to abundant levels of skill and caring an unlimited supply
of positive attitudes, mixed with generous dashes of humor,
and you have this year's recipients of Outstanding Contribution
Awards. These employees excel at meeting the challenges of
their jobs at the University, from improving patient care
to streamlining procedures in various departments. Even more
importantly, countless times they show themselves to be exemplary
human beings who enrich the lives of those around them. They
were honored at a banquet June 6, along with employees who
have worked at U.Va. for 25 years or more.
When one U.Va. anesthesiology resident tries to help another,
a commonly heard, friendly retort is "Nice, but you're no
Helen," wrote Dr. Victor C. Baum, who nominated senior anesthesia
technician Helen Antonio for an Outstanding Contribution Award.
Antonio, who has worked in the anesthesiology department since
1986, is responsible for setting up and stocking several operating
rooms, along with induction rooms, where patients wait for surgery.
She also assists in putting in the patients' arterial, central
venous and pulmonary arterial catheters.
Antonio's training as a physician in the Phillippines doesn't
qualify her to practice here in the U.S., she informally teaches
residents and medical students these complex, invasive techniques.
"This is clearly far above the level of her job description,
but she does it in such a casual and supportive manner that not
only would a resident or student never take offense, but they
appreciate the input," Baum said.
Professor of Anesthesiology and Surgery Dr. David Bogdonoff, the
medical director of operating rooms, makes sure others get the
benefit of Antonio's expertise. "Working side by side with
Helen is an important educational situation for my anesthesiology
residents, and much of what they learn about placement of invasive
monitoring lines comes from working with Helen," he said.
All 13 of the senior residents signed a letter of support for
also manages to stay in a pleasant mood even after getting to
her job by 5 a.m. and working in the intense atmosphere of the
cardiac operating rooms. "I have never -- not once -- seen
her get upset," Baum said.
outstanding service also extends to her care of patients. While
they are waiting to go into surgery -- serious, life-threatening
operations -- she helps them relax by playing music on tapes she
has brought from home.
"I can think of no other person ... who exhibits the kind
of compassionate care to patients, thoughtful attention to her
job and pleasant, supportive interaction with her co-workers,"
said Dr. Carl Lynch, Robert M. Epstein Professor and chair of
the department. "I consider it a privilege to have her working
first time I met Sonny, I saw what a lot of people probably see
-- the long hair, the tattoos, the lingering aura of rebelliousness
that he'll never quite shake off," wrote Amanda Buck, a student
employee of the U.Va. recycling program who reports to Bruce "Sonny"
Beale, the program's operations manager
I didn't realize then was that Sonny doesn't even come close to
filling any kind of stereotype," she wrote in her letter
supporting Beale's nomination for an Outstanding Contribution
reading the comments of Beale's many admirers, a clearer portrait
emerges. The student workers he supervises value his wisdom, advice
and approachability. His customers laud his helpfulness, his flexibility
and his commitment to recycling.
made suggestions that fit our needs as a department," wrote
Debbie McDaniel, an administrative assistant at Student Health.
"His concern was that he makes it easy for employees to recycle.
This type of attitude has made the recycling program the success
we feel it is."
czar Dennis Clark put numbers on some of Beale's contributions.
Working with residents of the Copeley Hill family housing area
and the Alderman Road first-year dorms, he saves the Housing Division
about $7,500 per year in trash removal bills. To improve the processing
of cardboard, Beale recommended a new piece of equipment; it requires
almost 40 percent less labor, generates almost 40 percent more
revenue and saves $4,000 in cleanup fees for commencement exercises,
years ago, Beale started a now-successful program to divert the
huge amounts of cardboard waste generated on "move-in day,"
and recently began another to recover useful material from "move-out,"
including carpets, fans, clothes, cinder blocks and lofts.
Beale has a sense for marketing, too. Have you seen the "U.Va.
Recycling" logos on trucks around Grounds? "Another
Sonny Beale invention," Clark said. Beale is also active
in both Boy Scouts and the Piedmont Little League, whose president,
Clay Ferneyhough, writes, "Sonny's positive attitude and
exceptional sportsmanship have been witnessed and impressed upon
several hundred children."
more. He hunts for old bicycles to refurbish and pass along to
children who would not otherwise be able to afford them. The catch?
