Mike Ellis: Supporting Health System Computer Users

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: Mike Ellis of the Medical Center. To see all of the stories, click here.

May 18, 2012 — Opening the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at the University of Virginia Health System in April 2011 took the combined efforts of hundreds of staff and thousands of hours. One of the key participants was Mike Ellis, supervisor for PC support with Health System Computing Services.

His task: Supervise the purchase, relocation and installation of more than 450 computers, printers, barcode readers, workstations-on-wheels and other devices. Ellis' team of more than 20 put in their longest hours in the final few days before the center opened, as they installed and tested most of those devices to help ensure clinicians were ready to provide high-quality patient care on opening day.

"This is a great example of how Mike uses his experience and his ability to work under stress to achieve outstanding results," wrote nominator Mark Andersen, chief technology and health information officer for the Medical Center.

A Health System employee since 1995, Ellis' success stems in part from his ability to work successfully with a wide range of people – from senior leadership and clinic managers to furniture installers – as well as with his own team.

"Three of the five current HSCS consultants have worked with Mike for over 10 years, which demonstrates the stability he brings to the group," Andersen wrote.

He cares about more than his work, as Andersen writes in his nomination letter, calling him "a thoughtful person who finds time to check on ill co-workers and asks how you are doing and means it."

In addition to his efforts at the cancer center, Ellis has assisted with some large computing projects, including the move of hundreds of printers to a secure clinical network and the efforts in 2010 and 2011 to implement EpicCare, the Health System's electronic medical record. His work on EpicCare included installing new computers, printers and software in both inpatient units and outpatient clinics.

As one staff member wrote: "Mike always takes care of us."

– by Eric Swensen