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New award celebrates UMMC employees’ excellence

Published on Monday, June 3, 2019

By: Bruce Coleman

True Blue PinA new recognition to be presented by the University of Mississippi Medical Center Awards Team will honor employees who show their true colors at UMMC.

Springing from a suggestion made by the 2018 Above and Beyond 100-Day Workout Team, the True Blue Award will be given periodically to “recognize excellence and celebrate successes for our UMMC employees,” according to Angelina Knott, business administrator in the Department of Pathology.

“We want to award our UMMC employees for going above and beyond, for doing more than they actually have to,” said Knott, leader of the workout team. “We want them to feel honored for that, to feel that they work for a great hospital and to feel recognized for the work that they do here.”

The workout team’s proposal was welcomed by members of the Awards Team, who had been seeking an appropriate way to include all employees in UMMC’s official awards programs.

“Prior to the rollout of the True Blue Award, the Awards Team gave awards for going above and beyond to employees primarily in the clinical mission area of UMMC, and recognized teams throughout the hospital system that achieved a high level of employee engagement on the annual survey,” said Dr. Stephanie C. Tanner, executive director of the UMMC Biobank and member of UMMC’s Awards Team.

“By bringing awareness of this award to all of the UMMC mission areas, the Awards Team hopes that employees at all levels will be motivated to nominate their peers for embodying the ‘True Blue’ spirit of UMMC, exceeding what is expected and creating a positive difference in the lives of coworkers, customers, patients and visitors throughout all three mission areas.”

Tanner said recipients of the True Blue Award will receive a durable lapel pin and will be recognized in People of the U, the Medical Center’s employees-only Facebook group.

“When other employees see one of their peers wearing the True Blue pin, they will recognize them as an example of someone that goes out of their way to do an excellent job,” she said.

Knott listed examples of everyday actions by UMMC employees that would be considered worthy of True Blue Award status:

“Anybody you see taking quick or effective action in a crisis or something that would prevent potential harm; if you volunteered personal time and resources just to brighten someone’s day; or if you suggested an improvement in patient care techniques or departmental operations that add value to quality and safety,” she said. “Just going above and beyond your call of duty, whatever you’re responsible for, in a big way.”

The True Blue Award is one of several selected by UMMC’s Awards Team from among nominations made by Medical Center employees that highlight colleagues who exemplify the Medical Center’s core values of integrity, professionalism, compassion, fairness, courage, equality, leadership, excellence and continuous improvement.

Others include the Daisy Award for UMMC nurses who have made an extraordinary difference in the lives of patients and their families by showing love, compassion and courage during difficult circumstances; and the Good Catch Award for medical team members who have identified a patient safety “near miss” and have taken steps to prevent patient harm.

The UMMC Awards Team’s stated goal is to “reward employees organization-wide who go the extra mile each day as they help us create a healthier Mississippi. Acknowledging those who do more than is required helps to build a strong organizational culture of appreciation.”

Tanner said the new True Blue Award will fit that purpose for all employees at UMMC.

“By increasing awareness of the availability of this award and rolling out the new True Blue pin, the Awards Team hopes that more employees at UMMC will be recognized for the exceptional work they do every day,” she said.

Anyone at UMMC can nominate any of their colleagues for the True Blue Award – and can make a Daisy Award or Good Catch Award nomination, or make suggestions for improvement to UMMC procedures via the Virtual Suggestion Box.