People of the U: Nakita SherronPublished on Monday, June 27, 2022By: Ruth CumminsShe’s worked extra shifts to make sure her unit is covered by a secretary.She’s taken under her wing a homeless patient haunted by his constant worry over where his next meal will come from.Nakita Sherron, unit secretary for the fourth floor of Wiser Hospital, makes it her job to spread sunshine in the lives of coworkers and patients, says LeAnn Harcharik, the floor’s nurse manager.Harcharik“She has a heart of gold,” Harcharik said. “She is calm, and she gives very good customer service. She’s a very kind person.”Sherron gets it from her mom, who passed away in 2019.“She was a caregiver and mom of 13. I am the baby,” Sherron said. “She was always helping someone, and she never looked like it was a burden. She never had an attitude. You could be a stranger, but in our house, she would feed you.”Sherron makes her job so much more than answering phones and working on a computer, Harcharik and Sherron’s coworkers say.“She answers the call lights. She assists patients with requests, and lets the nurses know if a patient calls out,” Harcharik said. “She might be the first voice that a patient hears.“If a patient needs something, she will get up from her desk and help them, and that’s not part of her job. She helps the nurses with their work flow.”Registered nurse and coworker Kiara Sims says Sherron is an example of a team player who keeps the patient top of mind by performing tasks that give them comfort. “She really cares about the patients even though she probably has the least face-to-face interaction with them compared to the nurses and techs,” Sims said.“We recently had a patient admitted due to failure to thrive and homelessness. He would call out for food so often, no matter how many snacks we would take him,” Sims said. “He stated that he liked to eat here because he did not know when he would ever eat again.“I could tell this tugged at Nakita's heart, because the next day she came in with three bags full of microwave meals, snacks and juices she bought with her own money for the patient to keep in his room so he would not have to call out for anything. She also brought him meals she had cooked at home on multiple occasions while he was here.”“Hearing him talking about wanting something to eat … I thought, I can take a few dollars and get him some things,” Sherron said. “He was always asking for a hamburger. I went by Sonic and got him a burger and fries, and he said, ‘Yeah!’“It brought me joy. It’s a smile on my heart.”“These are the little things that are really the huge things that make a difference in lives,” Harcharik said.Sherron worked as a part-time unit secretary in the Adult Emergency Department before coming to Wiser in August 2021, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 raged and a number of mothers at the hospital succumbed to the virus.“Anytime someone passes away, I get emotional. I know what it’s like to lose a loved one,” Sherron said. And when her floor’s staff has to tell family members of a death, she said, “I know what I would have wanted someone to say to me. Let them know you care.”Mom to a 25-year-old son, Sherron lives in Byram and enjoys cooking her favorites for family and friends. “I like to make pasta – chicken bacon pasta and seafood pasta – and I bake cookies and pound cake,” she said.Just like her mom, she is generous with feeding those around her spiritually and physically.“At this age, I’m channeling my mother,” Sherron said. “I feel like she’s with me.”Do you know a student, staff, volunteer or faculty member at the University of Mississippi Medical Center whose story would make an interesting feature or deserves to be recognized? Think about someone with outstanding job commitment, fascinating hobby or amazing accomplishment.To nominate someone to be considered for a People of the U feature, just complete and submit this short form. If that person is picked for a feature, a member of the Communications and Marketing staff will contact him or her to learn more about his or her personal story.