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Meet the IT/HealthONE Management Team

HealthONE project directors working on the 7th floor of University Tower, from left, Liz Zibell, Kathy Noel, Carolyn Orrell, and Christopher Carroll. (Photo by Kristin Wallace)

An essential part of HealthONE’s electronic health record (EHR) implementation process, set to go live on April 28, 2018, is the ongoing work of UConn Health IT Department’s two assistant vice presidents and director, and four HealthONE project directors in collaboration with many analysts, architects and engineers.

This management team works closely with the HealthONE leadership team of Denise Purington, BSN, interim CIO; Dr. Dirk Stanley, CMIO; and newly arrived Bryan Kerr, HealthONE’s interim assistant vice president.

The managers oversee the planning, implementation and management process of various information technology needs and HealthONE’s specific EPIC applications.

We would like to introduce you to the IT and HealthONE management team and hear what they think are the ultimate perks and benefits of UConn Health’s upcoming EHR system.

Robert Darby, AVP of IT Strategic Projects and Clinical Systems manages the HealthONE’s team charged with helping to ensure data from existing systems and those systems that are not scheduled to be replaced by EPIC are incorporated into the HealthONE system and available to clinicians and support staff within the HealthONE applications. He also oversees the teams who are developing the necessary operational reports and analytic and business intelligence tools that will be used to manage the business unit, support quality reporting and business and clinical transformation. Some of the tools they use from EPIC include Bridges, Data Courier and Cogito.  In addition to the HealthONE team, Darby manages the Clinical Application Support Team, Project Managers and Clinical Informatics Teams that support all non-HealthONE applications and clinical implementations that play a vital role in the HealthONE implementation project.  Along with over 9 years at UConn Health he has 20 years of health care IT experience in implementation, support, management and integration of clinical systems and environments.
Best perk of HealthONE? Moving from a best of breed (many individual systems) systems approach to a single unified UConn Health enterprise solution.
Number one benefit of HealthONE for UConn Health? Gaining access to information stored within a single database will allow us to act quicker to provider better care to our patients as well as better quality reporting for our patient population and research partners.

Michael Catrini, AVP of Enterprise Technology Systems manages the HealthONE team responsible for connecting our data center to the EPIC data center in Wisconsin. He also manages the team that will ensure the correct HealthONE applications and equipment are installed on thousands of end user devices across the organization. He brings over 20 years of clinical IT experience to the project, including two previous enterprise EHR installations.
Best perk? Reducing the number of applications needed to treat patients.  
Number one benefit? Speed of access to the patient data. The users will be able to quickly reach the correct data at the correct time during patient care.

Carrie Gray, director of Information Security oversees the HealthONE Security Coordinators responsible for building, maintaining and educating users about the security of the HealthONE system. Additionally, she manages the Information Security team responsible for establishing and coordinating the development, management and implementation of information security technologies, policies, standards and procedures for protecting UConn Health’s confidential data and critical systems.
Best perk? The ability to access multiple functions with a single user ID.
Number one benefit? A streamlined approach to granting access to the system based on a user’s responsibilities.

The four HealthONE project directors from left, Carolyn Orrell, Christopher Carroll, Kathy Noel, and Liz Zibell. (Photo by Kristin Wallace)

Liz Zibell, RN, MSN oversees HealthONE’s Clinical applications named ASAP (emergency department), Willow (pharmacy), Stork (obstetrics and labor and delivery) along with the Orders, Clinical Documentation and Infection Control modules and functions. For this role she brings more than 11 years of EHR experience. She has previously managed the clinical informatics teams at UConn Health and served as a clinical transformation specialist for the Cerner Corporation. Her nursing background includes experience in the NICU, pediatrics, home health, and clinical research settings.
Best perk? The strength of the clinical team and their skill sets which will enhance the HealthONE application.
Number one benefit? A safer and more robust data environment for our patients and staff. We will all get there together.

