Lieutenant, Kaleida Health Security

"Best Smile to Make You Feel Safe"

John Strait is never without a smile. He provides patients and families with a sense of security each and every day. As a lieutenant with Kaleida Health Security, John goes above and beyond to ensure that moms, kids and families feel safe and secure during hospital visits. John was also called on to assist with the transition from Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to Oishei Children’s Hospital in November. John’s commitment to providing service with a smile has earned him a spot in the Children’s Class of 2017 and the title "Best Smile to Make You Feel Safe."

I’m from Buffalo and grew up in the city for my first 25 years near Kleinhan’s. I started working as a security officer at D’Youville College in 1977, which is where I met my wife. We’ve been married 37 years and have a beautiful daughter. When I had the opportunity to make the transition into healthcare in 1979, I realized that it was the career I wanted for myself. I like security and I like taking care of people, which is why I’m proud to be part of such a great organization at Kaleida Health. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work at the old Deaconess Hospital, Millard Fillmore Gates Circle, DeGraff Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban as well as Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Leading up to the big move, I was asked to support the team at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo beginning in June 2016. I was stationed at Oishei Children’s Hospital on move day this past November. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I felt lucky to be part of it.

I try to be as visible as possible, saying hi to everyone and smile to take care everybody. I am responsible for ensuring our security teams are in place, review daily incident reports and make sure patient needs are met throughout the day in a timely manner.

My favorite part about what I do is seeing the resiliency of kids on a daily basis. Kids don’t necessarily know they’re sick; their unwavering positivity and smiling faces is something that motivates me to be better every day and to provide the best care I can.

I’ve seen so much happen in the last 4 years and to watch this building go up – I can’t believe we’ve been in it for over a month! It’s unbelievable what it’s doing for Kaleida Health and the City of Buffalo. Oishei Children’s Hospital has been a boost to the area – from providing moms, kids and babies with the highest level of care, desirable real estate and more places to shop and eat. The new hospital will hopefully continue to attract the best doctors and nurses and help our region grow and develop.

As I walk around, Oishei Children’s Hospital feels like home. I hope that the building and our providers gives kids and families a sense of comfort. We’re not only providing healthcare, but I want to help people feel safe by giving them a sense of stability and hope.

I’d like to be remembered as a guy that cares. I love walking around and saying hi to people and have hopefully made a difference in people’s lives.