Kids and Computers

exploits_of_a_momHappy Friday! This reminded me of a time when my 2-year old physically hit the keyboard on the computer and within about 10 seconds had systematically disabled the keyboard and touchpad, which took me around 20 minutes to fix. Enjoy and have a good weekend.

IS GEM Program

Your boss thinks you’re a big deal. . . Your customers think you’re a big deal. . .Let’s make it official

Introducing the IS GEM program, where we recognize Going the Extra Mile!!!

Why now?

As Todd always says, with an ever-increasing technological demand, there are so many amazing things happening in IS, it is hard to list them all! Let’s start trying by creating a culture of recognition and appreciation. We know every area here is working hard. This is a way for peer to peer appreciation to occur, and it will allow leadership to monitor all the wonderful activities.

How does it work?

  • Use the UTMB GEM program by sending and receiving e-GEMs (http://www.utmb.edu/gem/SendGEM).
  • If you receive a paper GEM, you, as the recipient, will be responsible for typing it as an e-GEM.
  • IS will be using the e-GEM database to retrieve a report of all IS employees and contractors.
  • Every single GEM received counts toward IS GEM prizes!
    • The UTMB GEM program is separate and rules still apply for HR’s program. Click here for details.

When does it start? 

September 1st, 2014


  • Monthly awards
    • 4 entries will be awarded $25 randomly
    • Todd will announce the 8 winners bi-monthly at the All Staff Department meeting
  • Yearly award
    • 2 people will win $250 each.
    • Staff Advisory Council meets bi-monthly to review all GEM cards and rank entries.  This will continue monthly until December.  The Council will ultimately pick the top two GEM cards as the annual winners.  The presentation will be done at the Christmas Social and the GEM cards will be read aloud to the department.


  • Your GEM must be submitted to the e-GEM website between the beginning and ending of that month to count. For example, September drawings will be pulled from e-GEMs submitted between 9/1/14 and 9/30/14
  • Keep it simple! We are working on goodwill and positivity.

Information regarding the program will be stored at the IS Water Cooler (http://blogs.utmb.edu/watercooler/ )

Congratulations to Prasanth Manukonda for winning the UT System Physical Activity Challenge!

Recently UTMB employees were encouraged to enter the UT System Physical Activity Challenge. The challenge was created to inspire UT System employees to start a more healthy lifestyle by incorporating diet and exercise into their schedule every day. Program participants received a pedometer and logged their daily steps into the Living Well website. More than 1,400 UTMB employees registered for this six-week challenge, and 16 employees placed in the top 50.

IS Enterprise’s Prasanth Manukonda received first place in the challenge, beating out the competition with a total of 2,412,029 steps! Congratulations on this great accomplishment, Prasanth!

For more information regarding the UT System Physical Activity Challenge, please visit: http://www.livingwell.utsystem.edu/challenge14.htm


College of the Mainland Job Fair

Thank you to Joel McDonald, Cathy Chu, and Tomas Salas for attending the COM job fair on April 3.  They promoted the IS Fellowship program at the event.  Joel, Cathy and Tomas talked to about 25 students.  Around seven of those students seemed really interested in our program.

Thank you to Joel McDonald, Cathy Chu, and Tomas Salas for attending the COM job fair on April 3. They promoted the IS Fellowship program at the event. Joel, Cathy and Tomas talked to about 25 students. Around seven of those students seemed really interested in our program.

Welcome New IS Employees

Bill Bailey Sr. Applications Systems Analyst IS-Clin Doc-Rad

Bill Bailey
Sr. Applications Systems Analyst
IS-Clin Doc-Rad

Liz Rhame ERP Systems Analyst IS Administrative Systems PS-FMS-HCM

Liz Rhame
ERP Systems Analyst
IS Administrative Systems PS-FMS-HCM

Ofelia Nava  User Provisioning Analyst IS OPS Access Management

Ofelia Nava
User Provisioning Analyst
IS OPS Access Management

Rica Smith ERP Systems Analsyt IS Administrative Systems-PS-FMS-HCM

Rica Smith
ERP Systems Analsyt
IS Administrative Systems-PS-FMS-HCM

Kyle Palmberg Applications Systems Analyst IS Clinical Rev Report Adm

Kyle Palmberg
Applications Systems Analyst
IS Clinical Rev Report Adm

Jan Alsobrook Sr Applications Systems Analyst IS-ClinRev-Billing

Jan Alsobrook
Sr Applications Systems Analyst

Please Welcome several New Employees

photo (5)

Seth Frey


Strategic Planning Analyst

Start date 2/13/13


photo (7)

Christopher Knight

IS OPS Desktop

Desktop Support Specialist

Started 2/13/13

photo (9)

Natalie Weekley

Lead ASA

IS Admin Systems – Flow Management team

Started 2/1/13

photo (11)

Farooq Khan

Lead ASA

IS Administrative Systems – Solution Management Started Jan 22, 2013

photo (13)

New employee:  Angela Tyson

Sr ASA in IS Enterprise

New Employee

Eddie Ramirez

ASA – IS OPS Voice Services

Manager – Barry Rexford

Started Dec 17

Please welcome recent new employees to the IS family

Dona Creson


IS Clinical Documentation team


New employee Pam Theut


IS ClinDoc Projects team


Hector Santiago

IS Clinical Doc-Proj


Michael O’Rourke

IS Clinical Doc Projects


New employee Jennifer Bishop

IS Clinical Revenue team





Departmental Information

In case you missed the email… please read the Message from Todd Leach regarding the Departmental update for November.