Carolyn Orrell, MBA is responsible for HealthONE’s Access and Revenue Cycle applications which are named Cadence (scheduling), Grand Central (transport, bed planning), Prelude (registration), Resolute HB and PB (hospital billing and professional billing and claims), and HIM/Identity (Health Information Management). She has over 20 years of experience in healthcare IT. She has served in various project management and leadership roles for the implementation of clinical and revenue cycle financial systems and EHRs. In addition, she also attained her Six Sigma Green Belt from the Juran Institute.
Best perk? The new functionality and streamlined processes.
Number one benefit? The EPIC functionality and new third party solutions that will benefit our patients, providers, and staff.

Kathy Noel leads the Ambulatory applications for HealthONE. Her scope of responsibility spans physician office workflows in Ambulatory and Orthopedics, Healthy Planet (population health), MyChart and CareLink (patient and community engagement applications), Canto and Haiku (mobility applications), and Research Studies. She began her IT healthcare journey 28 years ago at the Hospital of St. Raphael, then St. Francis, and arrived nearly 8 years ago at UConn Health as a project manager for the rollout of NextGen. She has managed the development of many clinical applications across the continuum with insight into workflows of many hospital departments.
Best perk? The integration the HealthONE system will provide to connect all the dots between our currently separate systems and the ‘one-stop-shopping’ advantages this gives to our clinicians and our patients.
Number one benefit? HealthONE will provide us with transparency and reporting that has previously been unattainable.

Christopher M. Carroll, MBA, PMP directs HealthONE’s Ancillary applications. He oversees the applications called Beacon (oncology), Beaker (lab), Radiant (radiology and cardiology) and the Optime/Anesthesia (operating rooms and anesthesia) modules for HealthONE. Chris has been with UConn Health’s IT department for the last 7 years. Prior to HealthONE, he was project manager of numerous initiatives including Banner and NextGen. Chris has experience as a consultant, as well as holding various positions across healthcare, insurance, higher education, administrative and financial organizations.
Best perk? The integration of so much clinical information in one place will streamline many workflows.
Number one benefit? It will readily provide patient information to the fingertips of those providing patient care and to those ancillary areas performing tests and procedures.

We encourage you to reach out to any of these leaders with questions or concerns. We also want to thank all the IT and HealthONE team members who are working to deliver the HealthONE system by April 2018 and all those in the organization who have participated in design sessions. Without everyone’s involvement we couldn’t have gotten as far as we have today.

Active Shooter Awareness

UConn Health leadership and staff participated on June 7 in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security FEMA led tabletop drill exercise to further enhance its response to an emergency situation such as an active shooter.

“As a campus we need to make sure we are always as prepared as possible for a natural or man-made disaster such as workplace violence that can occur at any time or anywhere. This is why we drill regularly at UConn Health,” says Bryan Gran, the new emergency management specialist at UConn Health who led the interactive discussion-based exercise.

Institutional representatives hailed from across the departments of fire, police, hospital, facilities, communications, nutrition and emergency departments at UConn Health. In addition, representatives participated from the Connecticut State Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the West Hartford Fire Department and seven other institutions from across the country.

“Very few people are trained to know what to do for their personal protection in an active shooter situation,” says Joe Curreri, chief of UConn Health Police. This is why since 2014 UConn Health has made active shooter awareness and education mandatory for all new employees and students during their onboarding orientation.

Curreri added, “Education about active shooters is not designed to alarm employees, but to make them more aware of the possibility of this type of event occurring whether at work or in their day-to-day lives and to make them more aware of their response options should they find themselves in this situation.”

In fact, a study performed by Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness found that there were more than 150 hospital-related shootings nationwide from 2000 to 2011, in more than 40 states, and with more than 235 people killed or injured. Unfortunately, hospital related shootings have been on the rise since the study was completed.

Should you ever find yourself in harm’s way take proactive steps to protect yourself and help save more lives.

