A Heartfelt Award Honors a Healthcare Hero

Cheers to a Special Dad!June 30, 2020

Gerry Smith was hard at work in the lab at Palmdale Regional Medical Center when he received an unexpected delivery to sweeten his day.

His daughter, Miranda, 27, had nominated him for a special smoothie delivery through the Jamba® Whirl'd Of Good campaign honoring front-line heroes in the COVID-19 pandemic. In making her submission, she wrote: "My dad and his employees are working tirelessly in the lab every day at their hospital ... Even though they are exhausted, they go in every day with a smile for their patients."

"It was a total surprise," says Smith of the nomination from his daughter. "That an adult young lady still thinks her dad is deserving of a hero-type thing felt so good." After sharing the smoothies with his coworkers, he took them around for other members of the hospital staff to enjoy.

In April, Smith started his tenth year at Palmdale Regional, where he is the Point of Care Coordinator. In responding to COVID-19, the lab team has focused largely on testing-related activities, including helping to process test kits, reporting to public health officials, and making sure the hospital is up to date on changes in protocols. Since testing started, he says that turnaround times for results have improved significantly, and the lab has begun doing testing in-house for certain patients.

Along with his coworkers, he's inspired each time a patient recovers and goes home. He recalled taking part in a celebratory sendoff for a COVID patient, and commented on how great it felt to be a part of it. "It was quite the experience," he said.