Thom Kolesar, Valet
Working valet for Smilow Cancer Hospital is a fast-paced, and often hectic job, but Thom Kolesar manages to keep it light-hearted and upbeat. When patients arrive for chemotherapy or radiation treatments, Thom is the first person they encounter, and he ensures that they make it safely into the hospital and then takes care of their vehicle for them, all while directing both foot and vehicle traffic in and out of the rotunda. There are fourteen dedicated spots that Thom manages, and he works to accommodate everyone coming and going.
At the start of every day, Thom receives a list of patients that will be coming for treatment. He identifies those that will need special assistance, such as a wheelchair, and makes sure they are taken care of as soon as they pull up. Patients know to look for him too, and that he can help with or handle any situation that is thrown his way. Recently, Thom noticed a woman pull up that was having a medical issue. Without hesitating, he moved her to the passenger seat and drove her to the Emergency Department and got help. It turns out she was having a heart attack and Thom likely saved her life. Although he commented, "I only got her to the right people to save her life."
"I am humbled to be able to work here and interact with such amazing people. I have been blessed with good health my entire life, and working here has really changed my perspective," said Thom. "The tenacity and courage that I see on a daily basis is truly inspiring. I am very thankful."
Thom's hard work and consideration for every patient does not go unnoticed by patients and staff alike. He was recently recognized by two Ambulatory Care Assistants on Smilow 8 who commented, "Thom's patient encounters are beyond compare. He is thoughtful, kind, hardworking, and truly a caring person. He is delightful and makes all those around him smile; whether it is a fellow employee, patient, doctor, or just a passerby. Thom is a life changer!"