Donna Hudson: The Problem Solver

UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2012 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards, the highest U.Va. honor staff receive for their dedicated service to the University. Today: Donna Hudson of U.Va.'s Health System. To see all of the stories, click here

May 18, 2012 — For close to four decades, Donna Hudson has been helping staff in women's and children's services at the University of Virginia Health System address thousands of challenges in a variety of areas.

"Some have been related to personnel issues, some finance issues, some space issues, some policy and procedures and some just issues," nominators Jan Allaire, Kevin Elgin, Shelia Smith and Audrey Thompson wrote.

Hudson, coordinator of finance and operations for the unit, has performed a variety of tasks to help day-to-day operations run smoothly, such as developing tools to help areas stay within their budgets, making sure financial compliance rules are followed and closely monitoring special funds allocated for women's and children's areas. She also assists other areas in the Health System by testing new finance and payroll systems.

"She has carefully ensured that donor wishes are respected and that critical elements for patient- and family-oriented programs have sufficient funding to support lasting positive experiences," her nominators wrote. "Her loyalty to our patients and families is without bounds."

Hudson's problem-solving skills are fueled by a tireless commitment to her work. "Donna leads by example. She is the last to leave at night and often sends email with the time stamp of 1 o'clock in the morning. She does this not five days or six days a week, but usually seven days a week," her nominators wrote. "The quantity and quality of Donna's work set her apart from her peers while her work ethic allows everyone at the University of Virginia Health System to realize our mission."

Hudson's talents include quickly grasping what can be complicated human resources or budget transactions and providing options for addressing the situation. "Her helpful manner allows one to formulate strategies and solutions. She helps determine the best way to proceed for the employee, the manager and the institution. These actions ultimately benefit the patients and families we care for," according to her nominators.

While Hudson's efforts are not always visible, her nominators greatly appreciate her hard work. "Donna is the face that is not usually seen when women's and children's programs are recognized, but should be!"

– by Eric Swensen