Dancing Into Patients’ Hearts

Wendy Hernandez, Carsandra Mitchell, and Evelyn Bueno call themselves the Three Musketeers.

(From left) Wendy Hernandez, Carsandra Mitchell, and Evelyn Bueno call themselves the Three Musketeers.

They call themselves the Three Musketeers because they’re usually together and they always have each other’s backs. Wendy Hernandez, Carsandra Mitchell, and Evelyn Bueno, Environmental Services (EVS) staff members who work in Pediatrics on the 9th floor of Memorial Hospital (M9), know to call each other when there’s an overabundance of glitter or Legos in a room that needs straightening up. But these Musketeers are more than just comrades in cleaning — below their EVS uniforms beat the big hearts of seasoned entertainers with one mission: To bring smiles to the faces of the young patients on their floor.

The three women have become famous on M9 for channeling Taylor Swift, Willow, Beyoncé — any artist whose songs they know — while also keeping M9 spick-and-span. In their hands, a mop handle can instantly morph into a microphone and a hospital room can become a stage, all for a very important audience of one.

“We do a little bit of everything,” explains Evelyn. “When we go into a patient’s room and they seem like they need cheering up, we start singing and dancing.”

Although they aren’t caring for patients, Evelyn, Wendy, and Carsandra certainly care about them. Cleaning their rooms every day, they say, is essential to safeguarding these vulnerable patients, a responsibility they take very seriously.

“We don’t take shortcuts,” says Wendy. “Everything we do is for the patients, who are fighting for their lives. They have low immune systems, and germs are very dangerous to them. By keeping their environment clean, we’re helping to keep them safe.”

Whenever they enter a patient’s room, they go in with a smile and a positive attitude. “Sometimes the patients want to reach out to you, sometimes not — it depends on how they’re feeling that day,” says Carsandra. “Whatever it is, we want to help them through it. We’re all mothers. If they’re not feeling well, we all feel it.”

Evelyn chimes in: “If I can make this a good day for someone, that’s the best. When you hear one of these kids laugh, it’s amazing.”

MSK 2021 Annual Report
Our three pillars — patient care, scientific research, and education — supported extraordinary progress in 2021. Learn about just some of our achievements in this Annual Report.