The child, and if possible a parent, must help fix up the bike,
thereby learning a skill and stimulating parent-child interaction.
Now that's re-cycling.
days, you hear a lot about the tumultuous nature of health care
in the managed-care world. Rapid change often leads to conflict;
when you have conflict, you need trouble-shooters like James Darin
Technically, James Darin's title is patient care services manager
for the Health System's outpatient surgical clinics. But his impact
goes well beyond the narrow definition of ajob title.
year ago, Darin was drafted to coordinate the re-centralizing
of the Health System's
various physical therapy units into a new Core Clinical Services
group, meshing together approximately 30 therapists and working
closely with more than 200 people crossing seven professional
nine months, he "improved service delivery while reducing
Medical Center costs in excess of $1 million," said his supervisor,
James E. McGowan, administrator of Patient Care Services.
now, you might assume that Darin is unpopular with the people
he oversees. He's changing their work, cutting costs, improving
You would be wrong. Darin's boss didn't nominate him, though he
gladly provided one of 11 letters of support. One of the people
he supervises did: Kathleen Henahan, lead professional for physical
assigned the re-centralization project, he threw himself into
it, meeting with those affected, learning their jobs and explaining
his. "His approachable demeanor and availability to the staff
have earned him the respect of the therapists," she wrote.
streamlining, he focused more, rather than less, on staff development.
He has promoted wage personnel into higher roles and pushed continuing
education for staff members, going the extra mile to find funding
for those opportunities.
"His ability to bring the staff together to tackle often
sensitive topics like staffing resources ... has been nothing
short of miraculous," Henahan wrote.
seems to specialize in working out sensitive issues.
had a number of 'sticky' personnel matters that he basically 'unstuck,'"
in a prior job assignment, wrote dermatology department chair
Dr. Kenneth E. Greer after McGowan "loaned" Darin to
his department to assist in addressing some management issues.
calm demeanor in the face of intense personnel differences or
opinion is legendary," agreed Dr. Thomas E. Leinbach, chair
of dentistry, who worked with Darin as part of a process improvement
project. "This man cannot be rattled. He taught us how to
deal with each other."
Deetz, R.N. coordinator for surgical services, summed it up. "If
someone were to ask me the one trait that Jim has that is missing
from so many other people, it would be his ability to let people
feel that they really are needed, and that he cares what happens
role of a social worker is to help those in need. Michelle Flynn,
a clinical social worker senior at The
Women's Place, not only reaches out to patients, their families
and the community to improve services, she also looks for ways
to better U.Va. employees' work environments.
her six years here, "Michelle has gone well above and beyond
the call of duty in creating meaningful and effective links with
agencies in this community," wrote Heather Lee, director
of education at The Women's Place, which provides comprehensive
health care for women at every stage of life
"consistently functions as part of the team, developing and
implementing protocol, policy and procedure when necessary,"
said nurse Ann Peery, who nominated her colleague for the Outstanding
Contribution Award. For example, Flynn developed, implemented
and managed the Perinatal Services Social Work program, which
serves women and families who receive reproductive health services
"Her skillful networking has not only improved the case management
services which are available for patients, but it has greatly
improved the Health System's visibility and accessibility in the
community," Lee said.
addition to her social work duties, Flynn is chair of the Medical
Center Employee Council. She "has found numerous ways to
improve accessibility to the council and to encourage employee
participation," wrote Ronald A. Bouchard, Health System chief
administrative officer. She arranged to have monthly meeting minutes
posted online and for an e-mail address to be established, accessible
only by the council chair, to enable employees to voice concerns
anonymously if desired, he said.
is also a member of U.Va.'s Executive Committee of the Employee
Communications Council. Her many contributions to this council,
as well as to the Medical Center, "have served to set an
example to her co-workers of someone who cares enough to make
the University a better place," said Leonard W. Sandridge,
executive vice president and chief operating officer.
agreed. "Michelle is a tireless champion for the image of
this organization and for the quality of services that we provide.
