The Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award finalists from left, Lakeesha Brown, Elizabeth Cwalinski, Ursula Knight, and Carol Schramm. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, CEO UConn Health and EVP for Health Affairs, addresses employees during the 2016 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award and annual celebration of employee years of service event Nov. 21 in the Academic Rotunda. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
The 2016 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award and annual celebration of employee years of service was held Nov. 21 in the Academic Rotunda at UConn Health. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
Dr. Peter J. Deckers, retired executive vice president for health affairs and dean emeritus of the UConn School of Medicine, talks about the award named in his honor during the annual celebration of employee years of service event held Nov. 21 in the Academic Rotunda at UConn Health. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
Ursula Knight, CMHC nursing supervisor, with Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, CEO UConn Health and EVP for Health Affairs, and Dr. Peter J. Deckers, retired executive vice president for health affairs and dean emeritus of the UConn School of Medicine. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
Elizabeth Cwalinski, housekeeping supervisor, was a finalist for the 2016 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
Registered nurse Carol Schramm, finalist for the 2016 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award, with Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, CEO UConn Health and EVP for Health Affairs, and Dr. Peter J. Deckers, retired executive vice president for health affairs and dean emeritus of the UConn School of Medicine. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
Lakeesha Brown, principal labor relations specialist in the Department of Human Resources, is the 2016 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award honoree. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
It’s among the highest honors a UConn Health employee can receive – the Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award. Who qualifies as a Deckers Award nominee? An employee who consistently demonstrates passion and commitment, strong leadership, exemplary professional skills, and goes above and beyond to help meet the goals of UConn Health. The award was first presented in 2009 and is named after Dr. Peter Deckers, retired executive vice president for health affairs and dean emeritus of the UConn School of Medicine.
This year’s honoree is Lakeesha Brown, principal labor relations specialist in the Department of Human Resources. Christine Cieplinski, director of labor relations, nominated Lakeesha saying “she sees every work day as an opportunity to positively invest employees in the mission and vision of UConn Health.” Hear what else Christine said about Lakeesha.
The three other finalists for the Deckers Award were:
The Deckers Awards and the annual celebration of employee years of service were held Nov. 21 in the Academic Rotunda during a high-energy ceremony emceed by Alexis Crean, organization and staff development specialist in the Department of Human Resources.
When the American College of Prosthodontics meets next month in Orlando, it will present UConn Health’s Dr. Thomas Taylor with a medallion for its education foundation’s highest honor.
Taylor, a professor who heads the UConn School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Reconstructive Sciences and chairs the Division of Prosthodontics, is the co-recipient of the 2015 American College of Prosthodontics Education Foundation (ACPEF) Founders Society Award.
The award recognizes those who have made a significant impact on the growth and development of the ACPEF and who “have demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment” to the advancement of the specialty of prosthodontics, according to the Foundation.
“It is wonderful that external organizations like the ACPEF see in Dr. Taylor what we have recognized here in the School of Dental Medicine for many years,” says Dr. R. L. “Monty” MacNeil, dean of the UConn School of Dental Medicine. “He’s a thought leader, inspiring teacher and a strong advocate for our profession.”
In addition to his academic, clinical and research work at UConn Health, Taylor has published extensively in the prosthodontic literature and is a past editor of the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants.
“Prosthodontics is the most wonderful—and most challenging—specialty to be a part of,” Taylor says. “Our parent organization, the American College of Prosthodontists, has been supportive of me throughout my career. I feel that I couldn’t possibly give back the value of what my chosen specialty has done for me. I’m so very proud to have been able to support the ACPEF in its efforts to further our specialty and the patients we serve. It is truly an honor to be recognized with this award.”
Taylor serves as executive director of the American Board of Prosthodontics and is president of the Greater New York Academy of Prosthodontics. He is a past president of the International College of Prosthodontics and the International Team for Implantology.
“His leadership is the breath and the heartbeat of our vital organization,” says Dr. Lyndon Cooper, ACPEF chair. “The recognition of Dr. Thomas Taylor by the ACPEF is an inspiring testimony to his level of generosity and dedication as a leader, educator, and clinician.”
