With a career at CHI Saint Joseph Health that spans almost four decades, a few things remain consistent for Saint Joseph East respiratory supervisor Cleveland Smith: Living the values and the inclusive, team-oriented work environment.

Cleveland recently participated in Saint Joseph East’s A Prayer for Justice & White Coats for Black Lives event to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives to racial injustice. At a time when political and racial divisiveness is heightened by recent news, both locally and nationally, Cleveland says he sees how unity and teamwork have never been more important as he works with his managers, co-workers and other teams of caregivers across the hospital.

“It made a statement that we stand together as a tight-knit family of workers,” Cleveland says. “Each department works well together. I’ve experienced it as I’ve seen nursing units working with respiratory as we move through the different areas, along with working with laboratory and radiology.”

Cleveland gives credit to the values instilled by all members of the organization to his longevity with Saint Joseph Hospital, where he started in 1981 until he transferred to Saint Joseph East in 2000.

“I’ve enjoyed my 39 years here,” he says. “People are accepted for who they are and encouraged to be their best.”

Finding a Balance

Cleveland enjoys spending time with his wife of 41 years and their two daughters and three grandchildren. He actively participates in different ministries within his church, including choir and greeting members as they come in for Sunday service.  

In his free time, Cleveland finds solace on the quiet banks of a river or pay lake with a fishing pole in hand.

“I think fishing is a great time to meditate and collect your thoughts while you’re waiting for your next bite,” Cleveland said. “I’ve introduced my grandson to fishing and get to share some of that time with him now, but it’s challenging to have a small kid to, one, be still long enough to catch a fish, let alone resist the temptation to reel it in as soon as they toss it out.”