Meet Bernie: healer of more than just broken bones

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - If you have ever been treated for a broken bone at the USC Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Office, then you have probably met Daniel Bernard Green.

Among coworkers and patients, he's affectionately known as "Bernie."

He has worked there for 34 years, and his list of responsibilities is pretty long.

"I put casts on people's arms and legs, take out staples and stitches, put on braces, help out the nurses and bring patients back," Bernie says.

"Actually I do a lot more, but basically that's what I do," he adds modestly, making perhaps one of the biggest understatements of the year.

Since his first day on the job, Bernie has gladly moved into the role of motivator and inspirational leader. He's not a doctor or a nurse. He's just a guy who does his job with a smile.

"My Mama always said, if you smile at the world, the world will smile back at you. Once you do that, God will reward you," Bernie says.

Bernie's reward isn't a cash bonus or an extra week of vacation; it's the response he gets from the people around him.

"He found his calling," says Danielle Manning, a USC soccer player who has received several of Bernie's famous casts. "I think this is a great job for him. He absolutely loves it to death and you can tell it every time he comes in here."

Dr. Chris Mazoue works with Bernie in the sports medicine clinic. He says he's never seen Bernie have a bad day.

"On a Monday morning, you're a little down, Bernie has a big smile on his face. [He] tells you to cheer up and perks you up for the rest of the day," Dr. Mazoue says.

Whether you are an injured athlete rushing to get back on the field, or just a passer-by in need of a few words of encouragement, Bernie is always there.

"I get a joy working with them: putting them back out in the field….seeing that they get better – not only the athletes, but regular patients that come in. It brings joy to me."

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