Staff Forum Meetings Address Staff Development and More

Staff Forum Board-200The GSDM Staff Forum Board held meetings the week prior to Intersession at both 930 Commonwealth Avenue and 100 East Newton Street. Board members Barbara Pyke, Carina Pina, and Janet Huh led both meetings.

The meeting at 930 Commonwealth Avenue on December 17, 2012, took the format of an open discussion. Staff asked questions regarding performance reviews, seniority, and flexibility in their schedules.

On December 20, 2012, Grace Elson addressed staff at 100 East Newton Street to discuss the Staff Development Plan, which is Goal 8 of the Applied Strategic Plan (ASP). Grace recently took over responsibility for this goal from Lori Brady. In this role, Elson will review staff survey results, examine orientation and training programs, and work closely with the Staff Forum Board to achieve mutual goals.

Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter stopped by both meetings and spoke on the topic of staff development. He called it a high priority and stated that a Director for Staff Development would be identified. He added, “This Forum gives you an opportunity to share your recommendations with the members you have elected along with your staff representative who sits on the School’s Executive Committee as a voting member.”

A survey on staff rewards and recognition revealed that staff are interested in awards such as Staff Excellence and Leadership, Employee of the Month, and Department of the Year. Dr. Thomas Kilgore, who is in charge of this ASP goal, will present these survey results to the Faculty Forum and Dean Hutter.

Several changes were announced to improve the physical work environment and safety. They include: the addition of spray bottles and paper towels for public use in the Newton cafeteria, to improve cafeteria sanitation, and the installation of panic buttons in departments that work closely with patients. The Staff Forum will host a de-escalation and safety training to teach staff how to diffuse difficult situations.

In an effort to improve communication, the Staff Forum Board will begin sending monthly e-updates. Board members continue to work on semiannual ASP town hall meetings, email access for all GSDM staff, communication training for front-line staff, faculty and staff orientation, a volunteer mentor program, and staff social activities. Future meetings may be held separately for supervising and non-supervising staff in response to staff suggestions.

Elections held in conjunction with the Staff Forum meetings brought one significant change. The Board was initially designed to have two members each in the areas of research, clinic, and administration. Now, if a candidate in one of those areas is unavailable, any staff member may run for the open position.

Congratulations to the three successful candidates in the recent election: Collin Nordman (administrative), Amanda D’Amario (clinical), and Nick DiPersio (research).