Valubility of the Year – 2020

HSC’s colleagues across departments, operations and Schools never lost a beat in their commitment to serving others during the pandemic, even when operations and learning transitioned into a new and uncharted virtual territory.

A look at the stories and examples that best illustrate HSC Valubility 2020 include five individuals and three teams who were nominated by their peers and received end-of-year awards for their outstanding contributions. The teams’ recognition was a unique category added for 2020, given the extraordinary focus on working together in new and different ways during the pandemic.

Individual Honorees:

Individual honorees were Jeffrey Mott, DHSc, PA-C, Assistant Professor, School of Health Professions; Arthur Williams, Technical/Administrative Director, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Dana Gill, Associate Vice President, Academic Communications; Sarah E. Ross, DO, Geriatrics; and Shante Hackworth, EdD, Senior Academic and Business Director, College of Pharmacy.

Jeffrey Mott, DHSc, PA-C, Assistant Professor, School of Health ProfessionsJeff Mott

When COVID hit in spring 2020, Dr. Mott was “absolutely instrumental,” one nomination explained, in organizing student volunteers and setting up information phone lines for Tarrant County Public Health’s overflow, as well as planning testing stations to serve first responders and clinic workers. Not long after, when a hurricane ravaged the South Texas coast, Dr. Mott was an early HSC volunteer to make his way there, spending two weeks with relief workers delivering healthcare services and assistance. He also volunteered with FitWorth/HSC food distributions to those in need. ”During the pandemic, Dr. Mott responded to the call for action, representing HSC on the frontlines of our community,” nominators wrote. “The impacts of his actions are far-reaching and focused on serving others first, particularly in trying times.”

Arthur Williams, Technical/Administrative Director, Graduate School of Biomedical SciencesArthur Williams

As a respected HSC team member since 1985, honoree Arthur Williams was recognized for committed, loyal and valuable service to the university’s mission. Nominators noted that he has co-authored 38 peer-reviewed publications and technically contributed to hundreds of additional studies, trained countless fellows and students, and has ensured the day-to-day maintenance of the GSB S research infrastructure for 35+ years. “His values clearly mirror those of the HSC in serving others first and working with integrity, respect and collaboration among faculty, staff and students,” a colleague wrote. “He is an extremely humble, compassionate and selfless individual who has served as an essential gear in the departmental/institutional machine, quietly and effectively working in the background to ensure continued success – it is honestly impossible to quantify the lasting impact Arthur’s integrity, respect and service have had, and will continue to have, at HSC.”

Dana Gill, Associate Vice President, Academic CommunicationsDana Gill

Valubility honoree Dana Gill was nominated by teammates for going above and beyond in living HSC’s values and serving the university in a supportive, professional, enthusiastic and highly creative way. Her quick and responsive communications from the Provost’s Office during the pandemic were noted, as well as her coordination across schools to ensure consistent, well-timed messaging. Her volunteer service was also noted, both across campus and in the community, as well as her talents as a “a caring, collaborative leader and true asset to HSC.” “She believes in the values, lives them and inspires others – no matter what, I know I can always count on Dana,” one nominator explained. “Dana is a team player who inspires those around her to do their very best as well.”

Sarah E. Ross, DO, GeriatricsSarah E. Ross

Dr. Ross was nominated for being an exceptional leader and role model helping others to navigate the pandemic’s many challenges.  She was praised by colleagues for responding early to the needs of geriatric adults and those in long-term care.  She worked diligently with clinical practice administrators to implement guidance and practice care models to convert to telemedicine and continue providing care without interruption.  She also continued in a guiding role with process improvement efforts and programs introducing innovative home health services, virtual knowledge sharing platforms with ECHO program delivery, collaborations with national education partners, and mentoring several junior faculty. She served as a champion for Hispanic patients and caregivers, and as a role model for students and clinical staff with transparency, effective communications skills and dedication to both the practice and her patients.  

Shante Hackworth, EdD, Senior Academic and Business Director, College of PharmacyShante Hackworth

Dr. Hackworth was recognized for serving others first, working with integrity, respect and collaboration, and being visionary. In her HSC College of Pharmacy role, Dr. Hackworth manages the college’s budget, business resources and administrative staffing.  She was noted as being a thoughtful mentor who takes time on an individual basis to help colleagues enhance their professional development. Over the last year, she led development of a College of Pharmacy Staff Training Manual and reference resource for both new and existing staff and worked tirelessly to reduce the college’s budget to help avoid pandemic-related layoffs. Dr. Hackworth is Chair of the PEACE (Pharmacy for Equity, Acceptance, Compassion and Excellence) Task Force, working to develop and sustain a diverse, safe and inclusive environment for all College of Pharmacy students, staff and faculty, and she was noted for demonstrating a personal interest in others by coordinating special events, student check-ins and other gestures of teamwork and caring, even sometimes during off hours and at her own expense. This was especially welcomed, a nominator noted, during a time that many were working remotely and may have been feeling pandemic isolation. Her work on the PEACE task force coordinates with HSC’s RISE Committee efforts for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within the College of Pharmacy and across the University. “She is a thoughtful and compassionate leader who inspires others and has made a positive impact on all those she collaborates with,” a colleague wrote.

Team Honorees:

Team honorees were the COVID-19 Testing Site, Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM) and HSC Health.

COVID-19 Testing Site Team

HSC’s COVID-19 Testing Site Team immediately set to work at the onset of the pandemic, collaborating with the City of Fort Worth, Moncrief Cancer Institute and Catalyst Health Network to establish and help staff the first two local drive-through testing sites for first responders and healthcare providers. The site’s Core team, staff and student volunteers worked long hours together, often 7 days a week, placing service above self at a difficult and risky time to give HSC’s support to first responders in need.

HSC Health Team

The HSC Health team was recognized for extraordinary Valubility efforts during an extraordinary time as well. From the early days of the pandemic on, the 100-plus team persevered on campus every day, pivoting essentially overnight to different models of patient service, including telehealth, virtual visits and home appointments, to ensure that patients’ needs were still being met. 

“This required quick coordination among the billing team, intake staff and healthcare providers,” a Valubility nominator wrote. “Concurrently, HSC Health took on the additional responsibility of creating and staffing COVID-19 testing sites at Texas A&M Law School, HSC Select Services and two community locations. By establishing partnerships with the City of Fort Worth, Texas A&M Law School and UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Institute, HSC Health was able to serve the community at large during a time of great need.”

Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine (DLAM)

HSC’s DLAM was similarly recognized for above-and-beyond service to mission and the local community. One Valubility nomination explained, “When the COVID 19 pandemic caused so many to shelter in place, the department stepped up to the plate, working every single day throughout the height of the pandemic. They also donated 5,000 face masks and 50 N-95 respirators to Fort Worth first responders, while continuing to support our researchers in providing excellent care for the animals’ health and well-being.” DLAM staff continued caring for animals in the lab seven days a week, throughout it all, to keep HSC’s research science operations open without interruption.

Written by Sally Crocker