In 33 years, Sandra Moore, dietary hostess at Memorial Regional Hospital, has never called in sick.
She’s never missed a day of work, she’s never late and she gladly accepts overtime. She never even took a vacation until updated policies required staff to use those hours.
She loves her job, and she shows it every day.
Sandra serves the patients in 7 North and 5 West. She always has a smile on her face when she delivers their meal trays. It’s clear she takes pride in the fact that her positive nature makes an impact.
“I like to be around people and keep a smile on their face. Spending quality time with the patients and making the patients happy are a big goal for me. One day, I could be lying there. I’d like someone to do the same thing for me,” says Hollywood-born Sandra.
She learned to appreciate the healthcare environment from her mother, who was a nurse at Memorial for 30 years. Sandra’s first job was in dietary at a local community hospital. But when the institution closed, and three months after giving birth to her son, Sandra landed a position as a food service worker at Memorial. Ten years later, in 1996, she transferred to the hostess program.
“Ever since then I enjoyed it. You spend more time with the patient, making sure the patient is getting the proper food they order and making sure that they’re happy,” Sandra says.
Most recently, she visited someone she’d served during a previous hospital stay. She remembered he liked hamburgers, corn, grapes and iced tea. His wife, Sandra says, was thrilled to see her, knowing that Sandra would take good care of her husband and make sure he received his favorite foods.
She elicits the same response from others who have come and gone and come back again. But she also is extremely moved by some of the people she meets.
“I was talking to a 91-year-old patient. She was just lying there and it put emotion into my body. She asked for a sweet potato and I brought it to her. It makes me feel so excited because the age, the love, the care—it’s like I’m a part of her family, because I didn’t see anyone [visit] her. I told her it made me feel emotional,” she recalls.
Sandra also brings her smile to the Hard Rock Stadium, where she meets and greets fans at the ticket gate. She gets a lot of high-fives when the Dolphins win.
When she finally has free time, she likes to shop and eat at Hooter’s. In June she plans to go on a cruise, and before that, she’s taking her mother to Orlando. Making people happy, it seems, is what she enjoys most.
“I’m going to spend some quality time with her,” Sandra says.