She is capable of recognizing areas that need improvement and
acting with creativity and enthusiasm to bring about the necessary
-- Rebecca Arrington
operating a crane, to organizing snow removal efforts, to finding
a waterline break -- night or day -- the tasks Frank Hill handles
vary widely. His approach to them, however, is always the same,
say those who work with the Facilities
takes ownership of a problem, stays focused until the job is completed
to everyone's satisfaction, and makes friends in the process,"
wrote Richard S. Fowler, director of facilities operations, in
nominating Hill, a highway equipment operator C, for an Outstanding
certified forklift instructor, Hill safely maneuvers "powerful
and lumbering machinery as though they were compact cars with
power steering,˛ Fowler said.
it's moving obsolete equipment or relocating extremely delicate
and expensive research instrumentation, if "Frank's on board,
jobs get done well and quickly," said Rick Marshall, director
of laboratories in the physics department. "Frank Hill's
forklift and crane skills are exemplary."
also works with all departments to load toxic materials for disposal
by U.Va.'s Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
Another duty he performs is field operations supervisor for snow
removal. This service "benefits every employee, student and
visitor" here, Fowler said, noting that he keeps co-workers'
"spirits up as nerves fray after long, cold hours of repetitious
of his expertise during snowstorms, the University has come to
rely on Hill's judgment when making decisions as to cancellation
or adjustments of events due to inclement weather, Fowler said.
University Police also counts on Hill to insure that access roads
and parking lots are accessible to emergency response vehicles
during bad weather, said Chief of Police Michael Sheffield. "With
a smile, he is always ready for the unforeseen problem. His ability
to evaluate and adapt to any emergency need has been a tremendous
asset on many occasions."
after day, week after week, year after year ...I've enjoyed working
with Frank and respect his opinions," wrote Richard G. Shifflett,
a recently retired supervisor who's known Hill since he began
working at U.Va. in 1977. "Every boss wishes he had a Frank
is not the kind of experience people would choose to have if it
wasn't necessary, but a Health
System employee's positive attitude can go a long way in making
a patient's stay in the hospital bearable. Barry Kear, a patient
services assistant with perioperative services who transports
patients to the operating room, has received an Outstanding Contribution
Award for his winning ways with patients and co-workers
"The most outstanding contribution Mr. Kear makes to providing
quality patient care is the way he comforts the patient and family
members while he transports the patient to the [operating room]
for his/her surgery," notes Elise-Elaine Brigham, a nurse
practitioner who is the education coordinator for perioperative
services. He happens to have a physical disability that doesn't
appear to hold him back as he pushes stretchers and beds, often
with little or no assistance, and ferries supplies, specimens
and X-rays around the hospital many times a day.
Kear, who has worked at U.Va. for 31 years, has also received
many "Employee of the Month" awards from several different
departments for his dedicated service. Patients are only in transit
for a short time during their stays, but Kear gives them his utmost
attention and care, creating "a reflection of the image that
the Health System wants to provide to our customers," wrote
Doris Shifflett, an administrative assistant for perioperative
services, who nominated him. Add to all this a willingness to
help his co-workers and even walk to work during snowstorms.
describes him as "the link between the 'safe area' of the
patient's room and the unknown of impending surgery. Naturally,
the patient's anxiety level rises when he/she realizes the time
for surgery is imminent, but by the time he/she arrives in the
OR, much of the patient's fears have been allayed by Mr. Kear's
-- Anne Bromley
Most of the University's schools don't have to worry about bringing
in revenue, but the School
of Continuing and Professional Studies has to support itself
by selling its courses and programs. Located in Falls Church,
Virginia Center is probably in one of the most competitive
markets. With the help of marketing director Robert Rosseter,
who's only been there for two years, the center is more successful
this relatively short amount of time, Robert has become one of
the most effective, influential persons employed by the School
of Continuing and Professional Studies," wrote director Steve
Gladis, who nominated Rosseter for an Outstanding Contribution
"a time of exceptional growth," Rosseter has worked
with staff, media and students in developing and promoting the
center's programs, including its new information technology certificate
program. Rather than simply sending out a barrage of costly advertisements
and leaving enrollment to the chance that they'd be seen, he laid
out a strategic plan that is working so well, the center is over-budget,
unlike past years. The information technology program brought
in $400,000 in its first year. Rosseter also created a free, monthly
e-mail newsletter for students, corporate clients and other constituents.
