Jesse Grant, Patient Ambassador

Jesse Grant

My first experience at Johns Hopkins was in the ER in 1994 — two young guys robbed me and shot me in the chest at Old Town Mall in Baltimore while I was driving a bus for the MTA. Luckily, Hopkins Hospital wasn’t far away. I heard the doctors say there was nothing they could do for me. I just kept asking God to save me and to get me through. And he did. Two weeks and five operations later, I was ready to be discharged. My daughter, who was 2 years old at the time, came around the corner, put her hand out and said, “Daddy, let’s go home.” It showed me that, no matter what happens, there is always somebody there who cares.

I became familiar with the Johns Hopkins campus during my 11 years driving for a contracted mobility company. On my fifth year, I met Bonnie Windsor, the vice president of HR at the time, who saw me in action and offered me a position at the hospital. I didn’t come to Hopkins at that time, but a few years later I applied and became patient ambassador. I’ve been at Hopkins for three years now.

I wear many hats as patient ambassador. I get here every morning at 7:30 and clock in at 7:45. My post is located at the main entrance of the hospital at 1800 Orleans Street. The first thing I do when I come through the door is see how many wheelchairs we’ve got. I need to make sure we have enough to get patients to their appointments. The next thing I do is make sure my podium is fully stocked. I call that my mobile office and it is where I keep cups, graham crackers, coffee, water and anything else a patient or visitor may ask for while they are waiting. If the information booth gets busy, I help out behind there. I help outside with security and traffic flow. You may see me by the Johns Hopkins sign on Orleans Street waving down cabs and directing the cars. I try to remember everyone’s name and give a smile to everyone I pass by. I don’t know what people are going through when they come to this hospital and that’s why I always try to be as nice as I can. A smile does a lot of justice. I want people to come back and say, “This guy gave us everything he had, and he did it professionally.”

I was born in Alexandria, Virginia, and raised in Baltimore. My grandparents, who raised me, taught me how to cook and how to be a gentleman. I remember them saying that these skills would help me throughout my whole life. And they have. That’s why I am able to give such a high level of customer service. It was instilled in me early on.

My family and my faith keep me going. I have three daughters and one son. I also have four grandsons — Brandon (17), Jacob (4), Carter (4), and Jaden (2) — and they are the joys in my life. I have to be the best man I can be for my family and teach my grandsons how to be respectful. That’s what I try to tell some young folks. It’s all about respect. I know how hard it is to not have a mother or father in your life, but it’s not that hard that you can’t make it. I tell them, “You don’t know my background. You may see this smiling face looking happy every day. But if you understand what I’ve been through, you can make it too. You don’t have to go to the gang. You don’t have to go into the drugs. You might not have that mom and dad, but there’s somebody you can reach out to that can get you through and to make sure you don’t make these wrong turns.”

I am also excited to announce that I will be one of the “Gameday Ambassadors” for the Baltimore Ravens. I’ll never forget that day in August when they called me and asked, “Mr. Grant, how would you like to greet 71,000 people?” That phone call really made my day. I look forward to providing the fans the same level of customer service that I provide for every visitor in this hospital. I’m here to help.

You might not help everybody, but if you can help one person, that’s good. Thank God you helped somebody! Because we’ve got a lot of people out there that need it. One day, I’m going to need help. And I hope someone has my back.

Read what one patient had to say about Jesse Grant in August 2017.

— Jennifer Wicks

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Rating: 4.9/5 (9 votes cast)

Jesse Grant, Patient Ambassador, 4.9 out of 5 based on 9 ratings


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }


Meghan October 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm

I met Jesse while walking to a meeting in another building. Since that day, I have seen him many times and his smile is always bright! He greets everyone with such kindness and positive energy. He is truly an asset to this institution!


JANIS FERRELL September 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I have know Jessie for about 5 years and can say without hesitation he is the most friendly, concerned, funny, helpful, honest and caring individual I have ever come in contact with. He is just so kind, always smiling, laughing, helping someone all without prompting. Jessie congratulation on this fine honor to be part of the Hopkins family.
Janis * L&D


mathew September 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

Jesse, is always courteous and does an awesome job, he truly goes above and beyond to provide excellent service.


Tonia September 18, 2017 at 8:58 am

I remember hearing about Mr. Jesse being so pleasant in orientation. We were told he knew most people that walked through the hospital and encouraging people when they needed it. The end of my orientation after hearing about this wonderful man, I literally run into him while exploring the hospital and he smiled and said 'Welcome to Hopkins, glad to have you aboard'. We come from similar backgrounds and I wish we could reach more youth and let them know what we know, that simple kindness and positivity goes a long way. No matter how dark your past, your future can be bright just keep going. Thanks Mr. Jesse keep spreading the positivity and kindness you show everyday.


Carrie Lebowitz September 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

Jesse can make anyone's day brighter. He is truly the most uplifting soul I have ever met. I often have the pleasure of seeing Jesse while working in the adult ED. No matter how crazy the department gets, seeing Jesse's smile is an instant reset for the day. I am so grateful to know Jesse and love learning from the fantastic example he sets!


