As we observe Father’s Day this Sunday, we share four stories of employees who have the unique experience of calling their fathers St. Jude colleagues.
When William Chung started at St. Jude, he already had support from his wife, May Chung, a lead researcher in the lab of William Evans, PharmD, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and was familiar with the institution. His daughter, Jennifer Mason, now a St. Jude pharmacist, grew up roaming the halls of St. Jude.
William Chung is a senior trial documentation associate who has worked at the hospital for 18 years. Before he worked for St. Jude, he would drop off and pick up his wife every day. Sometimes, he brought along Mason after picking her up from school.
“Whenever we arrived early, Jennifer loved to shop at the gift shop, and Janice Ivory would patiently show her all the items,” he said. “When Jennifer started working at St. Jude, we met Janice again, and she said she still remembered the little girl who started shopping there when she was 6 years old. This shows the kind of impact the kindness of a St. Jude employee can have on a young girl.”
Both parents are aware of their own influences on their daughter to excel in school and at work.
“We never told Jennifer what she should study, but we expected her to always do her best in school and at her jobs,” William Chung said. “I believe since both my wife and I had worked in clinical laboratories and research labs of many hospitals, we truly understand the impact of our work on the lives of our patients and their families. I believe we may have inspired our daughter in always doing her best in whatever she does because her work will always impact the lives of other people and their families.”
“My dad instilled in me the determination to pursue what I am passionate about, despite obstacles in my pathway that I may encounter."
Mason explained that her father started working at St. Jude while she was in the middle of her pre-medical studies.
“My dad instilled in me the determination to pursue what I am passionate about, despite obstacles in my pathway that I may encounter,” Mason said. “He always tells me how he and my mom came to America as teenagers with less than $1,000 each, but they worked hard to survive in a country foreign to them and establish a home for me.”
Mason has a 9-year-old son, Camden, and she hopes that one day he will follow in her footsteps. His grandparents are hopeful as well.
“Camden is very smart and he wants to be a researcher when he grows up,” William Chung said. “If it happens that he will work for St. Jude in the future, it would be the third generation of our family. Maybe then we can write another story.”
As a little girl, Sophie Davidoff and her brothers often accompanied their father, Andrew Davidoff, MD, to the St. Jude campus to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his workplace.
During downtimes and quiet periods, the Davidoffs walked through the hospital, stopping by such places as the research labs, clinics and the operating room.
“I have a great picture of my older brother and I wearing scrubs and following my dad around,” Sophie Davidoff said. “We would be swimming in the scrubs because they were so big, but we felt very official.”
Now when father and daughter meet inside the hallways and clinic spaces of St. Jude, it’s to talk about work and catch up on life. Sophie is a nurse practitioner in the St. Jude Division of Anesthesiology. Andrew, who is approaching 25 years at the hospital, is chair of the St. Jude Surgery Department.
“I am super proud of what she’s accomplished, and the fact that her work has led her to St. Jude is really exciting and has been fun,” Andrew said.
Neither my dad nor my mom actively influenced my decision to go into medicine. But just watching him work, knowing how he took care of his patients and experiencing health care from an outside viewpoint, it was more of a passive influence in a good way.
Sophie joined St. Jude in March 2020—just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning. While it took some time to get acclimated to her new role, she’s now comfortably settled in thanks to her ability to relate to patients and families—something she said she learned over the years from her father and her mother, who is also a nurse practitioner.
“Neither my dad nor my mom actively influenced my decision to go into medicine,” Sophie said. “But just watching him work, knowing how he took care of his patients and experiencing health care from an outside viewpoint, it was more of a passive influence in a good way.
They both have busy schedules, and they try to meet up whenever they can when time allows. Both father and daughter share a passion for taking care of patients in the unique ways that they both do each day.
“I’ve always looked up to my dad and admired the work he does here. To be able to accomplish my own goal of working at St. Jude and getting to share it with my dad, it just makes it that much sweeter,” Sophie said.
“I was pleased to see her pursue a career in medicine, but I wanted her to find out what she wanted to do for herself,” Andrew said. “It’s obviously a great fit for her, and I think that St. Jude is benefitting greatly from having her here.”
St. Jude Child Life Specialist Jackie Greenwood jokes that she knew her father-in-law, Lanny Greenwood, before she met him.
“I didn’t meet Lanny for about a year, but I had heard of him from day one of working here. Many colleagues would say ‘if you need anything done, call Lanny,’” Jackie said of her father-in-law, a carpenter who has been part of the St. Jude Facilities Operations and Maintenance team for nearly three decades. Jackie started at St. Jude in 2014 and said she got to know Lanny well as he addressed work order requests from the Child Life team.