Over the past couple of months, I have had the opportunity to meet with many groups in IS (and I’ll be meeting with more over the next couple of months).  One theme from all of these meetings is that we need to improve communications across the department.  To improve our communications, I am planning to send a monthly e-mail update, the first of which is included below.  In addition, I will set up regular face to face information sessions (at least one on campus and one off campus at CLC) with audio teleconferencing for those of us unable to conveniently get to one of our office locations.  These information sessions will not be mandatory but will 1) help leadership to remember to communicate information across the department and 2) give everyone an opportunity to hear current events and ask questions.  Certainly all of us in the IS Leadership team have an open door policy and our offices, e-mail, phone, etc. are always open for a question or suggestion.  Updates for November follow.


Departmental Organization Chart

Many of you have suggested that having a current organization chart available to everyone in the department would help tremendously.  We recently posted updated organization charts in the IS Administration public folder under the IS Organization Chart subfolder.  Each month we will ask the IS Leaders to update the organization charts for their respective areas.


NEW Staff Advisory Council

As a department of well over 280 staff, it is hard for leadership to stay in touch with every concern or be aware of every improvement opportunity.  However, experience tells us that it is rarely the work that actual causes staff frustration but it is more typically problems in the work environment, lack of recognition, poor inter-team relationships, lack of communication at all levels, and, yes, even running out of coffee supplies that can create the most dissatisfaction.  We have decided to create a staff advisory council with staff members from each of the divisions within IS.  This group will advise IS leadership on opportunities for improvement within the department in the categories I mentioned above and others.  We need individuals who are willing to speak candidly and represent the interests of others as well as their own.


State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)

IS has routinely set a great example when it comes to thinking about and giving to those less fortunate.  We consistently exceed the typical departmental participation percentages and we have many teams each year that achieve 100% participation.  I’m certain that this year will be no exception.  If you have not had the chance to do so, please check out www.utmb.edu/secc for more information.  To see how our department is doing you can visit https://my.utmb.edu/SECC/SECC_Participation_By_Dept.asp and look for your area.  As with all giving campaigns, it is more about participating than how much you give.  Please consider giving this year to the many great charities that benefit from SECC.


Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon

Once again this year we will be having our Thanksgiving luncheon at Joe’s Banquet Center in Alvin, TX on November 14th at 11:30 a.m.  We continue to hear positive feedback about this event so I hope you will make every effort to attend.  For the groups that need to stay in their work spaces for service coverage, lunch will be delivered to your areas as in year’s past.


Major Approved Projects for FY13

I have attached a document that we have been using with the executives to describe what IS will be working on in FY13.  It does not cover every project but it reflects the projects the IT Steering Committees at UTMB have approved.  It is intended to also show when projects will be complete and the on-going resources required after the project is complete (essentially what we need added to our budget for the next fiscal year).


UTMB Leadership Positions

Dr. Callender recently announced that Mr. Steve Campbell from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will be our new Vice President for Marketing and Communications effective December 1.  Searches continue for a new Chief Operating Officer for the Health System, a Vice President of Revenue Cycle, and Chair for the Department of Neurology.  Within IS, we are recruiting for a new Director, Data Administration & Business Intelligence and a Director, IS Operations.


UTMB New Facilities or Major Renovations

Work continues on the new Jennie Sealy Hospital and associated Clinical Services Wing with opening planned for early 2016.  Planning for the new Victory Lakes Expansion that will include expanded OR’s and 32 patient rooms continues with groundbreaking expected in February 2013.  A major project to remodel the UHC building is being discussed.  New clinic buildings are in the works for Alvin and Texas City resulting in a consolidation of clinics in those cities.


Thank you for taking the time to review this information.  If there are items you feel should be included in these announcements, please let me know.


Most of all, thank you for all the work you do every day…what we accomplish together is impressive, we should be extremely proud of it, and I know UTMB Executive Leadership values and relies on our contributions.  Thanks…Todd.


Todd A. Leach, MBA

Associate Vice President, Information Services


Rumor or Trumor- November 16th

I have had a few comments from people that they really miss the old Rumors and Trumors site for UTMB, so I thought it may be interesting to do something similar for our own department. Please comment on this link with any Rumors you may be hearing and want some clarification on… We will respond back with some honest answers to get everyone on the same page..
I look forward to hearing whats going on at the watercoolers….

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