Important Tips to Remember:

  • Be aware: To help prevent an event’s occurrence, make sure to report any suspicious warning signs of a potential active shooter or violent person to the Police immediately by calling 9-1-1.
  • Know the Emergency Codes: Remember to wear your UConn Health identification card at all times so you can quickly refer to the back of it for any announced emergency hospital codes. A ‘Silver’ alert stands for an active weapon threat.
  • Remember to ‘Run, Hide, Fight’: These three action may make the difference in your survival during an active shooter situation.) Run: Try to escape or evacuate the active shooter’s area if you can to safety. Only you are important so leave any belongings behind. As you run verbally alert others to prevent their harm and call 9-1-1 once you are safe.

2.) Hide: If you can’t escape the active shooter’s area, find a place to hide behind a locked or barricaded door or even behind a large object. Remain quiet and remember to silence your phone.

3.) Fight: As a last resort, if you can’t run or hide, fight with aggression against the active shooter assailant whether alone or as a group.
For more tips on emergency preparedness, visit: https://health.uconn.edu/police/crime-prevention/.


Looking at Us: Cliff Williams, Electrician of the Comedy Circuit

Spend enough time in a UConn Health building and there’s a good chance you’ll cross paths with a tall, lanky, bearded fellow in a tradesman’s uniform… and he’ll try to make you laugh. Known to many as “The Joke Guy,” Cliff Williams joined UConn Health 16 years ago for a job that, despite our comical encounters with him, is actually pretty serious. He lives in Farmington with his wife, Joan, who also works at UConn Health, as a business services manager in the UConn School of Dental Medicine.

Cliff Williams is an electrician who’s been known to share a joke or two with UConn Health colleagues on his way to or from a job site, like this generator room in the University Tower. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

What is your day job?

My job here is not being the joke man, that’s for sure. I’m a QCW electrician. QCW stands for “quality craft worker”—I didn’t dream up the silly name. In electrical, we’re responsible for maintaining the reliability of the electrical system in the Health Center, all the buildings here, and the outbuildings. We have certain maintenance things we do on a regular basis and also sometimes we’re scrambling because there’s a problem somewhere that needs to be corrected. It could be lights not working, or outlets not working, and we also assist the plumbers and the HVAC guys when they have electrical problems with their equipment. There’s a lot of stuff here, and no matter how well you maintain anything, stuff can break. That’s why we’re here, to try to keep the lights on and the power flowing for all of the patients and staff here.

A lot of folks here recognize you not as the electrician but as the tall bearded guy who tells jokes. How did that come to be?

I think this has been going on for maybe the last five or six years. Most of my jokes are puns. I happen to enjoy puns very much. I could have gotten that appreciation from [Hartford radio legend] Bob Steele. I admired his sense of humor and he did not tell any what he called “parlor” jokes, and I always liked that. There are people who see me and want me to stop and tell them a joke. They know that I’m normally good for a joke.

One thing that’s interesting is, I have a colleague, George Kazimierczak, also a QCW electrician. Sometimes George has a beard, and he’s tall and thin, and people often confuse the two of us. From time to time, people are stopping George in the elevator or walking down the hall and they are demanding a joke from him. Sometimes they don’t want to believe that he’s not me.

And I should point out, my corny jokes, women seem to appreciate them more than men. I could be in the elevator, and a woman will look at me and say, “Well?” And I say, “Excuse me? Well what?” And she’ll say “Aren’t you The Joke Guy? I’m waiting.” So to some degree, sometimes I’m on the spot to perform.

I’ve told well over a hundred jokes, but I don’t remember the ones I used last week.

Cliff Williams

Favorite movie

Favorite author
John Steinbeck

Favorite vacation spot
Tulum, Mexico

Favorite delicacy
Corned beef with sauerkraut

Something about you today that your younger self would never believe
That I’m still alive!

What’s one of your favorite jokes from over the years, that you can remember?

What’s the difference between a well-dressed man on a unicycle and a poorly dressed man on a bicycle?


