May 20, 2008 — With the academic year complete and its newest graduates sent off into the world, the University of Virginia is now taking time to honor those left behind: its employees; specifically, those deemed outstanding in their performance and those who have given a great deal of their professional lives to the University.
U.Va. employees, on their 10th year of their employment at U.Va. and every five years thereafter, are honored for their years of service. On Wednesday, U.Va. will recognize 744 employees who are celebrating 10-, 15- and 20-year anniversaries and the 11 winners of the University's Outstanding Contribution Awards (profiled below) — five employees from the Health System, five from the Academic Division and one from U.Va.-Wise — at a ceremony in the Alumni Hall ballroom.
The Outstanding Contribution Award winners will also be feted at a June 13 luncheon with the University's Board of Visitors, when they will each receive an engraved clock and a $1,000 check.
On June 4 on the scenic Peabody Hall lawn, the University will hold a banquet to honor its longest-serving employees. Among those employees to be recognized will be one, Lindsay J. Baker of Facilities Management, who has attained 55 years here, and two staffers, David L. Bishop of Facilities Management and Lois A. Lovern of the Office of the President, who have reached 50 years of service.
In all, this year's honorees have given the University 20,015 years of service.
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AWARD WINNERS
Providing Constant Care
R.N., Department of Radiology
"For the past six years working in the radiology nursing unit, Bobbye has been a consistent and unwavering positive team member and a wonderful informal leader for this team that is a 'gem' for the Medical Center and the patients we serve," wrote James Amato, medical center administrator, of nurse Bobbye Cohen.
In her time in the department, Cohen has been a steadfast presence and leader. She served on the Radiology Safety Committee and worked to coordinate key improvements related to medication safety. She has also organized continuing education programs for her nursing colleagues to develop her own skills and those of her coworkers.
According to Radiology Nurse Coordinator Vickie Taylor, Cohen continually works toward better patient service.
"She has worked with technologists throughout our department to help solve patient care concerns, improve educational processes for the technologists and provide process flow sheets to provide for every modality for references," Taylor said.
Dr. Marc Santi, assistant professor of radiology, said Cohen is dependable and a pleasure to work with.
"I always look forward to working with Bobbye, as she has excellent professional and personal qualities," Santi said. "Her knowledge and experience lend her a competence that is easily recognized by both patients and physicians; this provides a calming influence that significantly improves the experience of both patient and doctor during all procedures, and is indispensable during difficult procedures or emergencies. ... If I were to undergo a procedure, I would have Bobbye as my nurse."
Praise for Cohen also comes from those who benefit most from her work: her patients.
"I talked with one of our patients who said that it was people like Bobbye, who took care of him his last visit, that actually made him look forward to coming to U.Va. – in spite of his dislike of the procedure," said Claudia van Wickler, another nurse.
In addition to being dedicated to her job, friends say Cohen is also committed to her family and an active member of her church.
Bringing Technological 'Vision' to Radiology
Sean J. Moynihan
Information Technology Director, Radiology
In his position as Information Technology Director for the Radiology Department, Sean J. Moynihan has been instrumental in facilitating the design and implementation of the
hospital's first successful Picture Archiving and Communications System, an information system that distributes radiology images to radiologists, clinicians and referring physicians.
According to Dr. Matthew Bassignani, associate professor of radiology, Moynihan's work has been instrumental in assuring the quality of care provided by the Health System.
"We were the designated hospital for the year that a hurricane blew through our neck of Virginia," Bassignani said. "Although many of the hospital's critical systems were unavailable due to damage, our PACS was up and running allowing us to continue to care for patients who needed urgent imaging and treatment at U.Va."
With Moynihan's help, the PACS also has been implemented in the gastroenterology and radiation oncology departments, and will soon facilitate the operation of the cardiology, dermatology and pathology divisions.
