My Town – Ashlee Smith
DO, Pediatrics Neonatal Intensive Care Mercy Medical Center
my town: genuine
Although I was neither born nor raised here, Redding is my town. I landed here by way of a job recruiter seven years ago, as a nervous new physician fresh out of training. I moved here by myself without knowing a single person and I quickly discovered that Redding has some of the kindest, friendliest and most loyal people that I have ever met.
I was born, raised and did all of my education and training in West Virginia. Having moved all over the state to complete my education, I still felt like I had not ever really left home, so when this opportunity presented itself to me, I jumped at the chance. It was difficult to leave my family behind in West Virginia; however, choosing Redding made the transition as easy as it could possibly be to move across the country alone.
When I think about my town, I think about sunshine, snow- capped mountains and beautiful sunsets with all shades of pink, purple and orange. I think about live music at the Cascade, a local wine shop or a small brewery. I think about a wide variety of delicious food with new options popping up regularly. Most importantly, though, I think about my town’s genuine people.
I was welcomed with open arms by Redding and found myself quickly surrounded by a group of amazing women who treated me like family and helped me network. I found a second instant family with my coworkers in the neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Medical Center. Working in such a focused, tight-knit unit has definitely taught me that respecting and putting effort into getting to know coworkers brings a completely elevated level of gratitude and appreciation to my career as a neonatologist.
Now, seven years in, I am fortunate enough to have not only the most amazing circle of friends (whom I refer to as my framily) but also the kindest, most compassionate husband who provides me with entertainment, laughs and most importantly, support when life throws its curveballs. I love exploring Redding and the surrounding areas with my people.
Many people leave Redding. It is not for everyone. Those of us who put effort into our community and seek out the many valuable things that surround us see her beauty. Whether you are from Redding or not, I encourage you to get to know my town and her people. Attend an event that you see advertised, join one of our many local philanthropic organizations, find an opportunity to volunteer and give back, try a new local restaurant that you have never been to, wander into a local boutique downtown. If you put the effort in, I guarantee you will fall in love with my town, just as I did.