Karen Ringwold Smith loves working at St. Jude.
She has been with the Department of Clinical Nutrition for 29 years.
Before she started, she was living and working in Nashville after going to school at Vanderbilt University.
“I was hired to help grow the research in the nutrition department in the early 90s. That was my main focus,” said Ringwold Smith.
She developed a program called Delish Nutrish. Patients and their families take cooking classes together where they learn about nutrition and have fun doing it.
“It has been an awesome opportunity to bring some normalcy back into their world because everybody has a happy memory of cooking and food. At least more than one I hope.”
St. Jude has become a family affair for Ringwold Smith. In fact, she met her husband at St. Jude and it’s where they got married.
“We had our ceremony here in the pavilion. My boss was my maid of honor and John’s co-worker was his best man…then we went across the hall to the cafeteria and had our reception,” said Ringwold Smith.
Her husband also worked at St. Jude for 25 years. They have two daughters who grew up helping out at the hospital.
“They have always been here, they are connected here, they both want to work and talk about when I get my first job at St. Jude.”
Family is everything to Ringwold Smith and to see her kids love St. Jude the way she and her husband do means so much.
“To have you daughters take after what you do. I mentioned my husband worked here and he isn’t working because he became disabled, it makes him proud. He still knows that the girls want to be here and appreciate what we have done. It is a good feeling.”