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GSM Employees Recognized for Excellence

The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine recently honored employees with the 15th annual Employee Excellence Awards program. Nominated by peers and supervisors, Excellence Award winners are recognized in four areas for their willingness to go beyond the scope of their jobs by providing: outstanding job performance, leadership, courtesy and customer service, and community service. This year's awards were announced in surprise Zoom meetings with the recipients.

Excellence in Outstanding Courtesy and Customer Service

Katy Basler
Administrative Support Assistant
Department of Surgery

Ms. Basler works in the Division of Vascular Surgery and her role often includes the need to communicate complex information to patients and family members. Ms. Basler is said to interact with patients and family members in a professional and courteous manner. She is also known for meeting patients at the entrance of UTMC to collect insurance and other forms. This saves the patients from navigating the hospital, which is especially helpful to individuals who have limitations with ambulation. She also coordinates appointments with other physicians and providers.

In his nomination letter, Michael Freeman MD, Surgery Chair, said, "Her desk was outside my previous academic office. I could hear her talking to these complex patients. She would go over and above the call of duty in answering their questions or helping them navigate their medical care. I have been amazed at her ability to calm patients and their families. Katy is truly an asset to GSM."

Shown below: Amanda Wilson, Kandi Hodges, Dr. Freeman, Gillian Hunt, Dr. Dhand, Amy Paganelli, Dr. Metheny and Dr. Hauptman honoring Katy via Zoom.


Excellence in Community Service

Conchita Bowling, LPN
OB/GYN Clinic

Ms. Bowling is a licensed practical nurse who cares for patients in the OB/GYN clinic. Her co-workers note that she is hard working and attentive to her patients, but her selflessness to help in the care of family members and others outside of work is what makes her stand out the most. She is known for inviting sick relatives to live with her in order to provide assistance. Ms. Bowling has reached out on social media to others who are struggling with medical issues and during the Covid-19 pandemic, she assisted in "adopting" a family of a staff member in order to help them participate in a Christmas celebration.

In a nomination letter, Tina Tindell wrote, "Conchita is a very caring and compassionate person. I have worked with her for several years now, and she would help anyone if she could. She is very tender-hearted and loves her family dearly. She chose the right profession - she cares for the patients whether here or at home."

Shown below: Amanda Wilson, Kandi Hodges, Dr. Dhand, Amy Paganelli, Dr. Hauptman and Dr. Metheny honoring Conchita via Zoom.

Excellence in Leadership

Jennifer Luhrs
Library Supervisor
Preston Medical Library

Ms. Luhrs helps to supervise students who work in the library and the library's consumer health collection. She also participates in setting up and managing pop-up Health Information Center booths throughout the hospital. In her role, she has created initiatives that have increased productivity and improved workflow.

In her nomination letter, Abagail Pujol said, "Jennifer leads the student workers by mentoring them and being the example of an accomplished librarian. She is always courteous to patrons and can answer almost any question or knows exactly where to look for the correct answer."

Shown below: Amanda Wilson, Kandi Hodges, Dr. Dhand, Martha Earl, Abagail Pujol, Amy Paganelli, Dr. Hauptman, Dr. Metheny and Kelsey Grabeel honoring Jennifer via Zoom.

Excellence in Job Performance

Judy Roark
Lab Coordinator and Skills Coach
UT Center for Advanced Medical (UTCAMS)

When creating the Bioskills lab for UTCAMS, Ms. Roark was instrumental in determining the equipment needed for the lab as well as how to best organize the space. She also researched and developed the Tissue Database and both created and managed a new documentation process that allowed tissue specimens to be stored for longer periods of time than previously deemed possible.

In her nomination letter, Melinda Klar RN, UTCAMS Administrative Director, said, "While Ms. Roark has always given 100% in her daily job duties, the recent addition of our separate Bioskills Lab area added an additional layer of work and a challenge that she willingly accepted and executed exceptionally well."

Shown below: Dr. Lamsen, Kandi Hodges, Zachary Young-Lutz, Amanda Wilson, Dr. Goldman, Melinda Klar, Dr. Metheny, Dr. Dhand, Dr. Hauptman and Amy Paganelli who joined me in honoring Judy via Zoom.


Posted June 28, 2021


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