Lead Hostess Demonstrates a Passion for Her Patients

Sandy Smith Presented 2021 Gritman Way Award

Sandy Smith’s appointed rounds take her to patient care rooms all across Gritman Medical Center.

Equipped with a delivery cart and an iPad, the Moscow hospital’s Lead Hostess delivers patient meals in the Medical/Surgical and Critical Care units, as well as the Family Birth Center. It’s a position she’s made her own over the past five years, providing nourishment but also training her co-workers to ensure ailing diners’ dietary needs are met during each and every 12-hour shift.

The Gritman Way Award is given out each year to a team member who exemplifies Gritman Medical Center’s values: Compassion, Integrity, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

A tablet demonstrates menu offerings at gritman medical center

Gritman Lead Hostess Sandy Smith demonstrates the tablet she uses as part of her daily rounds serving patients throughout the hospital.

“It’s just always a pleasure dealing with families,” she said.

Patients often pick up on Smith’s cheerful demeanor and attention to individual needs. If a guest has a broken arm, for example, she instructs the kitchen to cut up their food so they don’t have to fiddle with a knife.

Such quiet dedication helps accelerate the healing process for patients, providing enough of a boost that Smith has been awarded the 2021 Gritman Way Award for exemplifying the hospital’s values of Compassion, Integrity, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence.

“It’s really an honor,” Smith said of the award. “There are so many wonderful people who work here, who are doing amazing things.”

Lead hostess sandy smith and food services director todd unger display gritman's menu.

Lead Hostess Sandy Smith’s efforts to respond to the dietary needs of patients as a part of Food Services Director Todd Unger’s team has earned her the 2021 Gritman Way Award.

In nominating Smith for the award, Gritman Food Services Director Todd Unger touted Smith’s wonderful camaraderie with patients and others she interacts with on a regular basis. She routinely goes above and beyond, offering cuisine that might not be on the menu if it helps with a patient’s dietary restrictions.

“Our jobs and lives have been changed so much this last year,” Unger said. “Reflecting on all the accomplishments and challenges the year provided, Sandy has stood out as being a force that has held fast and strong through all the challenges.”

Unger receives three to four notes a month complimenting his hosts and hostesses for their hard work. As the lead trainer, he said such praise is a direct reflection of Smith’s training.

Pictured at top: Gritman Lead Hostess Sandy Smith’s dedicated service of patients has been awarded with the 2021 Gritman Way Award. Pictured with Smith are Chief Financial Officer Dani Lynas, Chief Experience Officer Scott Nelson and Food Services Director Todd Unger.