Awardees Celebrated at First-ever MVP Luncheon

By Ben Boulden

“When we started the MVP program a year ago, we knew we were going to identify some great team members at UAMS,” Patterson said. “We didn’t know we were going to find a whole bunch of rock stars. This is our first luncheon to celebrate you and what you contribute to UAMS.”

Patterson named each awardee, described each of their contributions and then presented them with a framed award certificate.

Listed by name, month of award, department and job, the honorees for 2019-2020 were:

  • Gayla Houston, July 2019, Outpatient Pharmacy, cashier.
    Pattie Shuffield, standing in white coat, takes a photo of MVP Gayla Houston with Chancellor Patterson at the MVP luncheon.

    Pattie Shuffield, standing in white coat, takes a photo of MVP Gayla Houston with Chancellor Patterson at the MVP luncheon.Image by Bryan Clifton

  • Zina Kidd, August 2019, Appointment Business Center, patient relations representative.
  • Brennen Brown, September 2019, Environmental Services, housekeeper.
  • Caitlin Mallinger, D.P.T., October 2019, Orthopaedic Clinic – Colonel Glenn, physical therapist.
  • Joshua Miller, RRT, November 2019, Respiratory Services, registered respiratory therapist.
  • Gina Boshears, M.A., B.S.N., December 2019, Medical Center, advanced practice partner.
  • Shanita Harris, January 2020, Medical Center, patient services associate.
  • Penny Talbert, February 2020, Campus Operations, landscape manager.
  • Greg Roberts and Tara Bruce, March 2020 (tie), Nutrition Services, chefs.
  • All employees making a big difference in fighting COVID-19, April 2020.
  • Leigh Wade, May 2020, Northwest Regional Campus, licensed certified social worker.
  • Kanisha Griswold, June 2020, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, registered medical assistant.

Mallinger, Boshears and Wade were unable to attend the luncheon.

Awardees are nominated for the honor by their coworkers. The MVP award recognizes an employee who are polite, friendly, respectful, considerate, positive, kind and demonstrate outstanding service in support of UAMS’ mission.

Each MVP has their photo displayed on the employee appreciation wall near the chancellor’s office, enjoy free parking for a month, are featured in the chancellor’s monthly video, are given a monetary award, recognized at the Chancellor’s Cabinet Meeting, receive a bag of small gifts and are honored at a year-end luncheon.

A nine-member selection committee reviews the nominations and selects each month’s MVP independently of university leadership.

“The stories are amazing, and the fact that among 10,000 employees that each of you were individually recognized for the work that you do speaks to your commitment to our core principles of compassion and caring for patients and families and each other. I want to thank you,” Patterson said.