He’s often the first person someone notices when they arrive at Sharp Coronado Hospital. With his smiling face and warm, welcoming greeting, “Sam the Valet,” formally known as Sam Rammal, is the valet manager at Sharp Coronado.
Sam has been greeting patients, family members and Sharp Coronado team members at the hospital’s Prospect Place entrance for nearly four years. And he says there’s no place else he’d rather be.
“I feel so blessed to have my job,” Sam says. “And I’m grateful that I can assist all of the wonderful patients at Sharp.”
Finding inspiration to serve with a smile
According to Sam, the reason for his consistently positive attitude is the care his daughter received at Sharp when she was born 24 years ago. Dina Ginger Rammal was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) and in her first few years of life, had seven open heart surgeries, including two in which heart valves were replaced.
“At two years old, during one of her heart operations, I was told she would never walk again,” Sam says. “I prayed to the Lord every day and was grateful that he saved her life, even if she wouldn’t be able to walk. Then two years later, a miraculous and amazing thing happened: She started wiggling her toes.”
Now at 24 years old, and after years of physical therapy, Sam says Dina Ginger can walk and lives a fully functioning life as a young adult. “She is my inspiration, and I do what I do because of the medical professionals who saved my daughter’s life,” he says.
Elevating the experience of patients, families and team members
It was in 2018 when Sam applied for a valet position at the nearby Coronado Island Marriott, a valet services vendor for Sharp Coronado Hospital. Once he got the job, he requested a permanent placement at Sharp Coronado so he could show his gratitude for his daughter’s good health. Four years later, Sam has been awarded five Guardian Angel pins and service recognitions.
“Sam is the first and the last piece of The Sharp Experience here at the hospital,” said Fahd Benjalil, chief financial and operating officer at Sharp Coronado. “He always greets and treats our patrons with the utmost respect and provides them with the best experience possible. We are so grateful that Sam is part of our team and are thankful for all he does.”
Sharp Coronado CEO Susan Stone agrees, saying Sam embodies all that it means to deliver The Sharp Experience, Sharp’s philosophy of exceptional care.
“From the moment someone arrives to our facility, Sam engages, personalizes and makes everyone feel like a VIP,” Stone says. “He treats everyone as if they are his own family. Sam’s level of service is unparalleled, and he has elevated the arrival experience beyond what many thought possible.”
Sam says he loves working at Sharp Coronado and feels like he is part of the hospital family. He believes that if he can put a smile on someone’s face and make their day a little brighter, then he has done his job correctly.
“I am nothing special — I’m just doing my job,” Sam says. “But when a person comes to the hospital and can leave happy, it makes my day.”