November 2012

November 2012

Welcome to the November 2012 edition of the Round Table.

Roundtable Header

I would like to thank all who came out to the State of the School address. In it, we welcomed the Class of 2016 and a new department chair, honored faculty accomplishments and excellence, discussed what it means to be a patient-centered institution, highlighted our successes, reflected upon areas of opportunity, shared preparations for the LCME visit, offered updates on the Centers of Excellence, celebrated the Department of Medicine’s turnaround, and set expectations for ourselves related to quality care, clinical and translational research, and our strategic plan. For those of you who were unable to attend and would like to view the presentation, we have uploaded it to the School of Medicine homepage.

At the State of the School we also discussed the future and change. This month, a new President of the United States will be elected. While the candidates have differing views on the direction of healthcare for this country, they share one thing in common: Many aspects of the delivery of healthcare will change. The national debate on this topic will continue, although a shift away from the status quo is already happening. While the exact form of this change, and how it will affect us on a day-to-day basis, is yet to be determined, we must prepare ourselves to move in any direction the voters take us. To do this, we must be willing to evolve and adapt to the shifting landscape. Our efforts in patient-centered care are central to our ability to provide excellent and safe, high-quality medicine under any new payment system. While the political systems will change reimbursements and likely how patients select a system of care, our job and our mission is to focus on the patient, and teach our students and residents to do so. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, our oaths of Hippocrates and Maimonides are still our guiding principles.

In an 1816 letter, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “[I]nstitutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” The University of Virginia is our institution — it is your institution — and these are our times. This change is an opportunity for us to transform — not just to do things better, but to discover new and innovative ways of thinking about the challenges we face.

In this new era of evolving healthcare, I thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to excellence. It is upon your efforts that we will see this institution shepherded through these changing times.

Respectfully,

Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP

CLINICAL NEWS

Hand-Hygiene Helpers Deployed to Units

In an effort to assist us in our hand-hygiene auditing efforts, a workforce of eight UVA undergraduates and graduate work-study students has been hired for the academic year. This group is part of the Infection Control Auditing of Clinicians (ICAC) Program. They’ll be supplementing the current audits already being performed by the Infection Prevention & Control office.

These hand-hygiene helpers will be easily identified: They will be carrying white clipboards and wearing white scrub tops. Their presence on the inpatient units at all shift hours will serve as an important reminder to all faculty and staff of the importance of hand hygiene and basic infection control.

In addition to improving our data collection volumes, they will also be handing out feedback cards to all faculty and staff. We ask that you welcome their feedback, realizing at times we all need a gentle reminder. Please do not confront the auditors. If you have issues with the ICAC Program, please contact Mike Marquardt, Director, Office of the Chief Medical Officer, at mrm2fp@virginia.edu or 243.7025.

This Month: Get Your Mandatory Flu Inoculation

In the past few years, the potential for a major influenza outbreak has highlighted the need for UVA Health System to implement a comprehensive screening and inoculation program. This is important for the protection of patients, as well as employees, colleagues, and visitors. I encourage everyone to get the flu inoculation as soon as possible.

This inoculation is mandatory for all School of Medicine faculty, professional research staff, staff and wage employees, as well as unpaid or visiting faculty of the School of Medicine who work in or regularly visit facilities owned or operated by UVA. The flu inoculation is considered a condition of employment. Details about the policy can be found at www.medicine.virginia.edu/administration/office-of-the-dean/administration/school-policies/RequiredHealthScreenings.pdf.

To receive the flu shot, please visit a flu clinic or call UVA WorkMed (243.0075) to schedule an appointment — an email has been sent out with clinic hours and locations. You can also receive the shot at a Hoo’s Well biometric screening or visit Employee Health during normal clinic hours. Alternately, you may visit your personal healthcare provider, but you will need to provide a vaccination record as confirmation. Individuals can request a waiver for several reasons. Details are on the School of Medicine Human Resources website at hr.imedicine.virginia.edu. Thank you for your assistance with this initiative and in helping protect the health of our patients and colleagues.