Does it ever happen that people see you and try to avoid you because they don’t want to hear a joke?

No… oh, wait a minute. There’s one doctor, a researcher, Ph.D., he sees me and tries to avoid me. There is at least one person who tries to avoid me.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do?

We enjoy very much working in our garden. Joan enjoys her flowers very much, and I’m in charge of the vegetable garden. We enjoy our annual vacation to Mexico in the winter, because it’s very nice to get out of here, and it’s much too cold to do yardwork anyway. Tulum, Mexico, has been our favorite place for eight or more years. And I do speak a little German. I actually know three and a half German jokes that I can tell, for what that’s worth.

Do you have a joke you’d like to leave us with?

What do dogs do that people step in?


Second Project Search Graduation Slated June 2

Kristin Sadowsky (second from left), an intern with Favarh Project SEARCH, learns administrative support tasks from her mentors Michelle Thompson , Angela Rizzolo and skills trainer Pam Applewhite-Miller. (Photo by R. Wright)

Nine interns with Project SEARCH, an innovative program designed to prepare young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) for careers, not just jobs, will be graduating from the program at a special “bridge ceremony” on Friday, June 2.

Project SEARCH is the most successful youth transition program in the nation at placing young adults with IDD in gainful employment. Connecticut’s only program, a partnership between Favarh – The Arc of the Farmington Valley – and UConn Health, is located at the UConn Health Farmington campus. At the program, young people with IDD are demonstrating that when given the opportunity and proper supports to succeed, they can and do exceed, often beyond our preconceived notions of what is possible.

Vanessa Flenke (center), an intern with Favarh Project SEARCH, learns about delivering excellent patient care at UMG Ophthalmology from her mentors Cheryl Berry and Vivian Holly. (Photo by Ania Scott)

Project SEARCH was founded in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The program is a one-year, unpaid internship program designed for students either in their last year of high school or graduates in their first year out of school.

The largest private employer in Canton with 275 employees, Favarh was founded in 1958 by eight local families who all wanted a better life for their children with intellectual disabilities. Today, Favarh is a local chapter of the Arc, the world’s largest community-based organization for people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities. Favarh supports more than 350 children, young adults, adults, seniors and families throughout the Greater Farmington Valley area and beyond.

Media contact:  Bill Neagus,  wneagus@favarh.org

Husky Heroes Raise Funds for Cancer Research and Patient Services


Team UConn Health Husky Heroes has been busy this spring sponsoring and fundraising two important local events: Connecticut Breast Health Initiative’s 2017 Race in the Park on May 13 in New Britain and the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Farmington on May 20Donations for both events totaled $6,447 raised by 54 team members made up of survivors, staff, caregivers, families, and friends.

The Race in the Park raised $3,069 to fund important breast cancer research and education projects in the state. Participants stopping at the UConn Health table were introduced to the Beekley Imaging Center, received information about the patient-centered Breast Program at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, and breast cancer survivors had the opportunity to consider participation in a CT BHI grant funded research project. Team members spent a great deal of time interacting with other participants at the event and one of the highlights was when Julia Tannenbaum, daughter of Dr. Susan Tannenbaum, read her poem “Pink Is More Than A Color” at the Survivor Breakfast.

At Relay for Life, $3,378 was raised which will help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, crucial patient care services, and prevention and early detection programs. This is the most that the team has ever raised for Relay. The Farmington Valley Relay exceeded their goal in raising almost $480,000. Team members dropped by throughout the day to walk laps, participate in activities, and show their spirit at the UConn tent. Dr. Upendra Hegde gave an inspirational speech at opening ceremonies.


