Harold Kendrick is the face of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. From his desk at the main entrance on Children's Way, he greets and directs countless visitors through the wings of one of Vanderbilt's most expressive buildings.
Kendrick is dapper with his spotless jacket and slacks, and he distinguishes himself with his various caps and colorful ties.
"It's important to present a good appearance to the public," Kendrick said. "It improves the service."
Kendrick, a former military chaplain, has lived in Nashville for 30 years. His social service experience includes the United Way and the Tennessee Department of Human Services, and he has worked for the Children's Hospital since 1999.
Most of his work involves appropriate referral for visitors because the hospital building is so new, Kendrick said. His duties have also expanded to coordinating activities, working with shuttle services, and serving as a liaison for the families of patients - but he hopes to get his hand into other functions to make as much of an impact as he can.
Though he doesn't often work directly with the children, he says working around people who care so much about kids is what makes his job worth doing.
The families often remember his smile and animated demeanor, even writing personal letters thanking him for his part in making their visit more enjoyable.
"I see that they are happy as they go in for treatment, and I make sure they are happy when they leave," Kendrick said.
- Josh Kastrinsky