Published: August 14, 2017
The July recipients of Valubility of the Month bring stories of integrity and collaborating with others.
These recipients of the Valubility of the Month honor were selected from among dozens of nominees that a UNTHSC committee reviewed.
In her work as Enrollment Services Associate in Student Affairs, Emily Morehead helps decision makers know when to intercede on students’ behalf quickly to help them succeed.
She uses the latest in student assessment technology to give faculty up-to-the-minute assessments of every TCOM student. Her nominator wrote that Morehead’s collecting and reporting of the data are critical in making the Academic Progress Report (APR) a success.
She started working at UNTHSC in August 2015 and quickly established rapport with faculty and staff. She also assists medical students in several ways. Her composure when helping them during stressful examination periods demonstrates her empathy and dedication to their success.
Morehead has a talent for handling tight schedules and meeting critical deadlines. She works diplomatically and respectfully with clients who have challenges in meeting deadlines.
In addition, her nominator wrote that the continued success of TCOM’s computer-based testing program is due in large part to her high level of service and dedication. She has helped streamline assessment processes that give students faster and more directed feedback so they can better prepare to become outstanding physicians.
She demonstrates integrity by preserving the confidentiality of student data, ensuring it is accurate and that it is released only to the appropriate individuals.
After serving at UNTHSC less than a year, Morehead represented the university at a national conference. She shared the success of our testing program with other professionals, and she will be a presenter at another conference in the coming months.
Nominated by Rebel Jones
Her nominator calls Family Medicine Medical Assistant Vickie Maxfield-Small a true clinician. Among her many talents is putting her experience to work in helping diagnose patients.
Maxfield-Small’s nominator wrote that in his 15 years’ work as a nurse practitioner, he has rarely seen a team member who is so unflappable and contributes so much knowledge of a medical office’s intricate workings.
An example was a recent patient visit. Maxfield-Small and Nurse Practitioner James Massey saw a patient with new onset of seizures. Massey wrote in his nomination letter that he said to Maxfield-Small, “This guy has never had seizures before. I’ve got to figure out what is causing them.”
“It’s probably because he’s been out of Xanax for the past two weeks,” Maxfield-Small said.
That was exactly what is was: New onset of seizures secondary to benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Massey also wrote, “Vickie may not have formally enrolled in medical school, but she’s been learning medicine right along with the students for years.”
He praised her strong critical thinking skills.
“Most MAs and CNAs with her strengths return to school and become a physician, PA, or NP, so having her as our right hand is a blessing to us. People like her should be celebrated and valued. Even though I am older than she is, I want to be just like her when I grow up!”
Nominated by James Massey
Many people step up to volunteer their time to make campus events successful. Kim Williams, Assistant to the Chair in Physician Assistant Studies, is among them. Moreover, she’s one who goes above and beyond what’s asked of her.
She has served on the Sustainability Committee since its creation almost five years ago. Additionally, she has served as the co-chair of the Earth Day planning group every year.
A major reason this year’s event went well was Williams’ leadership in providing initiative and resourcefulness. She put these talents to work long before the “big day” arrived. All along the way, her nominator wrote, “She had new ideas to contribute and was willing to follow up with new vendors we were working with.”
Her work doesn’t stop in the planning stages. For Earth Day, Williams served others first by coordinating all 50 of the Earth Day volunteers, helping with set-up and tear-down, and assisting with the post-event duties. “Having someone who’s willing and able to commit that kind of time and effort is rare, and finding someone you can trust with any duty is even more rare; yet Kim is that type of person,” her nominator wrote.
As with any large event, there were last-minute challenges, including cancellations by some exhibitors. “Kim handled it all beautifully while living our values,” her nominator said. “Also, by helping with the set-up and tear-down, she made my life a whole lot easier! I can’t imagine how many more hours I would have spent trying to get ready for the event, as well as afterwards, if she had not been there to help me.”
Our Value of collaboration includes combining our strengths to discover new ideas and best practices. Williams’ nominator said she lived that value by assigning volunteers to tasks that used their strengths, and helped them arrive at their stations on time to ensure a great experience for all participants.
Nominated by Sandy Bauman
Jack Thetford literally builds a strong university. As Construction Foreman in Facilities Management, he tackles the big jobs with ease but also gladly hangs a picture or tightens a loose screw.
He shows service to others every day and uses his skills to save money for UNTHSC. He built a sturdy two-level desk, providing different heights for monitor and keyboard. He got it done in a day rather than the two months it would take for an order — and for far less expense.
Thetford takes on tasks in addition to his everyday workload “and yet he never questions why,” one of his nominators said.
“Jack took the necessary steps to safely secure the hanging cords from my computers/monitors and bundled them together with a plastic bracket under my desk, eliminating a safety hazard,” said a nominator. He also makes sure that items fastened to walls, such as coat-hanging units, are correctly secured.
Another unsung service of Thetford’s is repairing surplus furniture to be sold to staff, faculty and students who are on strict budgets.
“He will help you do anything you ask him to do,” said a nominator. “I needed a table top built and he did it.” When Property Management team members acquired a hard-drive shredder so they wouldn’t have to use a vendor, Thetford built a space for it.
A team member needed a space converted into an office, and Thetford did it all himself in one day.
One of his nominators summed up by saying, “He is one of the best employees in living our Values.”
Nominated by Christina Castro and Randy Thomas
Crucial members of the UNTHSC Police, Canine Handler Cpl. Oscar Rodriguez and his dog Bux are a familiar sight on campus. But did you know that they also lived the Values by putting in extra time to help train first responders in a mock disaster on the UNT Denton campus?
It all went down in a full-scale training exercise in Apogee Stadium and a residence hall, involving multiple local, county, state, and federal law enforcement, emergency medical service, and emergency management agencies. During the exercise, Rodriguez and Bux were alerted to a simulated explosive device. They reported the alert to UNT Police, who requested Denton Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team support while setting up a perimeter and evacuating the area.
Rodriguez and Bux cleared an entire stadium and perimeter of a residence hall on a long, hot day, knowing they had more work to do after the exercise in another, previously scheduled training.
Rodriguez and Bux provided extra realism to the exercise. Officers from various agencies learned more about working in tandem with a canine handler and an animal. Also, if a real incident should arise, the various agencies involved would understand how and when to call on canine services.
Here’s another fact you may not know: Rodriguez cares for Bux 24/7.
At the training exercise, Rodriguez shared best practices with other law enforcement agencies. He also discussed with his peers on the UNT Police department and the Denton EOD some training gaps they face, and possible solutions.
Rodriguez’s nominator wrote, “All the attendees were extremely impressed with Oscar and Bux, and I left the exercise even more proud to be a part of the UNTHSC family.”
Nominated by Brandi Lara