By Mortimer “Mort” Jordan, crew leader of Materials Management at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
My name is Mortimer Jordan, known by all my co-workers as “Mort,” and I have been working for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute for the past 10 years.
I recall the first time I saw the Karmanos building located at 110 E. Warren and John R, the facility formerly known as the Meyer L. Prentis Cancer Research Center. I thought, ‘Now that looks like a place where I could find work.’
The building was close to home, and the thought of working for an organization dedicated to treating cancer was an inviting one to me. One day as I checked the employment section of the newspaper, I saw that Karmanos was looking for a mail clerk.
Having had many years of experience in this line of work, I submitted my resume and was hired to work in Materials Management. I am originally from Panama City, Republic of Panama in Central America, and worked in the Panama Canal Zone with the United States Air Force Military Postal Service. After that, I worked on the assembly line and in shipping and receiving at Packard Bell in Sacramento, Calif. I came to Detroit in 2000 and have lived in the downtown area ever since.
At Karmanos, Materials Management includes the mailroom as well as the Shipping and Receiving Department. My three fellow co-workers and I have a brisk schedule and downtime is rare. My daily routine includes receiving, delivering and shipping out mail and products as well as scheduling pickups and deliveries to the main Detroit campus and our other facilities in Farmington Hills, Southfield and in Detroit’s New Center area.
We deliver pharmaceutical and medical supplies for our clinics and infusion centers; computers and monitors; and office supplies and ink cartridges. Whatever is ordered Institute-wide is funneled through our department.
Being bilingual, I have stepped in several times when we have Spanish-speaking patients who need translation services. I have also been a 10-year volunteer for Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, of which Karmanos is presenting sponsor.
I have enjoyed working at Karmanos and feel fortunate to work with individuals I have grown to affectionately call my “family” away from home. Working here has been a joy for me. Each day I look forward to meeting and greeting my fellow employees, many of whom greet me with smiling faces and cheerful dispositions, and the patients we are privileged to treat.
After all these years, I can proudly say that I am a part of that company I read about 10 years ago, one with staff that is so dedicated to cancer care, no matter what department they work in.