Valubility of the Month: October 2018

November 26, 2018 • valubility, VOTM

The October recipients of Valubility of the Month live out UNTHSC’s five core values on a day-to-day basis.

These recipients of the Valubility of the Month honor were selected from among dozens of nominees that a UNTHSC committee reviewed.

Nominate a teammate for Valubility of the Month

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Denise Valtierra

Clinical Services Representative, Dermatology

Patients love Denise Valtierra, who models “a great impression for the rest of us,” her nominator says. After 20 years with UNTHSC, she remains collaborative, innovative and a generator of innovative ideas.

“Hers is the first and last face our patients see when visiting the office,” says her nominator. “As our only Clinical Services Representative, Denise shows an extraordinary amount of dedication. She’s consistently the first person to show up to the office and often the last to leave.”

Denise is always “putting the patients and the clinic before herself,” says her nominator.

She helps patients be at ease by letting them know how long they will wait. She finds ways to improve work flow, and shares her ideas. She checks often to see if a provider has been added to more insurance plans. In short, she juggles several duties and through it all, helps the clinic be more effective for all.

Her nominator says, “When challenges arise, Denise remains respectful and courteous to all patients. Working at the front desk, she tends to get a lot of the patients’ frustrations taken out on her, which she always handles elegantly and professionally. There have been many occasions when she has skipped lunch in order to handle an overflow of patients. Even with her massive workload, Denise manages to get things done in a timely manner and with a positive attitude. I can honestly say she is someone who makes the workplace a better place.”

Nominator: Jantavia Jordan

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Melissa Hudson, MD

Assistant Professor, Geriatrics

Her nominator says Melissa Hudson “consistently lives out the values promoted at the UNT Health Science Center, and I have been privileged to know her in a variety of roles.”

As a physician, she provides amazing care to her patients. Her integrity is evident through her actions and her dedication to following through with commitments, even when it may not be easy. She works with excellence under pressure and continues to remain loyal to the mission of delivering consistent, high-quality care. She often stays long after regular hours to address an issue with a patient.

As an educator, she strives to transform the next generation of healthcare professionals into providers of the future. She is patient when explaining complex concepts and on many occasions has used her after-work free time to complete a variety of work-related projects. She consistently provides students with the opportunity to actively learn and is always supportive when redirection is needed.

As a colleague she is willing to help with another department’s projects and does so with unwavering enthusiasm. An example was being available for filming vignettes for use in the UNT Health training modules, which required after-hours work.Says her nominator, “Her contributions of time and energy go well above expectations, and I am honored to get to work with her.”

Nominator: Brenda Wilson


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Shelley Smith

Assistant to the Chair, Physical Therapy

Shelley Smith not only serves the needs of the department chair but also goes beyond the call of duty to serve faculty, students and other staff members. Says one of her two nominators, “While she has received many thanks from the department, she deserves to be honored university-wide for her work ethic.”

Always with a smile, she usually handles a long to-do-list and long hours. One nominator says, “As her supervisor, I’ve had to remind her to make time for herself, go have lunch, or even go home.”

Complex, intricate tasks, involving budget, grants, faculty, and the department’s chair and dean that carry an added layer of urgency might overwhelm someone else, but she maintains composure, patience, perseverance and a positive attitude.

She has devoted many hours and much energy to developing one of her reports, providing feedback and opportunities, and adjusting tasks to better fit individual strengths and goals.

When it’s needed, she has the courage to have difficult yet crucial conversations, doing not what is easy, but what is right. She is an asset to our team.

Nominators:Myles Quiben and Nicoleta Bugnariu

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Donna Coyle

Senior Program Manager, UNT System College of Pharmacy


Russell Coyle

Director of Student Experience and Academic Services, UNT System College of Pharmacy

Says their nominator, “Batman and Robin. Starsky and Hutch. Lucy and Desi. Amongst these dynamic duos, the System College of Pharmacy boasts the most impressive pair of all—Russell and Donna Coyle.”

Russell and Donna have been an integral part of the College’s success since its opening. From onboarding challenges to classroom software management, “Russell is often the first person I call,” says his nominator.

Of Donna, the nominator says, “A number of clinical faculty within the Department of Pharmacotherapy, such as myself, are not formally trained in grantsmanship. Donna Coyle has always taken the care to answer my questions or share resources that may be helpful to me.”

On grants and contracts, Donna is always available to provide guidance and facilitate communication with other departments on campus.

Together, they help foster the College’s culture of assessment and are role models who exhibit the HSC Values in their daily activities. Both are respectful of others’ time, often the first people to join a meeting and the last to leave. They have worked tirelessly to ensure data management processes, crucial to accreditation, run as smoothly as possible. They maintain excellent communication with the other faculty and staff who are assigned to different monitoring standards. They not only compile information, but also spur faculty members and administrators to collect and share much-needed information.

Russell has played an integral role during the development of the College’s Student Engagement office.

A valuable team.

Nominators: Cheng Yuet and Marian Gaviola

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Betsy Friauf

Senior Communications Specialist, Office of Brand and Communication

Her nominator says:It was my first day and I showed up bright and early, only to realize the doors to our office suite were locked. I stood in the hall, contemplating where I should wait and what I should do.

“Then I heard a voice asking if I needed help, which is when I turned and met Betsy Friauf. She made sure I was comfortable, offering me a place to wait in her office and even offering some water and reading material while I waited.

“After a small conversation, she learned I needed to visit HR, to which she offered to show me the way. I was floored – she had already gone out of her way for me several times. I saw her later at lunch and the next day at orientation, where she continued to treat me with respect and care, even remembering my name after only just meeting me.

“She was extremely helpful and generous with her time and I truly appreciate her guidance and kindness. I went home after my first week thinking I made the right choice and that I am both happy and proud to work here.”

Nominator: Andria Butler