GW SMHS Celebrates Staff During Inaugural Employee Appreciation Event

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The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences celebrated National Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 4, and announced the inaugural Dean’s Excellence in Service Award winners.

The award recipients were Laura K. Gerety, administrative manager, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine; Mary Harrell Mosby, assistant director, Graduate Medical Education; Catherine Sluder, coordinator, Access Services and Educational Technology Resources, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library; and Robin Tse, administrative supervisor, Classroom Services.

“The last few years have been a challenging time for our entire community, our nation, and the world,” said Grace Henry, EdD ’12, assistant dean and director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to open the event. “Our care-providing colleagues have served on the front lines, our faculty have continued to teach and ensure that our students continue to learn, and our staff kept things running as smoothly as though this was all going according to plan.”

Two years ago, GW SMHS established the Anti-Racism Coalition, or ARC, to make anti-racism part of the fabric of its culture. The ARC initiative established a series of working groups to craft a new normal relative to race, equity, integrity, and opportunity and to enhance the experiences across the varied stakeholders in the SMHS community.

“We quickly realized that we were missing out on an Excellence in Service Recognition Award,” Henry explained.

GW SMHS employs more than 775 staff, who average just under 10 years of service at the university. ARC volunteers identified staff recognition as a way to enhance an environment of inclusion and raise the visibility of the work that is done here every day. More than 21 nominees were identified who exemplified the award ideal of someone who fosters an atmosphere of collaboration, cooperation, and creativity; regularly exhibits a willingness to help others; and has made exceptional contributions toward effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace. Many of those initial award candidates received multiple nominations.

“Today is a very important day, because it is about ‘appreciation’ or, in other word, saying ‘thank you’ and about saying ‘what you contribute to this organization matters,’” said Barbara L. Bass, MD, RESD ’86, vice president for health affairs, dean of SMHS, and CEO of The GW Medical Faculty Associates.

“We put so much focus on the students and the faculty and the patients. …  None of that work that we do to serve those fantastic missions can happen without the vast support, engagement, leadership, and participation of each of our amazing staff members.”

Earlier in the day, the GW Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA) kicked off a month-long series of appreciation events to celebrate staff. The series of giveaways and raffles for prizes started with free office plants. All GW MFA staff also were automatically entered into a series of raffles, with prizes featuring five chances to win sets of four tickets to the men’s Atlantic-10 Basketball Tournament and 25 chances to win a Starbucks gift card. Later in the month, employees have a chance to win “Lunch with the COO” or one month of free parking.

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