A Kind Heart with Decades of Service
“A kind heart is a foundation of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.“ – Washington Irving
Associates with kind hearts are celebrated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. When you speak of someone with a kind heart, you could easily be speaking of Karl Malone—he has a smile that radiates a room and he shares a warm greeting with everyone he encounters.
Karl loves working at the Hospital Center. As a team member in nutrition services, he interacts with all Hospital Center associates. He is a gifted professional who takes great pride in presenting catered dishes in a pleasing and inviting manner. He loves his work and is committed to making every event he caters a success.
A Life Changing Summer
A native Washingtonian, and a graduate of DC’s Cardoza High School, Karl began working here just weeks after graduation in 1984. Although he didn’t intend to stay (he wanted to have some fun over the summer months, then join the Army in the fall), he came to love his job as he developed a passion for catering.
It wasn’t Karl’s desire to work at the Hospital Center. His dad was employed here as a sterile processor and later transferred to the Receiving Department. Mr. Malone was not happy with Karl’s choice to be inactive for the entire summer. He said, “A idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” and urged Karl to apply for a job at the Hospital Center until he joined the armed forces. Karl came to love his new environment so much that he never enlisted—and to this day, he is still here.
“MedStar Washington Hospital Center has always been a favorite hospital of mine,” said Karl. “Many of my friends were born here and some of them still come here for wellness and chronic care. It’s always a joy to see old friends and, oftentimes, I have to help them find their way.”
After deciding to remain at the Hospital Center and redirect his service spirit to here, Karl moved closer to the hospital. He wanted to be near so that he could get to work no matter the weather, or circumstance. During snow storms, he heads out early so he can be here on time.
Karl has adapted to his role as a caterer in Nutrition Services beautifully. His job carries through every nook and cranny of the hospital. As he travels about, he acts as a hospital ambassador, making eye contact with everyone he encounters, sharing a smile and a “hello,” and taking every opportunity to extend help, offer a kind word, or ease a worried heart. And, when a colleague’s work load is heavy, he’ll lend a hand. Karl is one of those people you always want to have around. He puts his SPIRIT values to work every day—service, respect, integrity and teamwork.
A Dynamic Duo
Karl’s most memorable and happiest times at the Hospital Center were when he and his dad were a familiar duo at hospital celebrations. They performed in the former “the recreation room”(now home to the Gamma Knife) where large parties were held. The room was decorated according to the season, food and drinks were plentiful and all staff were invited, as well as community leaders and residents from the surrounding neighborhood. His dad, who was self taught on the piano, entertained staff, patients and visitors at many of the celebrations, while Karl served food and drinks.
Karl’s expertise and attention to detail did not go unnoticed. He was a favorite of the Women’s Auxiliary, which sponsored many of the events. The women volunteers showed their appreciation by showering him with gifts of money, flowers and candy.
In his 32 years of service to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Karl has had five supervisors. His current supervisor, Trizah Hawes, thinks the world of him. “He’s my right hand,” she says. “Karl has done it all. He knows where everything is, how to prioritize, and he delivers extreme customer service all the time. My job would be much harder without him,” she said.
Karl’s father is no longer with him to share favorite stories from their work life or to impart his knowledge and insight, but he is truly missed and his teaching and guidance were not in vain.
In addition to having a kind heart, Karl is the proud father of a grown daughter and is the sole care-giver for his mom.
Have any questions?
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