"Sean realized that the PACs was a hospital information system that serves radiology well, but could be tweaked to allow for other specialties that use imaging, to take advantage of the PACS infrastructure that he built," Bassignani added.
Dr. Karen Rheuban, director of telemedicine and a professor of pediatric cardiology, said that Moynihan's work has greatly improved the level of service provided by the Health System.
"Sean's innovative and service-oriented demeanor has helped us fulfill our mission of clinical care, research and public service," Rheuban said. "From the perspective of service, any time one of our patients has required tele-radiology services to transfer images to another facility, Sean has provided expert, timely and spectacular service.
"His cheerful and collaborative attitude has greatly influenced our willingness to expand our outreach programs, knowing that technological solutions will not be a barrier to achieving our goals."
Those who work with Moynihan said that he possesses tremendous skill as a manager, supporting his employees' efforts at continuing education.
"Sean has been a wonderful mentor and developer of talent amongst the members of the team that he provides management support to," said Dr. James Amato, Medical Center Administrator of Radiology. "He has encouraged their further growth and development."
'The Steady Heartbeat' of Health System/Computing Services
Blou Mileur, R.N.
Information System Analyst, Health System/Computing Services
The effective functioning of the U.Va. Health System relies on the operation of a large number of clinical computing programs that support its health care providers each day. And the Health System/Computing Services office, which coordinates the operation of those systems, relies on Blou Mileur, its Information System Analyst.
"Blou is the steady heartbeat of the clinical applications team in HS/CS," said Pamela Long, testing coordinator for clinical applications at HS/CS. "She is patient when situations get difficult, she is kind when exhausted. She is consistent, detailed, timely and cheerful. Blou is the first to offer help."
A U.Va. Nursing School graduate who worked in a critical care unit for 11 years, Mileur has used her patient care experience in her work at Computing Services since 1984, and the results impact multitudes of patients.
"Blou Mileur is a nurse with the true nurturing soul that the genuine definition of the word implies," Long added. "Her touch is unseen, but felt by every patient who is impacted by our clinical systems. She is compelled by excellence, thoroughness and creativity. Blou is a computer analyst driven by the highest quality of patient care."
According to Marianne Boyce, manager of clinical applications in HS/CS, Mileur benefits the total functioning of the hospital's MIS and CareCast clinical systems, and she served as team lead for in-patient orders and results for the project to replace MIS with CareCast institutionwide.
"Her clinical background as a critical care nurse, her understanding of the organization and her superior analytical skills have been vital elements in the success of each of these projects," Boyce said.
Her co-workers depend so much upon Mileur 's skills and dedication that when a difficult problem arises, they often simply say, "Talk to Blou."
"Blou is the voice for her patients, the health care providers and all users," Long wrote. "Hers is a voice so respected that she need not shout; she need only speak."
Medical Center Manager, Patient and Guest Services
For Sally LeBeau, patient and guest services manager at the U.Va. Medical Center, patient care and communication are the top priorities.
"Sally deals with many different people of all ages, races and diverse cultures," wrote Mary Ann Himes, interim administrator for Patient and Guest Services, in nominating LeBeau. "She is able to make each person feel comfortable."
So when the Health System identified inadequacies in its sign language program, it was LeBeau who led the initiative for change in 2006 and 2007.
"She held meetings with the deaf community to get input and brought the program to full compliance with all regulatory agencies," Himes wrote. "This change in program quality resulted in an increase of deaf patients from 20 to 100."
LeBeau also developed the orientation and training programs for all volunteer, contract and bilingual interpreters to bring their skills in line with best practices for interpreting in health care.
She has also facilitated communication within the Health System itself, promoting closer coordination between Lodging Services and Hospital House and developing working relationships with Patients Education, the Professional Nursing Staff Organization and the Cancer Center, among others.
According Cindy Westley, director of Patient and Family Education, LeBeau also worked with the Hospital Magnet Steering committee on a systemwide project to create "Comfort Kits" for patients and families, which provide emergency and comfort needs.