UVA Honored With Three National Awards

This fall, the Medical Center has been honored with a trio of national awards. These awards reflect our outstanding team efforts. These include:

  • A customer service award. The Medical Center was named a 2011-2012 “Hospital of Choice” for customer service by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers (AAHCP). According to their site, this award recognizes hospitals “based on their competence, public communication, reputation, good citizenship, and customer service skills exhibited by staff members.” A key element of AAHCP’s evaluation is the use of “secret shoppers” to test hospitals’ service performance. In addition to the secret shoppers, AAHCP also reviews hospital websites, conducts annual physician surveys, and reviews recognition and awards received by hospitals.
  • A sustainability award. The Medical Center was named the first winner of the Sustainability Award from UHC, a national organization of academic medical centers. UHC highlighted UVA’s commitment to sustainability, its development of ways to measure progress toward its sustainability goals, and its communication efforts.
  • An honor for women’s care. Becker’s Hospital Review selected the Medical Center for its new list of “100 Hospitals With Great Women’s Health Programs.” UVA and other hospitals on the list, according to the magazine, “offer outstanding programs within women's health, including gynecology, obstetrics, reproductive medicine and other gender-specific conditions and health needs.” Hospitals were chosen for the award based on “clinical accolades, quality care and women's health proficiencies and awards.”

Thank you for all of your efforts in these areas. This sort of national recognition assists us in moving forward with our clinical strategy, illustrating why we should be the provider of choice. Full press releases on all three of these awards can be found at uvanewsroom.com.

Robin T. Petroze, MD, Receives Service Award

Please join me in congratulating Robin T. Petroze, MD, general surgery resident, for receiving the Surgical Volunteerism Resident Award of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and Pfizer. This volunteerism award is given “in recognition of those surgeons committed to giving something of themselves back to society by making significant contributions to surgical care through organized volunteer activities.” Dr. Petroze received the surgical volunteerism award for demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to addressing the unmet needs of surgical patients at home and abroad. She was one of five ACS members honored at an awards dinner held at the ACS Annual Clinical Congress in Chicago. Once again, congratulations, Dr. Petroze!

EDUCATION UPDATES & EVENTS

Justin Mutter, 4th Year, Selected as a 2012 Pisacano Scholar

Congratulations to Justin Mutter, fourth-year medical student, for being named one of five Pisacano Scholars for 2012. The scholarship is awarded to fourth-year medical students who show a strong commitment to the specialty of family medicine and who demonstrate qualities such as leadership, academic achievement, and integrity, in addition to performing notable community service.

Mutter’s many accomplishments include being named a Rhodes Scholar and serving a two-year stint in Haiti as a health worker for Zanmi Lasante, the flagship project of the global health group Partners in Health. In Haiti, his responsibilities included managing an outpatient nutrition program as well as agriculture and food security initiatives with a large farmers’ organization. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Zanmi Lasante’s Program on Social and Economic Rights, which aims to address the social disparities that put the group’s patients at increased risk of disease. During his time in the School of Medicine’s Generalist Scholars Program, Mutter has assisted with a community health status assessment for local public housing residents and served as a summer fellow at the Healthy Appalachia Institute in Southwest Virginia.

Mutter, who also received his undergraduate degree from UVA, is the second UVA medical student selected as a Pisacano Scholar since the start of the program in 1993. Congratulations!

Narratives Valuable in Student Evaluations

When evaluation time arrives, I would like to remind everyone of the value of narrative comments, which offer important points of feedback and contribute to the professional development of the student physician. A few faculty members have grown accustomed to writing summative narrative comments that consist of a single sentence or phrase, such as, “Student did an excellent job.” or “Student was consistent and performed as expected.” Feedback is much more helpful to the student if comments address some key performance categories. I urge you to take time and provide useful, fair, and honest feedback that provides a specific picture of the students’ efforts.

Save the Dates: Dean's New Faculty Seminar Series

Thank you to everyone who attended October’s installment in the Dean's New Faculty Seminar series, “Divide to multiply: the role of mitochondrial fission in cancer,”
by David Kashatus, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology. In addition to education, the seminars are an opportunity for presenters to introduce themselves (and their research programs) to other faculty and to make contacts with others in their field and around the School of Medicine and the Grounds. All faculty, students, and staff are welcome to attend these seminars held in Jordan Hall Conference Center Auditorium.

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 4 p.m.

