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Awards for Innovation

School of Medicine


Three teams from the School of Medicine were recognized Friday for their efforts to create and implement process improvement tools that save time and money for the University.

The CU Shared Practices awards honor employees who offer innovative solutions that have positive impacts on job performance. The award ceremony allows the winners to share their ideas with the rest of the University community.

The award-winning ideas were displayed at the ceremony, which featured CU President Bruce Benson and other top University officials.

 The winning ideas from the School of Medicine were the Administrative Professional Toolbox, a Process Mapping system developed by the Department of Neurology and Laboratory Mopping System Evaluation for the vivarium.

SOM Administrative Professional Toolbox

The Tools for Success program helps administrators on campus “do it right the first time” by providing monthly training sessions on hiring, salary-setting, procurement, fiscal reporting and a range of other topics where training is often not available.

The 90-minute monthly sessions are coordinated to occur at times of the year when the extra attention is timely and has resulted in less time chasing information to answer individual questions and fewer process errors.

The team consisted Cheryl Welch, Terri Carrothers, Madeline Sembrat, Lisa Stanford, Chris Scanlan and Peggy McIntosh.

Process Mapping

The Department of Neurology has experience remarkable growth in recent years, adding nine faculty members and creating 12 new administrative positions in the past three years. That growth, along with usual employee turnover, created a need for better training documentation.

To better track of institutional knowledge and to avoid reinventing the wheel for each new employee , staff administrators created “process maps” to introduce new employees to ways to handle the Department’s administrative needs. Those maps, essentially swim-lane diagrams, describe visually what had been a “wall of words” in other documentation.

Team members honored were Kathy Illian, the department’s director of finance and administration, and Leah Lleras, the department’s manager of human resources and faculty affairs.

Laboratory Mopping System Evaluation

The team at the vivarium evaluated and implemented a new mopping system that decreased labor time, chemical and water usage and maintained bioexclusion requirements.

With the new system, changes cut labor time3,900 hours, translating to $108,030 in savings, and decreased chemical usage by 619 gallons, saving $8,366, and 40,794 gallons of water.

The team included Jori Leszczynski, director of the office of laboratory animal resources, Michelle Wallace, Jamie Tackett and Laura Richardson.