(Above; Robert and Kim Marino and their sons Chris, Nicholas and Robert.)
For many years, Smithtown has been home to the Marino family. But more recently, Robert Marino and two of his sons, Robert Jr. and Chris, have found a second home at Catholic Health’s Good Samaritan Hospital.
Robert Sr., a nurse manager in the operating room, joined Good Samaritan in 2016. His older son, Robert Jr., joined the hospital as a performance improvement analyst in 2019. His middle son, Chris, took a job in the hospital’s housekeeping department in 2018, while continuing his studies at Suffolk County Community College.
A third son, Nicholas, is currently a college student.
The past year has been most challenging for those working in health care and Robert Sr. said he and his sons were fortunate to stay healthy during the pandemic, something he is grateful for this Father’s Day.
“My dad passed away a few years ago and I always feel like he’s our guardian angel looking down and protecting us,” he said.
Although Robert Sr., Robert Jr. and Chris work under one roof, their paths don’t cross as often as you would think.
“We may see each other from time to time, but for the most part, our worlds inside the hospital are separate,” Robert Sr. said. “We will, on occasion, try and meet up for lunch or during our breaks as time allows, but we keep things on a professional level.”
Robert Jr. noted that having the same name and looking similar to his father has led to some funny moments.
“Every now and then we get each other’s emails,” he said. “Other times people will pass me in the hall and do a double-take thinking they know me, but then realize I’m not my father.”
With more than 25 years of nursing experience, Robert Sr. has held several nursing positions at hospitals across Long Island. Tiring of his commute to Nassau County, his wife (also a registered nurse) submitted his application to Good Samaritan. An interview soon followed.
“I had never stepped foot into the hospital until my interview,” he said. “I had a great meeting and knew some of the people I met with. I immediately felt comfortable and really wanted the job.”
Robert Jr. joined Good Samaritan after graduating with a degree in mathematics from SUNY Geneseo. His job hunt brought him to health care at the suggestion of his father.
“Even though my parents are registered nurses, I didn’t think about the medical profession as a career path,” Robert Jr. says. “But working with data is something that was of interest to me and everything has worked out well.”
When Chris joined the Good Samaritan family, he did so with an eye toward his future and the potential of a career in health care.
“I thought working in housekeeping would be a good job for me while in college,” Chris said. “I also wanted to be an X-ray technician and thought this would be a good way to get my foot in the door. It’s a great place to work.”
Over the past 15 months, Chris was on the frontlines cleaning rooms that were home to patients who fought and recovered from COVID-19. But the challenge and concerns created by the health care crisis did not stop him from working. In fact, Chris added hours to his normal weekend schedule.
“One week I worked 80 hours,” he said. “Some of my co-workers are older and have some health conditions, and I was worried about them. Since I’m younger and in good health, it was important for me to step up and do more to help our patients.”
While also working on the frontlines during the pandemic, Robert Sr. was understandably concerned about the well-being of his son.
“I had confidence in him and knew he would take the steps necessary to stay safe and protect himself,” he said. “I would check in with him regularly to see how he was doing. I’m very proud of him for stepping up to help out when it was most needed.”
While each of the Marinos has had different experiences during their time at Good Samaritan, they all agree that there’s a real sense of family throughout the hospital.