The humans of Human Resources

Earlier this year I took the time to recognize and thank our department’s administrative personnel, from the department- and division-level administrators who ensure our academic missions are supported to the research administration team members who guide our researchers through the challenging wilderness of reports and resourcing that come with running a laboratory. They are all critical to the multitude of activities that take place in our large department, and every day I have cause to be amazed at the creativity and talent of these individuals. Without them and their coordination of faculty schedules, certification of clinician privileges, just simply paying our bills, and so many other routine but essential tasks, none of us would be able to deliver the care, make the discoveries, or train the students. We cannot thank them enough. Last week, the department made some of that appreciation known on Administrative Professionals’ Day. Over a too-brief hour, a couple dozen were treated to breakfast and conversation with colleagues before the day’s responsibilities could get too far in the way. Of course, very special thanks goes to the administrative professional I rely on the most, Sherry Mattison, for always lifting the heaviest side of events like these, in addition to helping me manage my day and my inbox.

Kaila Boothroy and Carol Wehby

One group that did not receive enough attention in that January post from me is our Human Resources division, although they are key to my mission of attracting and nurturing a diverse pool of talent dedicated to shared discovery and excellence in clinical care and education. It is no secret that this last year has been a challenge for the HR group. As of next month, I am pleased to report, we will have completed the recruitment process to bring our HR team to its desired capacity to meet the department’s needs. To have reached this point would simply not have been possible were it not for the extra-departmental support of a few key individuals, who are now wrapping up their time with us. First, my thanks to Ellen Twinam and Kiley Skay, who joined us from the Carver College of Medicine’s HR group and are still offering support and advice. I am also indebted to Ann Howard, who returned from “across the river” and has been working closely with Eileen Fürstenberg, training her in all the many different components of credentialing. But our deepest thanks go to Carol Wehby, who rejoined us from retirement almost a year ago, offering her decades of experience as we untangled some of the tightest knots. Carol also has provided continuity and guidance to our permanent HR Director Kaila Boothroy, who joined us in December. Carol’s generosity with her time clearly stems from a love for this department, which inspires. She will leave things better than when she found them. Thank you, Carol.

One initiative of our Human Resources team has been to more quickly integrate our newest members into the department, to introduce them to the many resources we have that can help them be successful. They created a half-day orientation for new faculty and clinicians with about a dozen presentations from department leaders. These presentations answer questions a new member might not have had yet and give our new hires a chance to put faces to names and titles, so that when the question comes up—whether it is about promotions or research or small group teaching—they will remember who to ask or which resource to consult. We are grateful to everyone who participated in this week’s orientation event. I know that good information was shared, and I hope that attendees were surprised by a few things that our department provides. Organizers have even added a small social gathering off-site, and I was glad to see some department leaders also attended. We are glad you are here!

About Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD

Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD; Interim Chair and DEO, Department of Internal Medicine; Kate Daum Endowed Professor; Professor of Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine; Professor of Radiation Oncology

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