Taylor also is a past president of the ACP, whose president, Dr. Frank Tuminelli, says, “His passion makes him a trailblazer for our specialty in the 21st century.”
UConn Health’s John Dempsey Hospital has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award for its treatment of heart attack patients.
The award recognizes hospitals, emergency medical services, and referring centers for their efforts to improve quality care for those who suffer severe heart attack, or ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
“UConn Health is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through nationally respected clinical guidelines,” says John Dempsey Hospital CEO Anne Diamond. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our team.”
UConn Health earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. The gold award level recognizes two consecutive calendar years of meeting these criteria.
“We commend UConn Health for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” says Dr. James G. Jollis, chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group and president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. “We applaud them for their commitment to quality and timely care.”
The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment. The program helps hospitals and emergency medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for STEMI patients. It works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation clinical treatment guidelines. For more information, visit heart.org/missionlifeline and heart.org/quality.
Allen Meckowski, a clinical coordinator in the UConn Health Department of Dermatology, has been recognized as a Husky Hero.
Meckowski is one of 23 UConn Health employees or volunteers who received a Human Resources PAWS award, which stands for:
Part of a team, Awesome attitude, Wonderful work ethic, and Superior service.
PAWS awards honor those who consistently perform above and beyond the expectations of their job. Four-time PAWS recipients earn the distinction of Husky Hero.
HR’s Pride in People subcommittee presented PAWS awards at a reception Thursday in the Onyiuke Dining Room:
Danielle Andrews, CMHC – Hartford – Medical
Ronald Arnone, Dermatology Clinic
Nancy Baccaro, Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center
Joan Blythe, Procedure Center Unit
Barbara Baron, Medicine 4
Barbara Bowman, Cardiology
Francis Couillard, Information Technology – Network Services
Charlene DeCampos, CMHC – MYI – Medical
Michael Deckers, Volunteer
Patricia Lane, UMG – Internal Medicine – Canton
Meghan Laughlan, Intensive Care Unit
Cindy Letavec, CMHC – Cheshire – Medical
Sean Macrae, CMHC – Osborn – Medical
Joan Montgomery, JDH – Organizational & Staff Development
Robert Ramonas, CMHC – Osborn – Medical
Jessica Reyes, Patient Access
Luann Satherlie, UMG – Administration
Jennifer St. Onge, Dermatology Clinic
Bryan Wasik, Dermatology Clinic
Robert Wilkie, Information Technology – Network Services
Heidi Whiteley, CMHC – MacDougal/Walker – Medical
Sohrab Zahedi, M.D, CMHC – Hartford – Mental Health
The American Medical Association Foundation has presented one of its 2015 Excellence in Medicine Leadership Awards to Harrison Hayward, a second-year student at the UConn School of Medicine.
Hayward is one of 10 medical students in the United States to receive the honor, which recognizes “strong, nonclinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service, public health and/or education.”
“I am endlessly grateful to the AMA for extending me this award, and to my family, friends, and medical school for all the support they’ve given me along the way,” Hayward says. “It’s an enormous honor to receive this recognition. I look forward to learning what I can from it and developing the right connections in order to be an even better physician in the future.”
The AMA Foundation recognized Hayward for founding a recreational support group for persons with disabilities and their families in the greater Hartford community, and for establishing himself as local Special Olympics program leader.
The award also acknowledges Hayward’s work abroad last summer. He was part of the Himalayan Health Exchange, a group that provided medical care to villagers in remote southern Himalayan settlements.
“We dealt with all sorts of things: infectious diseases, dermatological conditions, dental work, orthopedics, etc.,” he says. “The expedition really solidified my passion for global health initiatives and has been a potent motivator for my work ever since.”
Hayward also is a board member of the UConn School of Medicine Outreach Clinicat the South Park Inn, which provides free primary care medical services to the transient residents of the South Park Inn Shelter in Hartford.
Hayward is pursuing a career in surgery, and aspires to couple that with his interests in global health and care for the mentally disabled to be come a physician, educator, and leader in global health policy.
This year’s recipients of the AMA Foundation Excellence in Medical Leadership Award also included two residents, two early-career physicians, and one fellow.