Valubility of the Year – 2019

Valubility of the Year is the Health Science Center’s highest honor, reserved for recognizing truly extraordinary acts of Valubility that represent us at our best. Here are this year’s honorees:

Leslie Henderson accepting the 2019 Valubility of the Year trophy

Leslie Henderson, Revenue Cycle Director, UNT Health Clinical Practice Group

Leslie Henderson goes the extra mile every day to enhance her team’s success, not only ensuring excellent outcomes for specific projects but also encouraging each person’s professional development.

When revenue cycle management was brought back in-house, Henderson often worked extensively to post payments, answer emails and complete other tasks to keep the project on target.

When a new electronic check process went live, she displayed the highest integrity to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.

In addition, she coordinates regular events to recognize every Clinical Practice employee, complete with snacks and notes of appreciation. Moreover, her training sessions engage her team members with humor and other relatable techniques, encouraging their individual and team growth. The significant improvement in the department’s employee engagement is directly tied to Leslie’s efforts.

Nominators: Jeff Beeson, Karen Melton, Subhada Kambhampaty, Sarah Azam, Ryan Hughes, Tatiana Thompson, Teri Whitley

Maricruz Pena accepting the 2019 Valubility of the Year trophy

Maricruz Peña, Senior Custodian, Facilities Administration

Some have the gift of offering advice, expertise or material goods that exactly meet an individual’s needs. Maricruz Peña is one.

She often helps new custodians complete online training by helping translate the material from English to Spanish.

Peña mentored students in the FWISD LEAP Program, which prepares special-education post-12th-graders to live and work independently. When these students volunteered on our campus, she worked with them closely to develop their workplace skills, and went the extra mile to help them find their bus stop and board safely.

Our own students benefit from her care not only in the custodial services she supervises, but also in individual ways. Her teammates said, “On more than one occasion she has helped provide assistance, including food, for students.” A particular instance involved a student on his own from South Texas. “Maricruz took it upon herself to make sure he had groceries and clothes to wear,” her teammates said. “She treated him like he was her own son and helped him reach his goal as a pharmacist.”

Nominators: Jerry Emerson and Department: Nancy Maday, Alejandra Ortiz, Marcial Mazariego, Maria Castaneda, Alma Trevino, Avelina Rubio


Lisa Nash accepting the 2019 Valubility of the Year trophy

Lisa Nash, DO, Professor of Family Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

In her work providing health care to patients and overseeing the TCOM Office of Educational Programs, Lisa Nash is an advocate par excellence for her patients and her team members.

Empowering her entire team to be the best version of themselves, she provides them autonomy and gives them ownership while simultaneously offering support to ensure they succeed.

As a physician at community clinics, she cares for an underserved population with complex diagnoses.

She is a staunch champion for our Seminary Clinic, and she ensures it remains a cornerstone of the community it serves.

In her other role, she leads the mission of graduate medical education by providing hands-on problem-solving facilitation and mentorship to affiliated programs, both locally and statewide.

Additionally, she serves as a mentor and role model for her thriving team of employees who admire her involvement and support for each of their own visions within the organization.

Nominators: TCOM Department of Educational Programs

Karissa O'Brien accepting the 2019 Valubility of the Year trophy

Karissa O’Brien, Senior Post-Award Analyst, Office of Sponsored Programs

Karissa O’Brien buoys everyone she meets with affirmation of their value, while also shouldering a heavy workload and sharpening her own skills.

“The team Karissa is a part of recently inherited additional workloads due to a consolidation of processes,” said Andrea Anderson, Executive Director in the Office of Sponsored Programs. “Karissa has taken this as a learning opportunity and has stepped up to take on a leadership role. It has been exciting to witness the growth and potential in Karissa and the value she brings not only to our office, but also to the institution as a whole.”

The Office of Sponsored Programs began a massive Process Mapping this year. O’Brien jumped in without hesitation and worked diligently to ensure the success of her team by stepping up to her role as subject matter expert.

Outgoing and positive, O’Brien offered her friendship to all when the team discussed the Gallup survey question on work friends. She consistently encourages her more soft-spoken team members and helps everyone contribute to her team’s success.

Nominators: Andrea Anderson and Su Cole

Jeff Beeson and Jessica Rangel accepting the Valubility of the Year trophy

 Dr. Jeff Beeson, Executive Medical Director and Assistant Professor, Medical Education, and Chief Medical Officer; and Jessica Rangel, Director, SaferCare Texas, Institute for Patient Safety

Jeff Beeson and Jessica Rangel have demanding, full-time jobs and very busy lives outside UNTHSC, but they always make sacrifices in order to serve the community and our students — despite what little time they have available.

They contribute immensely to university events including Cowtown races, Fortress Festival and Rockin’ the River. During two such events, they both spent some 35 additional hours at each event in a single weekend, in addition to their 40-hour-per-week jobs.

“They have also been great mentors to me personally, providing me with constructive feedback, giving me encouragement and supporting me in my endeavors,” said Jennifer Nanni, Director of Community and Alumni Relations.

They encourage others to stretch their capabilities and not maintain the status quo – even when it might not be the most popular opinion.

The two honorees understand that our students are the future of health care and representatives of UNTHSC, and help them develop commensurate leadership.

Nominator: Jennifer Nanni


Valubility of the Year honorees receive:

· Reserved parking space in their permitted lot

· Group lunch with President Michael Williams

· 16 hours of paid administrative leave