Jobs well done
Three from HSC win universitywide Superior Accomplishment Awards
Heather Maness, M.S., may be the go-to scientist at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Aquatic Animal Health program.
When a freezer broke, putting samples at risk, Maness fixed it. When a beached whale was brought to the college while a VIP event was under way, she stepped in to help with the necropsy, quickly ditching her heels for boots and scrubs. When 5,000 sea turtles were rescued from too-cold waters in January 2010, Maness helped set up a sea turtle hospital. When the same thing happened to manatees, Maness coordinated volunteers to provide support to the St. Petersburg lab charged with performing necropsies of manatees.
“She works hard, long hours,” said Ruth Francis-Floyd, D.V.M., program director for aquatic animal health, in her nomination letter. “She is completely dependable and is very effective in organizing diverse activities by diverse faculty members. She is probably one of the most organized people I have every worked with.”
Maness was one of four to receive the Jeffrey A. Gabor Employee Recognition Award.
Now, Maness is focusing on helping develop distance education courses and incorporating technology into marine science education. And she is making more time for her own research as well.
“I was always interested in animals (but) I stumbled into this,” said Maness, who has worked with aquatic animal program for five years. “When I started college, I would have never thought of research as an area I would go into.”
After moving to the UF Forensic Institute to be its program assistant in 2009, Tina Hall began using her powers of organization to revamp the institute’s billing processes and develop a client/attorney database.
The result? A 225 percent increase in revenue, writes Marika Brigham, associate director of the institute, in a letter nominating Hall for a Superior Accomplishment Award. Hall received the Willis of Florida Employee Recognition Award.
“It was just really gratifying,” said Hall, of the award. “I have been working really hard, and it is nice to know people noticed. It was completely unexpected. I had no idea.”
Hall, who has been working for UF for 20 years — and for the College of Medicine department of psychiatry for the past 18 — also has implemented a few marketing strategies at the institute to help build positive relations with clients.
“It is not uncommon for attorneys to comment on her pleasant demeanor and rapid response to their rapid requests for service,” said Tonia Werner, M.D., an assistant professor and division chief of forensic psychiatry. “She is always poised to go to the extra mile for clients and they noticed and appreciate this.”
Katherine Lindsey always brought the same question to her boss at the Student Health Care Center: “Is there anything I can do for you?”
This reliability and penchant for teamwork earned Lindsey a big responsibility in 2010. Lindsey was tasked with preparing the Student Health Care Center to begin accepting third-party insurance. Though the SHCC had always operated on a fee-for-service basis, they decided to make a change after health care reform was passed in 2009. The new law included a provision allowing people to remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26, meaning more students would likely be covered by their parents’ plans, too.
After a year of work, the SHCC began accepting third-party insurance in July 2010.
“The work it took to achieve this is directly related to Kat Lindsey’s preparation and follow-through,” said Toni Ratliff, associate director of the Student Health Care Center.
Lindsey was one of six to receive the highest university-level Superior Accomplishment Award, winning the scientific/technical category. Despite her hard work, Lindsey says the honor came as a surprise.
“I am still kind of shocked,” she said. “It is such a big thing.”