New Patio Opens at Munson Road

An ice cream social and ribbon-cutting unveiling the new patio area outside the cafeteria at Munson Road was held Monday. The Campus Planning, Design and Construction folks tell us the building won architectural awards when it was first built and the decks were an integral part of the design. But after 50 years of use, the decks had maintenance and water leakage issues. The walk out areas on all levels were eliminated except the cafeteria level. The new patio is slightly larger than the original and has seating for 60 people.  It was also raised 7 inches to the cafeteria floor level making it more accessible from both the cafeteria and the lobby. The patio layout pays tribute to the original roof ponds and the sleek stainless steel cable rail system was chosen to complement the buildings lines and is maintenance free. Low maintenance plantings are also included in the design.

Recognizing Women in Medicine and Science

Drs. Pam Taxel (left) and Marja Hurley (right) present Dr. Jeanine Suchecki with a Group on Women in Medicine and Science Outstanding Faculty Recognition Award. (Photo by John Atashian)

This week our Group on Women in Medicine and Science recognized outstanding women faculty and students, presenting its own outstanding faculty recognition awards:

  • Outstanding Basic Scientist Faculty Award
    Nancy Petry, professor of medicine
  • Outstanding Clinician Scientist Faculty Award
    Dr. Jeanine Suchecki, chief, Division of Ophthalmology

GWIMS also recognized three women for other honors received:

  • Connecticut Technology Council Research Innovation and Leadership Award
    Nancy Petry, professor of medicine
  • Connecticut Technology Council Research Innovation and Leadership Honoree
    Deborah Dorcemus, UConn biomedical engineering doctoral candidate
  • UConn Provost 2017 Outstanding Senior Women Academic Achievement Award
    Kristin Russomanno, UConn School of Medicine Class of 2017

In his remarks at the GWIMS annual symposium Monday, Dr. Andy Agwunobi, UConn Health CEO and VP for health affairs, said, “In all our divisions, women are keeping our health care institution’s engine going.”

More than 70 percent of UConn Health employees are women.

Jill Morris, program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, presented the keynote address, titled “Women in Biomedical Careers.”

Bill Kleinman: The Exit Interview

Bill Kleinman spent most of legal career–first as an assistant attorney general, then as senior counsel for health affairs–at UConn Health, where he’s served more than 37 years. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

William Kleinman, who’s been practicing law for more than four decades, is retiring from state service April 27. Kleinman spent most of his career as an assistant attorney general embedded at UConn Health, and has been serving as senior counsel for health affairs here for the last three years. A few weeks ago he agreed to a departing interview with UConn Health Updates.

What did UConn Health look like from a legal standpoint when you, as an assistant attorney general, were assigned here in 1980?

At that time, there was only one lawyer representing Storrs, the regional campuses and UConn Health. Today, the number of lawyers between the two campuses is easily in double digits. But it was a less complicated legal world then. The nature and scope of state and federal regulations in the health care and educational arenas was much less pervasive and complex than it is now. In addition, I see legal counselling now having much more of a business aspect to it than it did when I first started practicing.

In 1980, John McKenna was the assistant attorney general assigned to represent both the Storrs and Health Center campuses. On average, he spent one day a week in Farmington. The hospital was about five years old. John and I discussed the possibility of my representing the Health Center. At that time, I was representing the state constitutional officers as well as a variety of state administrative agencies. We brought the idea to Carl Ajello, who was the attorney general at the time, and he said yes.

In retrospect it was an interesting decision because I had no education law experience, I had no health law experience, and I had very little litigation experience. So I was a very well balanced three-legged stool. It was really quite remarkable. But the Health Center was very supportive by proving me with multiple educational opportunities to get me up to speed very quickly. For the first 17 years that I was here, I was the only assistant attorney general at UConn Health.

How did your role evolve over the years?

I dealt with a broad array of legal issues. I represented UConn Health in state and federal court, the Commission on Hospitals and Health Care (now OHCA), the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Office of the Claims Commissioner. I drafted documents when necessary, gave legal advice on a daily basis on the legal issues of the day, handled commitment hearings on the first and third floors, as well as any legal issues that emanated from the operation of the hospital, the faculty practice, the medical school, the dental school, the graduate school, and administrative operations. And if it was a matter outside of my expertise or experience, I had to find outside counsel or someone else in the attorney general’s office who could help me with it.