tactical use of relation-building activities, including press
releases, targeted marketing materials and media interviews, combined
to establish not one, but two completely over-subscribed programs
that have waiting lists for admission," said coworker Russ
only did this method save his marketing budget," explained
Gladis, "but we all discovered that the resulting impartial
news stories brought in many more calls for information than traditional
advertisements. In the case of our new Information Technology
Certificate, one front-page story in The Fairfax Journal eventually
brought in over 1,000 requests for information."
counts on him because he never shies away from giving thoughtful,
truthful opinions that are always in the best interest of the
University," Gladis said.
applies the same organization and thoroughness to whatever area
he tackles. When the center was short-staffed, he volunteered
to oversee the registration process and not only succeeded in
streamlining it, he also "made the students happier and more
informed, improved the morale of the registration staff, increased
registration revenue and increased knowledge of registration issues
among the entire 30-person staff," according to Gladis.
list of people who nominated Linda Shifflett for this year's Outstanding
Contribution Award reads like a Who's Who at the University, including
the president and two vice presidents
she's spent her 25 years at U.Va. working for its upper echelon
of administrators, Shifflett's regard for all at the University
is "doggedly democratic," wrote Polley McClure, U.Va.'s
former vice president and chief information officer who is now
in a similar post at Cornell.
"Whether a state senator, a physical plant worker, a corporate
CEO, or an ITC employee, he or she is greeted with the same enthusiasm
by Linda," the office manager for U.Va.'s Office
of Information Technologies.
recently received flowers from the messenger mail employee who
handles the needs of her office "for being so nice."
McClure agrees. "I have never worked with a more capable
and caring person. ...Linda is simply without peer."
McClure left U.Va. last year, Dr. Robert Reynolds became interim
vice president and chief information officer. It was Shifflett's
"special kind of efficiency and detailed knowledge of the University˛
that helped convince him to accept the position. "Knowing that
she would serve as the organizational point person for my new
responsibilities was essential and reassuring,˛ he said.
"thorough attention to detail, diligence in duty and unsurpassed
knowledge of the University proved invaluable to me on occasions
too numerous to count," concurred President John T. Casteen
III. "She was the person to whom most everyone on my staff
and throughout Madison Hall turned for advice about navigating
the University's administrative waters."
Trisha Gordon wrote of her colleague, "She competently handles
the mundane and the insane with equal efficiency, good humor and
professionalism." During the past year, she has provided
key support for such major events as the e-summit, various state
governmental meetings and the national meeting of the Common Solutions
Groups, comprised of vice presidents and advanced technology officers
from the major Internet 2 universities.
ITC, Shifflett has "implemented countless new processes that
have streamlined our internal operations. Many of her innovations
are relatively small ones ... but the cumulative effect is quite
profound," Reynolds said.
"Would Linda credit herself with these attributes? No doubt
she would say she is just doing her job," Gordon said.
For nearly two decades, David P. Short has been quietly working
his magic as a member of the Buildings and Grounds crew at the
University of Virginia's
College at Wise.
1980 graduate of U.Va.Wise, Short began his service to the college
as a student worker in facilities management. A year after graduation,
Short was hired as a full-time utilities serviceman there.
Short now supervises a crew of 14 full-time employees plus a contingent
of student workers. With Short as a mentor, the time students
spend mowing lawns and painting walls becomes more than a means
to a paycheck.
gives them the confidence and direction that cannot be taught
in the classroom," wrote John Reeves, director of facilities,
who nominated Short for the award. "None of his student workers
leave this college without a true sense of commitment and pride
that follows them throughout life."
by those who know him as "a man of few words," Short
has made his mark with his dedication to his job and his loyalty
to the employees he supervises. He sets a shining example for
his pupils. "David can often be seen on weekends and after
hours mowing the lawns here at U.Va.-Wise," Reeves wrote.
