensuring that all the patients’ meals that head out are up to his standards.
While Francisco started out cooking before getting work as a dishwasher at Mount Sinai, it was that background with food that had him pulled away from the dish pit and into the kitchen. “Before coming to Canada 25 years ago, I had worked as a cook in the Philippines, and then gained more experience when I first arrived in Toronto, before I came to Mount Sinai,” explains Francisco. “Working in the kitchen is great – I get to play a big role in the quality of patient food and hope I get to make their time here a little bit more pleasant.”
And it’s not just Mount Sinai that Francisco spends his working hours. In addition to his job at Mount Sinai, Francisco also works at Bridgepoint’s kitchen part-time on the belt line, where patient meals are put together and readied for distribution. These long work hours are really about Francisco’s dedication to his family. “It’s important to me to provide as well as I can for my family.”
What’s the secret to keeping Francisco at Sinai Health for so long? “It’s the people here – at Mount Sinai and at Bridgepoint,” says Francisco. “It starts at the top – my managers and supervisors are always fair and supportive. But also, my co-workers are great people, and the patients keep you motivated to do a great job.”
With long work hours, Francisco doesn’t have much free time, but when he does, it’s easy enough to find him. “I keep my fishing gear in my car, just in case I have a chance to get away. Fishing is one of my favourite things to do, and it’s how I truly relax and unwind.”