In 1997, when Les Cutler was the vice president and provost for health affairs, he recognized the need for more legal representation. A second assistant attorney general, Jane Comerford, joined me. She was an outstanding lawyer, and greatly enhanced the services provided by our office. Jane was then followed by assistant attorney general Don Green, who continued Jane’s good work.

Describe the dynamic of the relationship between an assistant attorney general and the agency in which he or she is assigned?

That always created a challenge. I always recognized and understood that my employer was the attorney general. But I always had a very strong allegiance to UConn Health and my goal always was to find a way to navigate a legal path that was comfortable to the attorney general and beneficial to the Health Center. And in my personal view, that really should be a goal of any assistant attorney general representing a state agency, namely, to allow that agency to perform its mission to the fullest extent possible without any or minimal legal exposure.

That was always my goal, and I think that we were pretty successful in achieving this, to find a way to navigate where we could hold faith with the attorney general’s responsibilities while finding a way to either get the Health Center to where it wanted to go or clearly to explain why there was no legal way to go down that path. I’m not a prideful person, but if I’m proud of anything, it was the ability to help marry those two different entities in a way that didn’t make the legal department a roadblock to getting things done.

In that same regard, I never dealt with a senior administrator here who was not willing to accept straight, respectful advice given on a legal issue.

What are some of the things you observed over the course of your tenure here?

Bill Kleinman started working at UConn Health in 1980.

There’s been an interesting ebb and flow within the Health Center relative to its relationship to the campus at Storrs. It has, literally like the tides, either been more and less integrated with departments and functions at Storrs. We are currently in a “high gravitational pull phase.” I would be surprised going forward if that doesn’t remain the norm.

I think some of the interesting things that I have seen over the years include multiple attempts by the Health Center to integrate clinically with other area providers, only to have those efforts fall short for multiple political reasons. Despite that, the Health Center has regularly attempted to reach out and advance itself and partner with other health care and research entities, as evidenced by collaborations with Connecticut Children’s, Jackson Labs, Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, and others. At the same time, it has successfully developed its own centers of excellence.

Correctional Managed Health Care has evolved in an interesting fashion. It was originally contemplated to be a teaching laboratory for the medical school on how to deal with a pure managed care model. But it certainly was and continues to be an interesting experiment in how the state can provide medical care to its incarcerated population. It’s particularly interesting when you read articles across the country about the challenges that private entities have had in providing quality medical care within prison systems in other states. Many of those articles have not reflected favorably on those efforts

You retired from the Office of the State Attorney General at the end of 2013, but we still have been seeing you here since. How has your role changed?

I was ready to retire from working full time and I said to the leadership here, if it would be helpful to you, and you want me to work a couple days a week, I’m happy to do that. They said that would be great.

Upon retirement I immediately transitioned from the assistant attorney general position to my current role, as senior counsel for health affairs. One of the purposes was to help transition into the creation of the Office of the General Counsel at UConn Health. This would then allow a university-employed cadre of lawyers that does the heavy lifting legally for the university, in conjunction and cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General.

The attorney general’s office is charged with providing certain types of legal advice that only it can provide, such as formal legal opinions of the attorney general, representation in and settlement of lawsuits, contract approvals and the like. But other than that, there’s nothing that prevents the university from engaging its own counsel to provide legal advice on a whole universe of legal matters. And, throughout my 37 years of representing UConn Health, there’s always been excellent cooperation between the university and the attorney general’s office.

About a year and a half before I was going to retire, I advised the attorney general’s office of my plans, because my feeling was, unlike many other slots in the attorney general’s office, this position was going to require someone with a somewhat unique skill set. I wanted to afford the attorney general’s office enough time to find a strong candidate to fill this position. And fortunately for UConn Health, Jeff Blumenthal applied for the job.

