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 (
  • 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 ( )

Welcome New IS Employees

Kristen Birdsong IS Clinical Revenue/Billing

Kristen Birdsong
IS Clinical Revenue/Billing

Jennifer Taylor IS Access Management

Jennifer Taylor
IS Access Management

Danny Duplechian IS Administrative Services Incident Management

Danny Duplechian
IS Administrative Services Incident Management

Edy Brelsford IS Business Intellegence

Edy Brelsford
IS Business Intellegence

Lloan Cortes IS Clinical Revenue Report Administration

Lloan Cortes
IS Clinical Revenue Report Administration

Welcome New IS Employees

Brian Sharpless IS Operations - Technical Services

Brian Sharpless
IS Operations – Technical Services

Daniel Coronado  IS Clinical Revenue

Daniel Coronado
IS Clinical Revenue

Trevor Powers IS Operations - Desktop Enterprise

Trevor Powers
IS Operations – Desktop Enterprise

Tabitha Earhart  IS Operations - Network

Tabitha Ehrhart
IS Operations – Network

Yolanda Ramclam IS Clinical Revenue

Yolanda Ramclam
IS Clinical Revenue

VIkram Belum IS Operations - Voice Services

VIkram Belum
IS Operations – Voice Services

Larry Sykes IS Operations Projects

Larry Sykes
IS Operations – Projects

Kevin Anthony IS Operations - Desktop Enterprise

Kevin Anthony
IS Operations – Desktop Enterprise

Britanya Jardina IS Operations - Desktop Enterprise

Britanya Jardina
IS Operations – Desktop Enterprise

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:


Paperless Recommendation & Effective Meeting Strategy

Sticky Notes

-Take meeting notes during the session (or assign someone to) and send the follow up at the conclusion or shortly thereafter

-Prefer text summary instead of screenshots or recordings because it’s searchable and more concise (although combinations are effective for documentation purposes)

-Be succinct but also use keywords (so you can refer back to certain tags)

-Record action items, responsibilities, and expected deliverable timelines as well as attendance

-Organize and store notes for easy access (possibly using iSpace)

-Applications: Sticky Notes (in Win 7 or above), Outlook Tasks, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, (Search “Productivity” in any Application Marketplace)

-Benefits: less paper consumption, entirely searchable, more easily editable, spell check, legible

Now you can clutter your digital desktop and your physical desktop will stay clean :-). Please Comment with any additional recommendations you’d like to share!

UTMB IS Staff Locations and Numbers


Todd, I realize it is an ever-changing number, but it would be informative to get an occasional update on how many IS employees work in our various locations across the region. For instance, x number work on campus, x number downtown, x number at CLC, etc. Your discussion of Angleton-Danbury and CLC move today prompted this thought.


My apologies that I am just responding now even though this question was submitted on April 23, 2014 (hence the reference to the last departmental meeting).  Considering we have a few people who work in multiple locations, the counts below are our best estimates based on everyone’s primary location.  This list includes everyone on our team (employees and contractors).

  • 239 – Clear Lake Center (1st and 2nd floor)
  • 116 – Campus
  • 11 – Frost Bank
  • 23 – Throughout Texas Outside of Galveston
  • 3 – Nashville, Tennessee

Thanks for a great question.

1 Comment more...

Shouldn’t we be recognizing our IT Nurses during Nurses Week?


There are quite a few nurses working in IS and I’ve noticed that we get no recognition/gifts/etc during nurses week like the floor nurses do at the hospital.  Although we may not be working as bedside nurses, we are nurses and frequently have to rely on our nursing skill set while working with colleagues.  Just curious as I know other organizations honor their IT nurses during nurses week.


