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Employee Spotlight: Shoundala Sam Smith

As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re spotlighting our caregivers, the diversity they bring and the difference they make at UT Health East Texas.

(February 1, 2024) — Shoundala “Sam” Smith has spent the past 20 years at UT Health Pittsburg with the primary goal of helping patients through the different roles in which she has served.    

Sam started her career journey at the hospital in 2003 as a certified nursing assistant and later was promoted to activity coordinator. She also is a patient advocate for the hospital’s med-surg unit.

“My mother influenced me to get into the healthcare field and once I did, I knew this was what I would do for the rest of my life,” she said.

As the activity coordinator for the swing-bed program at UT Health Pittsburg, Sam works toward the program’s goal of providing patients extra recovery time to help them achieve maximum level of function to return home.

“I am very instrumental in our patients’ care every day. I hear them, and I ensure that they are safe in my care,” she said. “My purpose is to be a factor in improving our patients’ lives and the community that I serve.” 

Sam said the most rewarding part of her job is the impact she can have on patients.

“I find it rewarding that I get to have a positive impact in our patients’ care, so much so that many of our patients that return remember the care that I provided and state that our facility was the first facility that they thought of when they needed care,” she said.

Sam said she also finds purpose through her role as a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the voice she brings to that committee, including advocating for what she sees as the greatest opportunity moving forward — more women of color in leadership roles.