  • Presenter – Mark Beenhakker, PhD,
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology
  • Topic – “From synapse to circuit: dissecting the thalamus to understand seizures”

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 4 p.m.

  • Presenter – Shetal Padia, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Topic – “Obesity-induced hypertension: the role of the intrarenal ghrelin receptor”


It is my hope that this merit-based series will speed the introduction of exciting new research ideas, and accelerate collaborations and interactions between our new faculty and all of our established colleagues. For a full schedule, please visit: www.medicine.virginia.edu/research/offices/research/home/som-new-faculty-seminars.html

RESEARCH HONORS & DEADLINES

Save the Date: Research Retreat

The next School of Medicine Research Retreat is quickly approaching. It will be held at the Boar’s Head Inn on Feb. 8-9, 2013, and the keynote speaker, William N. Hait, MD, PhD, Global Head, Research and Development, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Johnson & Johnson, will be discussing “Emerging models for effective interactions between academic and industrial scientists and clinicians.”

Concurrent session topics have been established:

  • Brain, Immunology, and Glia: the New Frontiers in Translational Neuroscience
  • The Pathogenesis of Asthma: from Epidemiology to the Single Cell
  • Infectious Diseases: New Challenges and Frontiers
  • Collaborations Leading to Innovations: Cardiovascular Research at UVA
  • New Frontiers of Genetics and Epigenetics in Human Disease
  • Collaborative Approaches to the Study of Complex Disease: Hypertension and Stroke
  • Translating Mathematics into Medicine: Systems Biology at UVA
  • Translational Imaging at UVA: From Bench to Bedside
  • New Frontiers in Neuro-Oncology

 

I look forward to seeing you at this weekend of collaboration and opportunity. Details can be found at: www.medicine.virginia.edu/research/offices/research/home/som-faculty-research-retreat-2013.html.

PICU ROSTERS Study Receives Funding

Congratulations to Pearl L. Yu, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, and her team (co-investigators Linda Waggoner-Fountain, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Jeannean Carver, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has awarded funding to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) as one of six sites for the “Randomized Order Safety Trial Evaluating Resident Schedules” (ROSTERS) study. This study will examine the effects of eliminating work shifts for resident physicians (PGY2 and PGY3) that exceed 16 hours without sleep, and if such changes will lead to improvements in patient safety in the ICU setting.

UVA Children’s Hospital joins Children's Hospital Colorado (University of Colorado, Denver and Boulder), Boston Children's Hospital (Harvard Medical School), University of Iowa Children’s Hospital (University of Iowa), Children's Memorial Hospital (Northwestern University), and Cincinnati Children's Medical Center (University of Cincinnati Medical Center) in this important national study. Congratulations!

Deadline Approaches for Two New Research Awards

Two new research awards are available from the Office of the Vice President for Research: the Distinguished Research Career Development Award and the Distinguished Research Award. See www.virginia.edu/vpr/fest.html.

  • The Distinguished Research Career Development Award demonstrates the University’s support and commitment to outstanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) research by recognizing our most promising newly tenured faculty by funding a new opportunity or accelerating ongoing innovative research by the awardee. We anticipate between two and four awards each year.
  • The Distinguished Research Award demonstrates the University’s support and commitment to outstanding STEM research by recognizing our most promising and creative new full professors. The award will fund a significant, new research opportunity for the awardee. We anticipate between one and three awards each year.

 

The deadline for both is Feb. 4, 2013. Direct any questions about eligibility and the application process to Nikki Watson (njw6n@virginia.edu) in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Awardees will be announced in early spring and the award or awards presented at the May meeting of the Board of Visitors.

Team Virginia Wins Silver Medal

Congratulations to Team Virginia for bringing home the Silver Medal at the Americas East Regional iGem Jamboree in Pittsburgh. iGem, the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition is an annual contest in synthetic biology. Team Virginia worked with the labs of Erik Hewlett, MD, Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases and International Health, and Kimberly Kelly, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, to design a rapid assay for the detection of whooping cough. They were one of four finalists from a pool of 44 teams and they will proceed to the global championship at MIT in November.

