And the winner is. . .


I had my Academy Awards host moment this week at our IT department all staff meeting. It was great fun! Our Medical Center Information Technology (MCIT) department is over 600 people strong and we gather together twice a year. We present the annual employee awards at our fall meeting.

The STAR and Golden Mouse Awards are staff-to-staff awards – that means all nominations are submitted by fellow staff members.  Nominations are reviewed and the winners are selected by members of the MCIT Appreciation and Recognition Team (ART).

The ART team was established to help MCIT develop and sustain a culture where contributions are recognized and accomplishments are celebrated. We are building an environment which recognizes MCIT staff who make a difference and ensures that their contributions are valued. We are creating a culture where employees are valued through events, programs, communications and awards. We measure success by increased employee engagement scores in the areas of appreciation and recognition.

In the past, the employee awards were announced very informally at our annual picnic. It was hard to get everyone’s attention while they ate and watched the popular volleyball tournament. After my first year, I decided that these awards needed proper, professional attention and moved them to an awards ceremony at our all staff meeting. We recognize all the nominees and bring the winners up to the stage to receive their award and get their pictures taken. In addition, all nominees receive a Making a Difference award which is the core employee recognition program within the health system.

S.T.A.R. Award

There were 38 individuals nominated for one of the S.T.A.R awards.  Here are the 4 winners and what their nominators had to say:

S – Service Excellence: Donna Hart, Communications Specialist, MCIT Communications

Donna brings knowledge, expertise, and friendliness to every task. She is willing to go the extra mile and ensure customers have all the information they need.

T – Teamwork: Mohammad Ateya, Clinical Pharmacist/Applications Coordinator, Medication Use Systems Team

Mohammad is quiet, kind, and has an amazing willingness to share his extensive knowledge with his team. He is always willing to help being receptive to questions with a non-judgmental attitude.

A – Attitude: Cindy Adams, Business Analyst, Michigan Data Collaborative

Cindy works in a steadfast fashion, bringing order and calm to even the most hectic day. Her active listening skills, along with an organized and pleasant work ethic make Cindy an upbeat and fun person to be around.

R – Recognition Champion: Helen Fitzgerald, Data Architect, Health System Data Warehouse

Helen always considers others and does it in a way that is pertinent, fun, and makes everyone feel great. She is dedicated to ensuring everyone on the team knows they are appreciated.

Accept nominationsGolden Mouse Award

This award is given annually to an individual employee and a team who have substantially contributed to the business goals and objectives of the health system and MCIT. Award recipients receive a cash award in addition to recognition for their contributions.

22 individuals were nominated. The winner was Ryan Crockett, Training Specialist. Ryan received a $250 check.

The person who nominated Ryan submitted this summary:  Ryan’s dedication and hard work has been integral to the Training team managing 250 – 300 courses per month, across 10 – 15 trainers and 14 Instructional Designers, as well as onsite support. In response to the complex, time consuming task of managing trainer assignments, credentialing, vacations, classroom availability, and the like, Ryan was instrumental in building a solution using Microsoft Access as an over-arching management tool. After development, Ryan continued to enhance the tool’s effectiveness by designing a management feature which allows learning data (i.e. courses, certifications, and offerings) to be imported into the Learning Management System. He also designed the tool to track credentialing and Epic certifications, track course and support assignments, track time off requests, and even allow trainers to move assignments from the database to their Outlook calendars with the click of a button. This tool has streamlined and improved the ability to efficiently manage training assignments and allow for training leadership to quickly identify resources to cover in the event of absence and turnover. As Ryan is not a developer, this endeavor was well beyond his normal job scope. 

8 teams were nominated. The winning team was the Medical Center Device Support group. This is a team of 34 who crowded onto the stage with me for a photo op with their $1,000 check. Lot of smiles!

Their nominator submitted this summary: The Medical Center Device Support team used the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle to implement a new structure for staffing and support, improving efficiency and customer service. The focus of the change was to divide the support staff into four groups based on function – triage, support, escalation, and project work – rather than dividing the work by location. After a 90-day pilot of the new structure, along with a review of benchmark data, it was agreed the new structure was sustainable. Because of this change, the team has decreased the backlog of customer service requests, ticket resolution is handled more promptly, customer satisfaction has improved significantly with a decrease in complaints, and all Medical Center projects have been consolidated within one group for consistency. With the structure redesign, 40% of incoming tickets are resolved during the initial phone call, 49% of incoming tickets are resolved within one hour, and 67% of incoming tickets are resolved on the day of submission.

Congratulations to all of the MCIT award winners and nominees! They embody what we are all about and I am truly grateful for what they do every day to make a difference for our patients and their families.


University of Michigan Health System Recognition website

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