PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For decades, Valerie Scott has served up sunshine for patients at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Room service!” Valerie said as she walked through a hospital room door, bringing a snack to a patient.
“Miss Val” is a food service worker at CHOP. Her most important job is delivering around 50 meals a day to patients, and she’s been doing it for 47 years.
“Working here is just like having fun, just like going to a playground,” she said.
At the age of 16, the South Philly native got a part-time job in the CHOP kitchen, but she didn’t expect to be here for this long. She went to school to learn medical secretarial work, then accounting.
“But you can eat in the kitchen,” Val laughed. “I said, ‘I’ll stay in the kitchen.'”
Being a CHOP employee was always a dream for Val, most of her family worked and still works at the hospital, starting with her mom and aunt.
“Some of my cousins work here. My niece, my children worked here. My daughter is still here,” Val said.
To Val, CHOP is like a family.
“These are my people right here,” Val said as she greeted co-workers at a nurse’s station.
In 2022, Valerie will clock in 50 years at CHOP. She said it’s perfect timing for her retirement.
“I want to go to Hawaii. A cruise to Hawaii,” Val said.
“You would go alone?” CBS3’s Chandler Lutz asked.
“If no one want to go with me, I’ll go with myself, either way!” Val said.
What will CHOP be without Val?
“Wow, CHOP without Val, that’s something,” said Nutrition Department supervisor Eileen Colon.
“I think we’ll lose a little sunshine here,” registered nurse Lauren Brennan said.
“This is an irreplaceable person right here, very irreplaceable,” senior nursing aide Nikita Hayes said.
So we give 3 Cheers to Valerie Scott, who shows that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
“I smile 24/7. I don’t know why my jaw doesn’t hurt,” she said.