Representing UVA in the regional competition were eight students from the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering and Applied Science — Joshua Fass (Biomedical Engineering), Jacqueline Grimm (Biology), Syed Hassan (Computer Science), John Hubczak (Chemical Engineering), Joseph Muldoon (Biology & Chemistry), Shaun Moshasha (Chemistry & Physics), Omar Raza (Biology), and Alexander Zorychta (Biomedical Engineering). For more information visit the team at www.seas.virginia.edu/students/vgem/ and the competition site at igem.org.

Shu Man Fu, MD, PhD, Receives ACR Basic Investigator Award

Congratulations to Shu Man Fu, MD, PhD, Margaret M. Trolinger Professor of Rheumatology, Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, for receiving the Basic Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). This Award of Distinction is given to a basic scientist who is making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. Dr. Fu’s research interests include genetic and environmental factors in autoimmune disorders, autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The Basic Investigator Award is one of the highest research honors given by the ACR, and Dr. Fu is its 25th recipient. Previous awardees include Baruj Benacerraf (1988) and Susumu Tonegawa (1989), both Noble Prize winners. Once again, congratulations Dr. Fu!

Drug Discovery Forum a Success

The School of Medicine recently hosted an outstanding interdisciplinary forum to help researchers swiftly and safely move new medicines through the discovery and approval process. The Drug Discovery Forum, held on Sept. 20, brought together top experts for in-depth discussions of four critical phases of drug development: discovery; optimization and delivery; clinical trials; and commercialization. Their goal was to increase collaboration among researchers while determining how to advance drug discovery at UVA.

The keynote speaker at the forum was Bryan Roth, MD, PhD, Director of the NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There were also short presentations on each of the four highlighted phases of drug development, as well as extended discussions. This was a great meeting — thank you to all who attended and participated.

Berne Cardiovascular Research Center Celebrates 20 Years

The Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center is celebrating two decades with a 20th Anniversary Symposium. This two-day event will be held Nov. 8-9 at the Boar's Head Inn, and will have five sessions and 16 speakers. Discussion topics will include vascular inflammation, heart failure, protein nitrosylation and microcirculatory function, adenosine, and atherosclerosis. The keynote speakers are Göran Hansson, PhD, Professor of Experimental Cardiovascular Research at the Karolinska Institutet, and Daniel Rader, MD, Associate Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

OTHER SCHOOL OF MEDICINE NEWS

Wanted: Your Innovative Business Ideas

How does a provider who has a business idea vet it through the system and get it approved? As part of implementing the clinical strategy, the Strategic Business Development Committee has been formed to develop, identify, assess, evaluate, recommend, and integrate business plans with operations for the advancement of the UVA Health System clinical strategy. The committee is also charged with advancing productive partnerships, once identified and secured, as a platform for clinical integration and growth. The committee incorporates individuals from the Medical Center, the School of Medicine (SOM), and UVA Physicians Group (UPG).

This committee provides a mechanism for your innovation. Co-chair Raymond A. Costabile, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Strategy, Jay Y. Gillenwater Professor of Urology and Vice Chairman, says, “It’s important for everybody in the Health System to be aware of the process for the development of new programs and how they can come to development.”

The group will assist providers in evaluating and moving ideas into positions of approval by the Health System and ultimately the Board of Visitors, if required. The Strategic Business Development Committee will also oversee the development of business plans and financing for implementation. “It’s important to get the word out so that people understand what the process is and that we’re open for ideas from faculty and staff. We have 7,000 employees, 1,200 faculty — that’s a lot of smart people. We want them onboard and we want their ideas,” says Costabile.

The committee is made up of members from all three entities: physicians from the SOM, development/finance experts from the Medical Center, and administrators from the Medical Center and UPG. This committee’s expertise and years of experience will allow for a fast response rate. “It’s meant to be a rapid process. We don’t want to move at glacial speed,” says Costabile. “We want to give people an answer pretty quickly.”

Co-chair Larry Fitzgerald, Associate Vice President for Business Development and Finance says, “We want to encourage ideas to come forward. There are so many things emerging in the market that UVA should seriously consider being involved with.”

“We’re really enthusiastic about this,” says Costabile. “We’re very excited to get our faculty and staff engaged. Our strategic direction is a good one. It is a well-thought-out plan — a lot of time and effort and metrics have gone into it — and we want everyone to realize that this committee wants to make things happen. It’s not just another committee where people talk about stuff. We want outcomes.”