This is a great question and I am glad it was asked.  I’ll admit that when reading it, I felt bad that I had not considered this.  I certainly knew that two weeks ago we celebrated Nurses Week on campus and that this past week we celebrated Hospital Week but, for some reason, I thought of it as a Health System only celebration.  Obviously, I am very aware that we have many nurses working in IS and I know all our nurses (and their nursing skills and knowledge) are essential to our success.  One of the things I dislike about being in leadership is that there just isn’t enough time to honor our staff and show everyone just how much we value them and value their contribution.

Now, I do want to say that I had been thinking that we need to honor IT professionals much like the Health System did with Nurses recently.  Back in March of this year, I asked Barbara Beyonce to find out if there was an IT professionals week (I promise…I have the e-mails to prove it).  Barbara found National Health IT Week which this year is September 15-19, 2014.  We will definitely be honoring our teams and celebrating this in September.

However, back to the question about honoring our nurses, we definitely should do this to honor our nurses so look for an IS-wide celebration during an upcoming week in May or June.  If you have suggestions about what we should do, please send me an e-mail.  We will inquire with the Health System about the things they did.  In future years, we will honor our nurses at the same time the Health System does.  Todd

2014 Energy Conservation Initiative of the Year Award

14138607994_8058f8e41e_bA big congratulations to our administrative assistant extraordinaire Kelley Kaiser. She was recently awarded the 2014 Energy Conservation Initiative of the Year Award at UTMB’s Earth Day events. Kelley worked on a project to replace the current water bottle delivery system with a local filtration system using tap water, at the Clear Lake Center (CLC) offices of Information Services.

Not only are we expecting to save a lot of money with this initiative, but we will also do some good for the environment. Think about all the fuel cost of delivering full water bottles, and hauling the empty ones away. Information Services will cut down the the monthly water bill by more than 80 per cent by replacing the three water bottle dispenser units with filtered water dispenser units. We compared the total average water bottle delivery charges of $650 monthly to the $90 per month for the filtered water dispenser units. This easily justified the change financially.

Regarding the other Green, consider the annual environmental impact of the saved fuel cost by not delivering over 800 full bottles of water weighing 40 pounds each, and hauling the empty bottles away. We are excited about sharing this initiative with the UTMB community; in hopes of other departments making this change around campus.  This will both save us some Green on the bottom line as well as the environment!

Recycling at the CLC

imageHappy Earth Day! We’ve recently expanded our recycling initiative at the CLC and in addition to paper now collect plastic, styrofoam, cardboard, and metal in each of the main kitchens. A volunteer committee handles the maintenance of these efforts, please contact Darwin VanDyke if you are interested in being involved. We greatly appreciate your participation but remind and request that your rinse your recyclables to prevent gnats. If either of the stations needs attention please also contact Darwin VanDyke and we’ll get it emptied out. Hope you enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

A special thank you to Lynn Hacic, Natalie Weekley and James Black for their assistance in maintaining these facilities as well as others who assist in emptying the filled containers. I’d also like to recognize the transportation department that handles the processing of these materials.


1 Comment more...

IS Parking & Hoteling FREE on the Island

Parking and Hoteling

There are some new resources available on campus for IS employees! You may have already been aware but we wanted to share that you are able to access the SON Parking garage (Building 93 highlighted on the campus map ) using your UTMB badge for incidental use during meetings on campus (Note: this is ONLY for CLC based employees who DON’T have paid parking, for access have your supervisor notify Desi McGahey). There is also parking along Ferry Rd for ALL employees (near Seawall behind Walgreens) that provides a shuttle service to campus. Each location will require a walk to get to your destination but they’re available for free usage if you’d like.

There is also a new “hoteling” work space filled with a number of cubicles available in Rebecca Sealy (Building 121) directly under the 121 icon highlighted on the map above (Contact Barbara Beyonce for access to this facility). You can access through the west main entrance by taking the north hallway and turning left and then right or by entering from the covered attached ground garage and turning left. Printing is available at this location but requires some configuration that is documented by the printer. There is also an Aramark “Take-Outs” eatery right outside the space (but this is not free ;-)). We hope you can benefit from using these resources.

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