Celebrating 55 years at Adventist Health in the Central Valley

May 20, 2019


So what’s the secret to a long, enjoyable career at Adventist Health?

A positive attitude, according to Tony Vallin, Facilities management supervisor who will be celebrating an impressive 55 years with Adventist Health in the Central Valley at an upcoming annual Service Awards in June.

Vallin began working at the age of 12, when the former Central Valley General Hospital was Sacred Heart Hospital. In the 1960’s, there were no child labor laws, so working at a young age was the norm. Vallin was recruited by his parents: his mother worked in the laundry room and his father in the Grounds department. Before then, the family worked together in the fields picking cotton, peaches and apricots. It was grueling work for a 5-year-old, so Vallin was excited to mow the lawn at the hospital and help with laundry.

Since he attended St. Rose-McCarthy, it was convenient for him to walk across the street after school and straight onto the hospital campus. He would even work during his Summer vacation. Vallin remembers his pay starting at 50-cents an hour.

“My dad gave me the best financial advice” says Vallin. “He told me whenever I get a raise, to put half of the money into retirement and the other half into my pocket.” Vallin gives that same advice to his team members today and tells them they’ll be amazed at how much they can save.

Another piece of advice his parents gave him was that if he’s going to work, to do the very best he can.

“I always tell my team that if they’re going to paint a room or install a sink, to ask themselves if they’re happy with their work,” says Vallin. “It’s important to do the job right and to do it 100 percent.”

When Vallin was 15, he was introduced to the Maintenance department. No one on the team enjoyed painting, so when Vallin came onboard, they saw an opportunity to give him that task. Turns out, Vallin actually liked painting and was good at it.

“I enjoy painting,” says Vallin. “There’s a trick to it. You have to know where to start. The rest is easy after that.” When he’s not on the clock, Vallin volunteers his time painting at St. Rose-McCarthy and Mary Immaculate Queen School, where his granddaughter attends school.

He’s a firm believer in finding work that you’re passionate about. “If you like what you do, it won’t feel like work. It’ll be fun, and you’ll enjoy doing it,” says Vallin.

He also believes a positive attitude makes all the difference in the world.

“When I come into work in the morning, I ask the guys ‘Are you ready for another day in paradise?’ A positive attitude will trickle down,” says Vallin who believes there are only three things that really matter in life:

  1. Believing in God
  2. Thanking God for your health
  3. Thanking God for your family’s health

Another key component to Vallin’s happiness has been to not always accept promotions. He’s been given many opportunities to “climb the ladder,” but enjoys his current work as a Facilities supervisor over our medical offices. He supports a team of seven and has enjoyed acting as a mentor and seeing his teammates earn promotions of their own.

Vallin is 68 years old and jokes that he may never retire.

“I’m sure I’ll wake up one morning and say I’m done, but until that day comes, I’m going to enjoy what I do and give it 100 percent, he says. That’s what makes me happy.”