Lil Stewart September 13, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Jesse, Is an Angel in disguise. He is always pleasant and jovial and his smile will light up the room!! This is awesome to read about him. Keep up the good work!!!


Tonie September 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Even days he has personal tragedies on his mind, Jesse still greets everyone with a smile. He is truly someone to aspire to imitate and I wish all in the world were like him. Way to go Jesse!


Katie September 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

I first met Jesse when he was my shuttle bus driver. No matter the day, no matter the weather, he always greeted everyone with a smile. He is one of those people who's happiness is contagious. When I saw him in his new position as a Patient Ambassador, I was thrilled! Jesse is the PERFECT person for this job. My parents also had the joy of meeting him this summer when my dad was in and out of the hospital with a bone infection. He helped my dad get into the car and also helped to calm all the patients in the lobby when there was a bomb threat. I've never once heard Jesse complain and he always goes above and beyond to help anyone. Jesse is the best!!!! He truly inspires all of us to step up and be like him.


Annette September 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

I first met Jesse when I starting parking at the Church Street garage.
His manner and professionalism stood out.
I am glad he received the patient ambassador position at Johns Hopkins.
Well deserved and I can think of no one better to "represent."


Ava' Roberts September 12, 2017 at 10:59 am

Such an honor to cross paths with Mr. Jesse. When he drove the shuttle bus to and from the hospital he would always stop to give me a ride when I was walking down the street on cold winter mornings. Mr. Jesse is just a genuine and wonderful soul. Thank you for sharing this article.


Jaime September 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

Jesse I look forward to every morning and afternoon seeing your smiling face. Most days we get a few minutes to exchange words some days it's a wave and a smile as I watch you take such great care of our patients. You are a wonderful person so thankful to know you


Rocio Friedman September 12, 2017 at 10:32 am

I met Jesse when I used to take the shuttle, he always Jesse, I'm very happy that are being recognized and I'm so glad that our patients get to have such a wonderful ambassador!!
keep up the good work Jess.


Kris Macri September 12, 2017 at 10:27 am

I first met Jesse when he was driving the shuttle for the Monument St lot about than 10 years ago. He was engaging, funny, empathetic and very professional. He got transferred to the Church lot route and I did not see him as much, but every time I was walking down the street I got a wave and a shout out if his window was open. Sometimes we could chat for a few minutes before his afternoon run began if I was taking a rare break from my patients. His position as patient ambassador is a perfect fit. I recently transferred away from the main campus but feel happy knowing that anyone I know that has to stay at JHH has a true advocate.


Renata Karlos September 12, 2017 at 10:16 am

What a wonderful employee we have in Jesse Grant! His story is so inspiring to all of us in the Hopkins community. Thank you, Jesse, for taking such great care of our patients and families. Enjoy your Ravens Ambassador Day, you are perfect for that!

Jennifer, such a well written story. Thank you, as well!


Beatrice Logan September 12, 2017 at 10:15 am

I met Jesse while he was a driver for the shuttle company. He is the genuine article! Such a wonderful and caring individual. He takes the time to connect with people and I am sure he is a phenomenal Patient Ambassador- Kudos Jesse!


Beth Hall September 12, 2017 at 9:55 am

Jesse approaches every task with enthusiasm, joy, and professionalism. I first met Jesse as my shuttle driver. Being a passenger on his bus made my day! You could have the worse day ever and his cheerful smile and delightful conversation made it all better. We are so blessed to have him as a Hopkins ambassador.


Janelle Maddox-Regis September 12, 2017 at 9:36 am

I met Jesse in 2008 when I began my career at JHU. He drove the JH Campus Shuttle which I took from the Baltimore Street garage. During the first 4 years of my employment, I enjoyed daily conversations with Jesse. In those 4 years, I got married, had my first child and was promoted -- and he celebrated every one of those moments with me, asking to see photos of the wedding and our daughter and always offering encouragement. AND THAT SMILE! Who can frown when he's around? I stopped taking the shuttle in 2012 and lost touch with him, but when he'd see me walking around campus, he would beep his horn or we would briefly catch-up. When I saw his smiling face posted in the hospital hallway, I was so pleased. Jesse is Awesome. Keep winning, brother! We love you!


Terrance Christian September 12, 2017 at 8:34 am

Jesse is a great person a happy person he is infectious. He come close to me. He is a great asset to Johns Hopkins. Keep up the great work Jesse i will come see you soon my friend.


Mohammed September 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

Jesse is a true gentleman and I always look forward to greet him.


Amy Brown September 12, 2017 at 8:16 am

Jesse Grant-- YOU are the "Face of Hopkins!" I am so happy to see you receive all of this well-deserved recognition. Keep up the fantastic work and keep inspiring us all to be better people. You have the gift of genuine joy in your work and your heart. Thank you for sharing it with us.


Awsse September 12, 2017 at 7:38 am

Its an honor that I got to know Jesse while I'm working at JHH. A true human spirit!


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