October 4, 2016

Service Awards events celebrate from 5 to 50 years at VUMC

From VUMC Human Resources

Jeff Balser M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center kicked off the Service Awards event with a warm welcome of this year’s attendees and a reminder that their loyalty and service forms the backbone of who we are at VUMC.

From five years to 45 years, the Service Awards events last week – including a breakfast for the 5 to 15 years honorees – recognized more than 2,100 staff for their service.

He turned it over to Traci Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer and the presenter of the 2016 Service Awards. Nordberg took a moment to recognize and honor not only our staff with anniversaries, but also two other important groups. She asked VUMC employees who were in attendance to celebrate with someone who works on their team or in another department to stand, as well as family members and friends who aren’t Vanderbilt employees but were there to celebrate with someone special. Nordberg emphasized the support these individuals provide to our colleagues.

Service Award recipient Rowena Hatch is congratulated by VUMC President and CEO Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., and Traci Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer.

Service Award recipient Rowena Hatch is congratulated by VUMC President and CEO Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., and Traci Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer.

The event included performances from VUMC’s own house band, “Soul Incision,” a solo from Andre Churchwell, M.D., a walk through the ages with music, movies, television shows, video and more from each service year, and recognition on stage for each 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 year honoree who attended.

A few words were shared about honorees who have served 40 or more years. Betty Akers, a 40 year employee and administrative director, recalled an interesting time at VUMC when one of her colleagues brought a flying squirrel to work in the surgical area. We heard about Dan Sneed, a 40 year employee who works in our Post Office. He plays basketball and runs to stay in shape — obviously this is working to keep him healthy as he has more than 3,341 hours accumulated in his grandfathered sick bank.

Finally, there were three 45 year honorees. Ed Mitchel, James Shelton and Edie Vaughn. Mitchel, data base administrator in Health Policy, was able to attend the awards, and we learned he began his career at Vanderbilt in the Endocrinology laboratory as a medical technician. He eventually moved to Preventive Medicine, where he “arrived at the profession he belonged in.” His work included linking records of mothers to birth certificates of their children, and to the children’s records. This linkage then allowed Vanderbilt investigators to determine the timing of specific drug or vaccine exposures during pregnancy and to assess whether such exposures were causing harm to children.

The stories and memories from these colleagues showed us the great impact our longtime service honorees have had on VUMC over the years.

The event closed with a reception, and all 2016 honorees will receive a badge clip indicating their year of service.