OUR VALUES

Valubility of the Month

Posted Date: July 20, 2021

Votm Celebration Group Picture

Katie Stinson – Center for Diversity & International ProgramsKatie Stinson

In regards to the value of collaboration, Katie’s footprint exceeds the UNTHSC community. Through collaborations with many partners at UNTHSC and nationwide, she strives to create innovative opportunities and resources with the ultimate goal of helping others, including those who have been historically marginalized in the biomedical, behavioral, STEM ecosystem. She is also consistently challenging herself and her colleagues to think outside the box and create new ideas and practices. Examples of how she embodies the UNTHSC collaboration value, as well as our other values, are captured in the below reflections from Drs. Karen Burg and Tim Burg, College of Veterinary Medicine, the University of Georgia as well as Lisette Serrano, NRMN- Coordination Center Program Manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“We have truly enjoyed working with Katie for the past year and a half on a collaborative, inter-institutional project focused on mentoring students. Collaborators alone do not yield a successful project. Katie is truly the driving force to ensuring the project moves forward in timely fashion to completion. Katie has an exceptional ability to gently organize the disorganized, create focus for the unfocused, and schedule the temporally challenged. Her professionalism and respect for all participants and target users has made this venture both enjoyable and successful. Our team is multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional and Katie makes each of us feel equally engaged and appreciated, that we are truly co-owners of the project. We are passionate about the subject of mentoring and are grateful to Katie for helping us share this passion.”

Nominated by Damaris Javier for Collaboration


Vivian Burke – Geriatrics

Vivian Burke

This nominee has consistently demonstrated the following attributes: Consider the impact of your decisions; good steward of people and resources; Demonstrate compassion, care, and humility; Promote individual potential. Vivian’s willingness to help with training modules being interviewed, serving on focus groups, and providing feedback has helped develop training modules that benefit all. These actions highlight her commitment to promoting individual potential, realize the impact her decisions have on others and encourage the best use of resources and her teammates’ energies.

Not only have I seen these traits from a co-worker’s point of view, but I have also benefited from her compassion, care, and humility on the side of an HSC patient caregiver. Personally, this last year has been very challenging not only for the pandemic but as a caregiver of my mother-in-law (Frances) living with me. During this last year, we had almost weekly virtual visits with Dr. Knebl trying to keep Frances’ COPD and heart failure in balance. Vivian repeatedly went above and beyond to overcome technology challenges and relay information with amazing compassion and empathy. After Frances’ death, Vivian called to check on my husband and I. She offered comfort and shared her admiration for Frances and our family as she had seen us meet the challenges.

I believe she provides this level of care to all her patients. She approaches her role as a Clinical Service Representative as a critical part of the health care team. The personal responsibility she takes for providing care and developing healing relationships with those who seek medical care at HSC is rare.

Nominated by Brenda Wilson for Serve Others First


Dr. Janice Knebl – Geriatrics

Janice Knebl

I’ll speak first to my experience with this nominee as a caregiver of one of her patients. I am in awe of the medical decision-making and guidance she provided during the last few years of Frances’ (my mother-in-law’s) life. Dr. Knebl’s quick move to and determination to master virtual visits was certainly a life-prolonging facilitator for Frances. We had almost weekly care visits over the last year before Frances’ death in February of this year. Dr. Knebl understands the importance of providing age-friendly care. Once she understood Frances’ goals she was dedicated and diligent to help Frances have as high a quality of life as possible remaining at home. Dr. Knebl also provided wonderful support, compassion and kept a pulse on how we were doing as caregivers. Working tirelessly with our home health nurse, pulling in other home testing services, and making home visits herself when needed. Her ability to graciously address the important end-of-life issues amazed me. Even when I knew she personally was having immense challenges herself, her care for Frances did not falter. I have no idea how she did it but will forever be grateful for the gifts she gave my family with her medical skill and compassion.