I encourage you to contact the Strategic Business Development Committee co-chairs Larry Fitzgerald (llf2n@virginia.edu) or Dr. Raymond Costabile (rac2b@virginia.edu) with your innovative ideas.

Fact Sheet Available for Federal Changes to COI

New federal rules took effect on Aug. 24 regarding financial conflicts of interest in research. The rules pertain to Public Health Service funded research but the ramifications are broader. As a result, the University of Virginia and the School of Medicine have implemented new procedures for sponsored research applications and awards. The changes are summarized on a fact sheet found here: www.medicine.virginia.edu/research/offices/research/research-forms-and-documents/FCOI%20impacts%20on%20applications%20and%20awards091312.pdf

Questions about these changes should be directed to Stewart Craig, Assistant Dean for Research Administration, or Bev Van Ausdal, Assistant Director of Grants, at 924.8426.

Help CVC With Your Donations

The Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) is underway and I urge everyone to make a donation. I would like as close to 100 percent participation as possible, even if the individual amounts are relatively small. This is a wonderful way in which state employees can give to one of approximately 1,300 charities. In the past, UVA employees have been among the most generous in the state in supporting the CVC.

While many of you donate throughout the year, I ask you to please consider making your regular donations through the CVC. Doing so assures that 100% of the dollars pledged goes to the charity of your choice. Donating this way is also made convenient through a payroll deduction.

If you still wish to make a donation for 2012, going online with a credit card or filling in the pledge card and enclosing a check by Dec. 15 meets IRS guidelines and will count as a donation for the 2012 IRS/state tax deduction.

Among the charities participating in the CVC are those funding health and human services, animal welfare, environmental and/or historical restoration, preservation or conservation, and medical research. More information about the campaign, including locations where you can drop off pledges, is at www.virginia.edu/cvc/.

New SOM Emergency Response Sheets Are Online

Please note that a new School of Medicine Emergency Response Sheet has been created and is posted online. These replace the old “yellow sheets,” so please discard the latter when posting the updated version. On this first-response guidance you will find assistance on how to deal with everything from bomb threats and gas leaks to natural disasters and radioactive incidents. These quick references should be printed out and posted by phones in your work area.

You can download a PDF of the new Emergency Response Sheet at www.medicine.virginia.edu/research/offices/research/research-forms-and-documents/Emergency%20Response%20Sheet%20SOM.pdf.

For more information on Emergency Planning, please visit

www.medicine.virginia.edu/emergency-planning.

Results: SOM Employee Engagement

One of our key strategic initiatives is an effort to advance a culture of physician and employee engagement and alignment that achieves superior levels of constituent satisfaction and top-decile engagement scores among peer academic medical centers. In early June, School of Medicine (SOM) staff members were invited to complete a brief and confidential Employee Engagement Survey and we have the results.

The areas in which we rated highest included “UVA Health System conducts high-quality research,” “UVA Health System delivers high-quality education,” “I am proud to tell people I work at UVA Health System,” “I know what is expected of me at work,” “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person,” and “I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work.” The areas for improvement, where we scored low, include responses to these phrases: “In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work,” “UVA HS healthcare services are better than our competitors,” and “There is someone at work who encourages my development.”

Engaged employees are committed psychologically and emotionally to their work, colleagues, and the goals of their organization. Research has found that increasing employee engagement correlates directly with a positive impact on key business metrics such as sales, service, quality, safety, and employee retention. Engaged employees are more productive employees; they are more customer-focused, safer, and more likely to remain with the organization. Creating a culture of engagement will help move the SOM and the Clinical Strategy forward.

Each entity in the Health System has historically administered its own employee or employee engagement surveys at different times, using different vendors and methodology. We have issued an RFP to secure a firm to reconcile and integrate the disparate engagement initiatives into a comprehensive Health System Engagement Survey and a year-round focus on improving and strengthening our workplace.