From 2012 through the end of 2013, Jeff and I worked together in the attorney general’s office, which afforded us an opportunity to transition the functional role of an assistant attorney general here to Jeff. He has a deep and varied legal background in multiple areas related to health care. He is a lawyer of the first rank. Effective January 2014, Jeff became lead attorney. And now, with the addition of two new outstanding lawyers, Scott Simpson and Brian White, UConn Health’s new chief legal officer, combined with our highly respected resident Assistant Attorney General Lynn Wittenbrink, a highly accomplished litigator and counsellor, this institution is well positioned to navigate through treacherous legal waters safely.

What’s next for you?

I’m fortunate that my wife (Dr. Myra Rosenstein, who retired from UConn Health Partners at the end of 2013) and I have a place in the Berkshires. I think that on May 1, we’ll pack up our car and go up to the Berkshires for May, June, July, and August, and head back to West Hartford in September. We also look forward to continue our recent travelling adventures (Israel and China last year), with an African safari scheduled for October.

We have five adult children living all over the country including two grandchildren in Oakland so that keeps us pretty busy as well.

I currently sit on a Health Center IRB and intend to continue to sit as a nonaffiliated volunteer member. I’m also going to look at a couple of other substantive volunteer opportunities. But I’ve been advised, I think wisely, by a number of friends, that in the first year of retirement, be measured in the commitments that you make. I do intend to do a lot of reading, exercising, taking some courses, and just trying to enjoy life.

As you prepare to leave UConn Health, what is your outlook on the future of this institution?

The faculty, staff, administration and infrastructure have been put in place to make this place succeed. The Outpatient Pavilion is a Class A facility. The new University Tower, first class. The collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory, five star. The key is to find the chemistry, through affiliation or otherwise, that will draw patients here and build on the research collaboration with Jackson and other entities that will allow UConn Health to flourish. That’s the challenge.

And to the extent that the Office of General Counsel at UConn Health can help make that happen—through affiliation agreements, joint ventures, accountable care organization affiliations—then this office will have done its part in a great success story.

2017 Health, Safety and Environmental Fair Photos

Football was the theme of this year’s Health, Safety and Environmental Fair held in the Food Court April 7. Many UConn Health departments took part offering giveaways and games. Some of the highlights included visits from Miss Connecticut, Miss Chrysanthemum, the UConn husky dog Jonathan XIV and the UConn Husky mascot.  View the photo gallery to see if you recognize anyone you know.

Engaging Our Enterprise Through Servant Leadership

Joe Patrnchak, an expert on servant leadership, presents the concept to UConn Health deans, directors, department heads, and other leaders. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

Managers and directors continue attending a series of leadership development workshops as part of Dr. Andrew Agwuonbi’s efforts to improve employee engagement.

Central to that is a shift in philosophy to what’s known as servant leadership.

The most recent installment of the development series featured a presentation from Joseph Patrnchack, who served as chief human resources officer at the Cleveland Clinic before founding Green Summit Partners, an HR consulting firm specializing in employee engagement. He told the crowd of deans, directors, department heads, and other leaders that engaging the workforce through servant leadership provides guidance and inspiration to be an effective leader.

“Building an engaged enterprise is realizing what kind of leadership it takes to create high levels of employee engagement across your organization,” Patrnchak said. “Engagement has both emotional and intellectual components and equally important, the combined result is extra on-the-job effort.”

Leaders can’t force their people to be highly engaged, he said, but they can create an environment and a culture that encourages them to become engaged.

“The most important thing an organization’s leaders can do to promote engagement is to demonstrate that they care about their people,” Patrnchak said. “Applying the principles of servant leadership assists leaders to move from a command and control, position power style to one of empowering others and putting others and the organization first.”

The leadership development series has had five workshops so far. They serve as a platform for UConn Health leaders to learn what is needed to improve the culture and improve the workplace for its workforce.

–Alexis Crean