Her willingness to serve others first does not extend to patients and caregivers. She contributes to her local team, city, state, and nation. Always with the goal of making life better for those around her. I have the privilege of working closely with her on several educational projects. Time and time again I have seen her empower others to make values-based decisions, calling all of us to examine our stewardship of resources and talents. She encourages the stretching of individual potential and celebrates success.

Nominated by Brenda Wilson for Serve Others First

Janice Misner – Geriatrics

Janice Misner

As a co-worker, Janice is always willing to help anytime I have asked her. Her willingness to add her reflections to make training modules better is greatly appreciated. She is knowledgeable and seems to have a solid systems-based grasp of how different topics relate across multiple clinical roles.

Where I have seen the demonstration of her collaboration talents the best is from the perspective of caregiver for an HSC patient. Personally, this last year has been very challenging not only for the pandemic but as a caregiver of my mother-in-law (Frances) living with me. During this last year, we had almost weekly virtual visits with Dr. Knebl and telephone calls with Jancie. Keeping Frances’ COPD and heart failure in balance truly took a collaborative team. Janice repeatedly went above and beyond to overcome barriers when something we needed was not readily available. An example of this was when Frances needed an injectible diuretic for Frances’ home health nurse to give her. This approach kept Frances from further potential exposure by having to travel to a healthcare facility and the exhaustion she experienced when having to do so. Janice made herself readily available to collaborate with Joe, Frances’ home health nurse. I was amazed at how timely her responses were, the respect she had for Joe, and the care she always provided. Her ability to empathize, encourage and bring healing was demonstrated not only for Frances but my husband and I as well. Her recognition of how tough the caregiver role is helped bolster our ability to keep going. My husband and I are ever indebted to her for the kindness, professionalism, and dedication she showed.

Nominated by Brenda Wilson for Collaboration


Caroline Gourley – Center for Innovative Learning

Caroline Gourley

Dena encourages her team to invest in up-and-coming technology like xAPI, which allows her team to capture online learner experiences from within the education. Because of this push towards integration, the department is now capturing data that would have been impossible a year ago and has begun to use it to improve the learner experience and improve her team’s ability to understand their learners better overall.

She is always the first to extend the olive branch of collaboration within her team and outside her team. Repeatedly, I have seen her ready and willing to break down barriers and institutional silos. Her aim is always building and creating something better.

As a supervisor, she makes us feel that we all have equal voices at the table and makes sure that we are heard and acknowledged for what we do. She values diversity and inclusion. She is the kind of leader who makes an effort to connect with her people and her efforts in learning about my country, culture, and tradition has only increased my admiration and respect for her.
She is probably the most transparent leader I have had. Whether the news is hard or vague, she does not take the easy way out with our team. Her actions with our team are transparent. She is willing to acknowledge the emotions of change AND encourage the opportunities.

It is rare to have a supervisor with such genuine compassion for the work that she does as well as for her co-workers. She has always supported our continued growth both on a personal and professional level providing encouragement along the way. She is always quick to congratulate and communicate your accomplishments with others. I look forward to our monthly one-on-one meetings because I value the open and honest feedback as well as the direction and vision that she provides. She constantly stays up to date on industry standards and shares that info with the team so that we can continue to provide the highest quality work in our field. She has fostered such a collaborative and comfortable environment within our team that I can honestly say that I have never had a better work family.

Nominated by Dr. Kim Meyer for Serve Others First


Jim Trammell – Product Development & EngineeringJim Trammell

Jim has done a remarkable job implementing the new Microsoft Teams phones throughout the campus. This has included some complex problem solving and navigation with our department in particular. Jim listened to our needs and sought out several options to achieve the goal. He worked with the provider, System, and others in his department to work out a solution that would serve DLAM and the campus well. Never once did Jim have a negative attitude or single complaint through the process. He is a great example of all of the values at UNTHSC!

Nominated by Lacy Bowen for Be Visionary