"He sees that a job has to be done and he does it. It's a
matter of pride and principle."
a never-ending list of "urgent˛ work requests, Short's calm
exterior never belies the stresses inherent to his job. "It's
a balancing act of trying to get people where they are needed
and to make decisions about what should be done first," Short
said. With his guidance, the result is a smooth and seamless flow
can think of no one who has been so patient, determined and loyal
to the college and his responsibilities here," Laura Pritchard
wrote in support of Short's nomination. This is the third year
he has been nominated.
amazing sometimes to see how one small decision gets made, and
then one thing leads to another, and people's lives -- and an
institution -- are changed.
it was in 1994, when Judy Warder was asked to serve as a study
coordinator for several industry-sponsored drug trials in the
Medical Center's electromyography lab. It was a somewhat unusual
request, said Dr. Lawrence Phillips II, the lab's medical director,
because Warder is a technician and not a registered nurse, as
most study coordinators are. But she agreed to accept the extra
duties anyway, and did an exemplary job.
subjects of the trials were patients with amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, a neuromuscular ailment that
kills its sufferers within five years of the onset of symptoms.
But Warder did not think of them as mere "trial subjects."
has gradually assumed the role of coordinating overall clinical
care for patients, which does not end once the drug trial ends,"
Phillips wrote in nominating Warder for an Outstanding Contribution
Award. "She has become their friend, ombudsman, counselor
and advocate. Often, after an ALS patient dies, the surviving
family maintains contact with Judy as they go through their grieving
and adjustment process."
contacts led Warder to meet Patricia Dart, a local attorney whose
brother died of ALS at another hospital. Together, they co-founded
the Blue Ridge ALS Support Group in 1997, which Warder continues
to co-direct, coordinating the monthly meetings, choosing the
program, and composing and distributing a monthly newsletter for
ripples extend even further. Warder and Dart led fund-raising
efforts that led to February's opening of the Richard R. Dart
ALS Clinic at the U.Va. Medical Center, a comprehensive care facility
for ALS that is unique in the state. Warder is often invited to
speak to lay, patient and professional groups around the state
about caring for ALS patients.
"Judy is an invaluable asset for the department of neurology
and for the University of Virginia," Phillips wrote. And
it all started because Warder took on a position for which some
might have thought she was underqualified.
Office Manager Tammy Wilkins is the "good-humored traffic
cop for command central at the University," wrote Treasurer
Alice Handy in her letter supporting Wilkins for an Outstanding
Contribution Award. Both Wilkins and Handy, who is also president
of U.Va.'s Investment Management Company, report to "command
central" head, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating
Officer Leonard W. Sandridge.
the life of someone whose operating style is to be accessible
to everyone is no small task," Handy said of Wilkins's role
in Sandridge's office. On any given day, she answers countless
e-mails and some 75 phone calls, while scheduling meetings, and
responding to the requests of board members, faculty, employees,
students, alumni and others.
"embodiment of multi-tasking, Tammy is the vital link between
Mr. Sandridge's office and the managers reporting directly to
him," said Tim R. Rose, chief executive officer of the University
of Virginia Foundation.
has worked at U.Va. for almost 16 years, with all but six months
of that time for Sandridge. Over the years as the University's
physical and financial needs have grown, the office has gone through
many changes and names -- from the Budget Office, to the Office
of Vice President for Business and Finance, to the Office of the
Executive Vice President and now extending to the Health System.
Throughout this expansion, Wilkins' "dedicated work ethic
and pleasant demeanor have remained constant," Sandridge
"Given the increased schedule I have kept over the past several
months, Tammy has coordinated at least 100 meetings per month,"
he said of his "right-hand" assistant. "She has
amazing 'instant recall' of names, facts and documents."
And no matter how busy she is, she "always takes the time
to make sure our visitors are comfortable and have what they need,"
very much appreciate Tammy's outstanding contributions. ... The
roles she plays on a daily basis have never been more important
to what we do," Sandridge said.