She has visited local long-term care facilities to talk to staff about customer service and professionalism. Westley added that she is the "essence of collaboration, communication and follow-through.
"She engaged our community members to understand the needs for better interpreter services (sign and language) and has been instrumental to expanding services and availability," said Jane Erwine, Health System program manager for value improvement. "She is a champion for moving forward into a more patient- and family-centered care environment and already has proposed action plans for how we can get there."
Leadership Among Nurses
Rebecca T. Gilbert, R.N.
Nurse, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Rebecca T. Gilbert has been exemplary in her role as a nurse in the U.Va. Health System in both her direct patient care and leadership abilities.
She has served as vice chairwoman and chairwoman of the Clinical Practice Committee of the Professional Nursing Staff Organization – representing 1,900 registered nurses employed by the Health System.
"Over and over, Ms. Gilbert demonstrated keen insight into both clinical issues and human factors governing safe practice, as well as the ability to marshal substantive discussion and decision-making among the 25 members of the committee," said Holly Glassberg, manager of the Nursing Governance Office.
That role saw her editing the monthly Practice news publication, presiding over committee meetings, publishing procedure manuals and planning the Evidence-Based Practice Day workshop for the Health System, tasks she completed with a "sense of humor – and the occasional teasing prank," Glassberg said.
She also worked with Glassberg to draft an abstract for the national Magnet Hospital Conference describing the work of the Clinical Practice Committee, which they also presented as a lecture last fall for 400 people.
Her ability as a nurse shines in the challenging environment of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
"She possesses a clear-eyed view of the needs of the unit, problems among the team and the difficulties of caring for highly complex patients with less-experienced staff," Glassberg said.
Gilbert also seeks to mentor those less-experienced nurses.
"Rebecca strives to highlight junior nurses' growth and skills," said Annette Stiltner, interim manager of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. "She challenges our experienced international nurses to allow them to grow and excel in our health care system, [and] she steps up to ensure that our staff has the support they need to provide excellent care."
A 'Top Performing Employee' and 'Visionary'
Resource Center Manager, Facilities Planning and Construction
Since joining Facilities Planning and Construction in 1996, Garth Anderson has redefined the role of resource center manager. Tasked with maintaining the collection of architectural drawings of the University's existing structures, Anderson digitized the more than 55,000 documents and 5,000 books, creating a searchable library for Facilities Management personnel and the architects and engineers employed at the University.
He also created an "Online Plan Room" so prospective contractors could review construction documents online — saving time and money on shipping, reducing pollution and providing access to the widest possible range of bidders.
"While giving our office the 21st-century tools to work better, faster and cheaper, Garth has pursued a deep interest in the historic fabric of the University," wrote Ruta Vasiukevicius, the Resource Center archivist, who nominated Anderson for the Outstanding Contribution Award.
Anderson has completed graduate-level coursework in architectural history at the University and has created a catalogue and map of more than 100 buildings and landscape features that have disappeared from Grounds since the University's founding. With his vast knowledge of the architectural history of the University, he has provided valuable insight and research services to authors and researchers studying the school's landscape.
Given all he has done in Facilities Planning and Construction, it is hard to believe that this was Anderson's second career. He came to U.Va. in 1984 as supervisor of the Clinical Investigations Laboratory at the Blood Bank. Although he no longer works at the Blood Bank, Anderson has worked as Virginia Blood Services coordinator for blood drives at the University for the last 12 years. He has also served on the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee for seven years and is currently the committee's chair.
"Garth Anderson, by his dedicated work ethic, superior technical and managerial skills and tireless concern for others, has made outstanding contributions to the overall mission, objectives and values of the University," said Kenneth McDermott, administrative manager at Facilities Planning and Construction.