Jackie didn’t meet Lanny’s son, Ryan Greenwood, a lead-recruiter in Human Resources, until 2015, but said she had long heard good things about him too.
“Our Child Life Director Shawn Brasher knows the Greenwood family well, and when he shared stories about them, they sounded like nice people,” she said.
Jackie and Ryan ultimately married in 2017, giving Lanny and Ryan’s mom, Becca, a “great” daughter-in-law whom Lanny describes as a “blessing.”
This is the only job that I remember my dad having. He loves the people, loves the mission and really has enjoyed his time at St. Jude because of how they take care of him.
For the Greenwoods, the blessings have kept coming.
This year marks a particularly special Father’s Day for Lanny as he celebrates with his granddaughter Rylynn Rae, Jackie and Ryan’s daughter who recently turned 1 year old.
“My dad will call Rylynn every morning and her face lights up every time she hears the phone because she knows who it is,” Ryan said. “Each day we go to my parents’ house, he’s outside swinging her on the swing or just playing with her. It’s really cute to watch.”
Jackie enjoys watching Lanny and Becca with Rylynn as not only the first grandchild but also a girl.
“There are a lot of boys on both sides of the family,” she said. “We call Rylynn ‘Mighty Mouse.’ She is very strong, tough and never cries.”
Jackie admires that same strength in Ryan and Lanny. She said both men are giving of their time and energy, all out of a place of love, care and sacrifice.
“Their hearts are just so big. Ryan and Lanny look for ways to be helpful without being asked and when they are asked to do something, they take it seriously,” Jackie said. “I tend to go down a rabbit hole very quickly thinking about all the things that any mom or parent may worry about. Lanny is good at reminding not only me but all of us on a regular basis that we just have to pray and have faith. I appreciate that a lot.”
Ryan, who has been a full-time employee for more than 10 years, said he too admires his father’s commitment to family and St. Jude.
“This is the only job that I remember my dad having. He loves the people, loves the mission and really has enjoyed his time at St. Jude because of how they take care of him,” he said. “As Greenwoods, we are passionate and driven. Dad has always wanted my brother Aaron and me to succeed. I knew that growing up, and now I want the same for Rylynn—to love and support her in whatever she wants to do.”
Lanny is proud of the parents that Jackie and Ryan are becoming. He said it’s a joy to see the love and care they are giving Rylynn.
“Rylynn is a smart girl. She got good genes from two great parents,” Lanny said. “It’s fun to be able to hold her, pull her around in a wagon, feed her strawberries and blueberries, she loves those. I can’t wait until she gets a little bigger, so I can take her camping. I’ve always heard people say grandbabies were grand, and when you have one, you realize they are grand. She’s a joy to our life.”
While serving breakfast to patient families at Target House on a recent Thursday morning, hospitality attendant Cory Lovins was met with wondering eyes. “Are you Cory?” one of the fathers asked. “Yes,” Lovins replied.
The gentleman continued, “I met your father while waiting at the St. Jude Patient Lounge. He told me you worked here so I just wanted to come down and meet you,” he said. “Your dad is a very sweet man.”
Lovins knew, in that moment, that she was connected to her father, Terry Scott, in more ways than one. “Families are here during a difficult time in their lives,” she said. “My father and I are able to offer some light.”
Lovins has always loved working with children. Before joining St. Jude, she worked at a pediatrician’s office. Her father expresses similar levels of compassion and care for children. When their family would take regular trips to Arkansas, Scott would drive past St. Jude and share stories about the institution’s lifesaving work. Lovins looks back on those memories fondly, revisiting the excitement she felt about the possibility of contributing to the hospital’s mission one day.
My dad had told me that he was not ready to retire, but was ready to find a less stressful and more fulfilling position. What better place for him than St. Jude?
In 2020, Lovins accepted a role in Housing and Patient Services at St. Jude. In her daily work, she tends to the needs of St. Jude families by offering them their favorite breakfast meals. “I felt at peace during my interview,” she said. “My colleagues all made me feel welcome. It made the decision to take the position easier.”
When she learned that her team was growing, she rushed to tell her father. “My dad had told me that he was not ready to retire, but was ready to find a less stressful and more fulfilling position,” she said, “What better place for him than St. Jude?”
Scott joined the team in March 2022 as a guest services representative in Housing and Patient Services. In his role, he welcomes families to the St. Jude Patient Lounge at Memphis International Airport. He can often be found entertaining children with thrilling stories or enjoying a game of chess with their siblings.
“I am so thankful that my dad and I both took the plunge and are now part of the St. Jude family,” Lovins said.