Why I Give: Georgette Smith

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The first time Georgette Smith visited Riley Hospital for Children, she was greeted by a chaplain. Her toddler son had taken a bad fall at home, and his skull was fractured. “We had baby gates, but he somehow propped up a couch cushion on its side,” she says. “It was very traumatic.” Riley Pediatric Neurosurgeon Jodi Smith brought the family comfort with her expertise and calming demeanor. “She was amazing,” says Smith. “Talking to her really put me at ease, and helped me feel like everything was going to be okay. She’s very knowledgeable, very caring and did a great job taking care of my son.”

Years later, when Smith was invited to serve on the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors in 2017, she did not hesitate to accept. “It’s important to me that every child be able to have these services when they need them,” Smith explains. “No mother or father wants to be in a situation where their child is not taken care of.” 

Smith went to Purdue University where she studied mechanical engineering. After graduation she spent time working for General Motors, then entered the home health care business. Today, she is owner and Vice President of Purpose Home Health, which employs several hundred people in Indiana. Smith is particularly passionate about raising funds for the Riley Maternity and Newborn Health program, designed to improve Indiana’s high infant mortality rate. “I understand the African American community is especially affected here in Indiana and that’s important to me―trying to educate people in my community about the importance prenatal care and safe sleep, and making sure they have everything they need to keep their children healthy as they grow.”

Along with giving back through Board service, Smith supports Riley financially. “It touches my heart knowing Riley is here because of all the people before me who were able to contribute and support Riley Hospital and Riley Children’s Foundation,” she says. “Because of that support, my child was saved.”

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