The 'A-School Mom'
Sharon L. McDonald
Director of Enrolled Student Services, School of Architecture
As director of enrolled student services for the School of Architecture, Sharon L. McDonald supervises confidential undergraduate and graduate records and manages course enrollment, grade and course requirements for the students in the school's four disciplines. However, according to Ellen Cathey, associate dean of students for the Architecture School, it is McDonald's personality and compassion that have earned her the nickname "A-School Mom."
"When students walk through Sharon's door, they are greeted with a friendly smile," Cathey wrote. "I have heard from countless parents that they feel more comfortable knowing we have someone like Sharon on our staff they know and trust to take care of our students.
"It is Sharon's unwritten qualities that the students remember: her outgoing personality, friendly nature and caring demeanor that distinguish her as that person who will always take the time to listen to them and try to help them in whatever way she can," Cathey continued.
In addition to her duties as registrar, McDonald has filled vacant positions in the Architecture School's admissions office when necessary and served on the Core Advisors to the Student System Committee.
After working at the University for 20 years, McDonald seems to know everyone on Grounds. Undoubtedly, all U.Va. architecture students know and remember her. According to Cathey, years after they have left the University, architecture alumni still send their "A-school mom" cards and flowers on her birthday.
Detective and Crime Analyst, University Police Department
"It is rare that one individual can exert such an impact on the safety and security of her community," said Leonard Sandridge, U.Va.'s executive vice president and chief operating officer, of University Police Detective Janice Coles' work in solving the Charlottesville serial rape case. "Detective Coles is an outstanding example of an employee who will not take 'no' for an answer and cannot rest until the job is done."
Coles joined the University Police Department as an officer in 1992. After being promoted to the investigations section in 2000, she was one of the original detectives assigned to the Charlottesville Serial Rape Task Force. On the task force, a joint effort by several local law enforcement agencies, Coles pored over every detail of the case and researched the backgrounds of hundreds of suspects. Coles' dedication to the case for seven years paid off when, in 2007, an individual came to her with information about a possible suspect.
"Before it was all said and done, she had compared every aspect of the suspect's life to each and every detail of the cases that had been linked by DNA and was convinced that she had the right man," University Police Captain Donald McGee wrote, when nominating Coles for an Outstanding Contribution Award.
Coles then presented her evidence to the rest of the task force, which was able to get a secondary sample of DNA from the suspect and confirm that it was the individual for which they had been searching.
"I am certain that without Detective Coles' drive and determination to solve this, the case would still be unsolved," McGee added.
University Police Chief Michael Gibson also praised Coles' "steadfast commitment."
"While I don't want to in any way minimize the good and earnest work the group did over the years, in the end it was Detective Coles who took a piece of information that she had been provided and turned it into a compelling argument that moved the case forward toward the suspect who was charged, and ultimately plead guilty to this series of crimes," Gibson said.
"This is a proud moment for the University and our Police Department," Sandridge wrote. "By any measure the University holds a special place for Detective Coles – she is our hero."
At the Forefront of U.Va.'s Internationalization
Administrative Assistant, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
In her role as administrative assistant to both the vice provost for international affairs and to the executive vice president and provost of the University, Deirdre Davie has helped U.Va. progress toward its goal of increased globalization. Her tireless work and dedication to the University's international students, study abroad programs and international curriculum development have made the school a more diverse and welcoming community.
According to Leigh Grossman, the University's vice provost for international affairs, Davie has been instrumental in the development and coordination of the International Career Workshops, the International Career Fair, Diplomat Scholars Program, Ambassador Speakers Program and the U.Va.'s Semester at Sea Program, as well as the creation of the international Media Wall in Alderman Library.
"She has quietly and unassumingly influenced and impacted hundreds of international students, thousands of American students and countless faculty and visitors," Grossman wrote. "Whether it is an international student who has just arrived, a faculty member or a visiting head of state, Deidre Davie has a gift for honest welcome, genuine interest and a way to best utilize the individual's diversity, talents and interests."
Grossman added that Davie has developed a lecture series at the University with the State Department, the Peace Corps, United States Agency for International Development and Fulbright Program.