2012 UVA School of Medicine Awards

Historically, during the fall State of the School presentation, we take time to individually recognize some of our outstanding faculty. This year, however, there were so many awards that we had to create a separate presentation to properly honor those who have distinguished themselves. I would like to offer congratulations to the following people for their excellent work:

  • The David A. Harrison Distinguished Educator Award
    • Joel W. Hockensmith, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Megan J. Bray, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Loren D. Erickson, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology
    • Eric R. Houpt, MD, Professor of Medicine
    • Jeffrey J. Saucerman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
    • Neeral Shah, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching
    • David T. Auble, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
  • Dean’s Award for Clinical Excellence
    • Todd W. Bauer, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery
    • Amir A. Jazaeri, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Saher Sabri, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging
    • Andrew Y. Wang, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research
    • Christopher R. McCartney, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine
    • Vesna Jevtovic-Todorovic, MD, PhD, Professor of Anesthesiology
  • Deans Excellence in Research Team Science Awards
    • Craig L. Slingluff, Jr., MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery
    • Donald F. Hunt, PhD, Professor of Chemistry and Pathology
    • Victor H. Engelhard, PhD, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology
    • Daniel G. Gioeli, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology
    • Bryce M. Paschal, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
    • Anindya Dutta, MBBS, PhD, Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
    • Henry F. Frierson, Jr., MD, Professor of Pathology
    • David Wotton, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
    • Mark R. Conaway, PhD, Professor of Public Health Sciences
  • Medical Center Master Educator Award for Graduate Medical Education
    • Mark J. Mendelsohn, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    • William A. Woods, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
  • 2012 Members of the Academy of Distinguished Educators (ADE)

—By ADE selection committee acceptance of nomination packet:

  • Mark D. DeBoer, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Julie L. Huffmyer, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
  • Kambiz Kalantari, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine
  • James W. Mandell, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology
  • Melanie A. McCollum, PhD, Associate Professor of Cell Biology
  • Barnett R. Nathan, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology

—Through receiving a School of Medicine Dean’s Office Award:

  • David T. Auble, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (Kadner Award recipient)
  • Loren D. Erickson, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (Dean’s Teaching Award recipient)
  • Eric R. Houpt, MD, Professor of Medicine (Dean’s Teaching Award recipient)
  • Jeffrey J. Saucerman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering (Dean’s Teaching Award recipient)
  • Neeral Shah, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dean’s Teaching Award recipient)

SOM’s Employees of the Month Are …

Rusty Beal (July)

As an Accountant in the Dean’s Office, Finance, one of the many instances in which Rusty went above and beyond was in identifying the source of monies earned in the Department of Dentistry, and then arranging for those monies to be transferred into the proper account.

Much of the “found” money was prior to the use of Oracle, so Rusty examined years of microfiche records to verify the source of the funds and cleared a deficit of $14,000 in Dentistry’s gift account, which left a surplus of over $26,000 in its operating account.

Ray Selig, Administrator, Department of Dentistry, says, “I had scheduled a day to examine those records … only to be told that Rusty had already determined that the monies were revenue. Apparently Rusty had stayed late and had done my job!” He offers that “Rusty’s humble service is a rarity.”

Stephanie Bingler, Pediatrics Department Administrator, says, Rusty “is always thorough in his analysis [and] offers explanations to help understand…. He does not look for praise or fanfare. He feels he is doing his job, but he is providing much more.”

Brenda Loving (August)

Brenda, Financial Analyst in the Department of Neurology, has been nominated for being an integral member of the team in maintaining a high level of effectiveness since personnel departures increased her responsibilities in the financial area. “She has expanded her role to include the faculty remuneration plan process and has done a very good job,” says Joseph Cardella, Director of Finance and Administration, Urology.

Emily Gray, Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator, Neurology, and Brenda’s supervisor, says, “Brenda has worked tirelessly over the last several months to juggle her own workload, in addition to taking on new duties, and training new employees. Brenda’s reporting and accounting skills, attention to detail, and willingness to roll up her sleeves and ‘dig into the data’ have been essential in this endeavor.”

Myla Goldman, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, says, “Brenda has been very helpful in support of my clinical research efforts. She has worked to improve the purchasing and processing of payments for my patients.”

I encourage you to nominate your colleagues for Employee of the Month. Please submit nominations by the 10th of the month. Award recipients are publically honored in May, September, and January with a reception and a plaque. Departments may nominate an employee electronically via the SOM HR website:

Respectfully,

-STDeK