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2017 Administrative Professional Award presented at workshop and reception

2017 administrative professionals award

(Photo: L-R, Traci Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer; Mary Jo Smith, Legal Assistant; Julia Morris, Deputy General Counsel; and Dr. Wright Pinson, Deputy CEO, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, CEO, Vanderbilt Health System)

Congratulations to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Mary Jo Smith, recipient of the 2017 Administrative Professional Award. Mary Jo, who has been a legal assistant in the General Counsel office for 18 years, was chosen from 85 nominations.

“Mary Jo asked me what I was looking for in an assistant, and I said, ‘Someone who can read my mind,’” jokes Julia Morris, Deputy General Counsel. “She said, ‘I can do it,’ and she has. She’s always one step ahead of us. One of the big jobs you [administrative professionals] have is to shore us up, prop us up, put up with us and keep us from dropping the ball while never missing a beat. And Mary Jo never misses a beat.”

The Administrative Professional Award — which recognizes the efforts of outstanding administrative staff that impact the organization by going above and beyond on a daily basis — was created in honor of the late Mary Etta Skeen, who had a career that spanned more than three decades with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and is awarded each year. Nominations for next year's award will open in early 2018.  

The award was announced Tuesday, April 25, at a professional development workshop and celebration in recognition of Administrative Professionals Week, April 24-28. VUMC’s administrative professionals were invited to attend a workshop, “A Deeper Intelligence: Practicing Responsible Emotional Behavior at Work,” hosted by Chrissy Scivicque, author, certified career coach and corporate trainer, followed by a reception and award ceremony.

Peers, supervisors and co-workers nominated candidates for the 2017 award based on criteria, which included achieves tasks and tackles problems with resourcefulness and innovation, demonstrates concern and compassion for coworkers and elevates others ahead of self,  builds relationships and fosters teamwork across departments, models Credo behavior, and consistently meets or exceeds expectations on annual performance evaluations.

“There is no question that what each of you do all day and every day makes a difference in the lives of our patients, and the families of our patients,” Dr. Pinson told the event’s attendees. “Your contributions also help advance research and science and further the education of tomorrow’s health care providers.  You are the glue that holds our organization together. You are connectors and colleagues.  You are VUMC’s superheroes.” 

Photos from 2017 event

Administrative Professionals Day 2017  Vanderbilt University Medical Center · Site Development: University Web Communications