"Not only does Deirdre continue to be an asset to the organization professionally, her quick wit and enthusiasm make her a wonderful colleague," said John Teahan, assistant to the vice provost for administration and chief of staff. He added that Davie currently supports three associate or vice provosts and has coordinated the University's Faculty Teaching Awards program and banquet for the past four years.
Ultimately, Davie's colleagues agree that she makes U.Va. a better place.
"Deirdre has the energy, the creativity, the desire to bring us all into a more enlightened environment," study abroad adviser Mary Jo Bateman said. "She takes the ordinary and makes it truly extraordinary — a real gift."
Lois A. Lovern
Administrative Assistant, Office of the President
A Charlottesville native, Lois A. Lovern began her career here 50 years ago as administrative assistant to physicist Jesse Beams. Sixteen years later, she moved to the Office of the President to serve as President Frank Hereford Jr.'s "confidential secretary." Over 34 years, Lovern has served three University presidents: Hereford, Robert O'Neil and John T. Casteen III.
She currently coordinates travel arrangements for the president and members of his staff. She also arranges the University's representation at the inaugurations of other college presidents.
"Ms. Lovern's traditional work ethic and longevity, combined with her ability to embrace the latest technology over the span of a 50-year career, is priceless," Nancy Rivers, chief of staff and associate vice president for administration, wrote in nominating Lovern for the Outstanding Contribution Award.
Lovern drafts condolence letters for Casteen and serves as the liaison from the President's Office to the Retired Faculty Association. She is also dedicated to her church, serving as an ordained deacon and a member of the regular choir and the Sojourner's Choir that performances for residents of health care facilities.
"During her career she has been the friendly face or helpful voice on the telephone for hundreds, probably thousands of people who have for one reason or another, interacted with the Office of the President," wrote Joan Fry, special assistant to the president.
"She knows U.Va.'s traditions and ceremonies and takes great pride in helping to robe the dignitaries at Convocation and Final Exercises," Fry added. "She even polishes the mace and makes sure it's in the hands of the marshal."
Robert R. Fair, president of the Retired Faculty Association, called Lois "a joy to work with" and said, "I can't think of anyone at the University or elsewhere who more deserves the recognition that this award signifies."
A 'Mentor' in Mail Services
Manager, Mail Services, U.Va. College at Wise
Jean Good first came to the University of Virginia's College at Wise in 1987 and assumed her current position as manager of campus mail services in 1989. Since then, she has turned the campus post office into "a center of College excellence," according to Michael Donathan, professor emeritus of music.
"It is not unusual on any given day of the year to find the campus post office brimming with conversations about such diverse topics as international politics, intercollegiate athletics, political campaigns, student social concerns, gardening, the state of the economy and numerous other issues," Donathan wrote in nominating Good. "The campus post office is indeed a 'center for the liberal arts.'"
Armed with a "charming personality," Good adds to the college community through activities such as Random Acts of Kindness, where she places candy and notes of encouragement in student mailboxes. Good also places "You've got mail" cards in the boxes of students who she overhears lamenting that they don't get any mail. The annual Christmas lunches she throws for her work-study student employees have become legendary and are just one of the perks of working for Good.
"If you are a student lucky enough to get a job for Jean then you not only get a boss, but you get a guardian and mentor," wrote David Amos, an administrative assistant in Campus Mail Services and a former U.Va.-Wise student. "She works very hard to help out any student who works for her and is always there to help them work through their academic, personal or relationship problems."
Good also serves as a member of the U.Va.-Wise Staff Council, and in 2003 was named the College and University Mail Services Association's Mail Manager of the Year. She currently serves as the organization's president. She also volunteers for Relay For Life, the Keep Virginia Green Campaign, Progressive Animal Welfare Society, PetSmart Ink Return Charity and Cell Phones for Soldiers, and also collects food for Dickenson County Food Bank.