Like mother, like daughter

Like mother, like daughter

For as long as she can remember, nursing has loomed large in Lauren Smith’s life. Both of her parents are nurses, so it was fitting that she set her sights on nursing school when she was still in high school. She saw the impact the career had on her family and the difference her parents made in the lives of her patients, leading her to pursue her degree while working as a technician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

“As far as nursing, that’s what Lauren’s always wanted to do. She would see the letters and notes families would send me. It’s very rewarding,” said her mother, Jean Smith, director of clinical operations for Advocate Children’s Hospital. Jean has worked at Advocate for 40 years in various clinical roles.

All three – Lauren Smith, Jean Smith and Lauren’s dad, Troy Smith – work at the Oak Lawn campus, with Lauren and Jean at Advocate Children’s Hospital (Lauren in the pediatric intensive care unit) and Troy in the electrophysiology laboratory at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

The Smiths are not the only family of nurses at Advocate Children’s Hospital. Michelle Bouchard, a 31-year nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, is proud of daughters Mary Faith Gerhardt and Jillian Bouchard, who followed in her footsteps. Mary Faith works in pediatric oncology and Jillian Bouchard cares for patients in the pediatric surgical heart unit. All three work on the Oak Lawn campus.

“It is amazing and wonderful,” says Michelle. “I am so impressed with my daughters’ passion for nursing. It is so refreshing and has reignited my passion, too.”

While Mary Faith has always wanted to be a nurse, her sister, Jillian, decided on the career just before graduating with an education degree.

It’s “like mother, like son”, for the Delagarza family. Mom, Ady, has been working at Advocate for 27 years. She is a certified medical assistant in outpatient Pediatric Specialties on the Advocate Children’s Hospital-Park Ridge campus. A year and a half ago, her son, Kevin, joined the same team as a patient service representative.

So what is it like working with your mom?

“It has its ups and down,” says Kevin. “It’s nice to see my mom every day, and sometimes she even pays for my lunch. But I can never tell her that I am working late and won’t be home.”

Ady tells us that her son is a prankster, and she often hears about his antics from peers.

“My mom told me that she worked with really amazing people” says Kevin. “And now I do too.”

Lauren Smith and her mom, Jean Smith

Michelle Bouchard and her daughters, Mary Faith Gerhardt and Jillian Bouchard

Ady Delagarza and her son, Kevin



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  1. Mary Beth Burns, RNC May 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm · Reply

    While not featured in the article, I work in labor & delivery and I have 2 daughters that work here as well, Lauren Burns, Peds. oncology, 4 Hope and Kaitlyn Burns, NICU/Peds. crew. I have another daughter, Amanda Yip, that works in the NICU at Comer Children’s Hospital. I love that we all share a passion for nursing!!!!

  2. Lisa Parro

    Mary Beth, Thanks for commenting! I hope to meet you soon and perhaps feature you and your daughters in a future story.

  3. I never knew how many families work for Advocate. My mother, brother and sister also work at Advocate. It makes me feel connected to something bigger, one big Advocate family.

  4. Catherine Wozny May 13, 2017 at 9:54 am · Reply

    Lisa, this is a wonderful article. Knowing the parents are proud and seeing it in print can only make them more proud of the direction their children chose. I too have a daughter working at Christ and just finishing her nursing program this year, I’m so proud of her commitment.
    Nice job Lisa Parro.

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About the Author

Lisa Parro
Lisa Parro

Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is a content manager for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.