Reflection and recognition: Michigan Medicine employees honored for decades of dedication

November 5, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

For some, last week’s Service Awards dinner was a chance to look back on their success at Michigan Medicine. For others, it was an occasion to reconnect with old colleagues from across the organization.

For all, it served as an opportunity to be recognized for their decades-long commitment to patient care, education or research.

“Our organization wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for the employees who have put in their blood, sweat and tears for more than 30 years,” said JoAnn Grantham, recognition program manager for Michigan Medicine Human Resources. Grantham’s team organized the annual dinner, which this year honored 249 employees who have served the organization for 30, 40 or 45 years.

“No matter what role they play, our employees are always the organization’s greatest asset — and the Service Awards are a time to slow down and say ‘thank you for what you do.’”

‘This is just a great place to work’

Lori Sims was one of the night’s honorees. She has been at Michigan Medicine for 30 years, the last 19 of which have come in Environmental Services.

“I’m a little surprised I made it to 30 years!” Sims joked, before pausing and turning more serious. “But it’s because this is just a great place to work.”

For her, the organization has stood out for its flexibility and career offerings.

“I started in food service before switching over to housekeeping,” Sims said. “So I was able to try something new — to carry out a different service to our patients — without ever leaving the organization.”

Roger Banks echoed those sentiments. Banks has also been with the organization for 30 years, and he’s held positions all across the academic medical center.

“I’ve been a robotics operator, a stock keeper, a hospital communication operator and finally a patient transportation supervisor,” Banks said. “My work life is never boring and I’ve been able to connect with so many good people who do so many impressive things.”

A focus on employees

Dee Hunt, chief human resources officer and host for the event, made it clear that the focus of the night was on the staff members.

“It gives me great pleasure to see how many wonderful people have dedicated their careers to our mission of advancing health to serve Michigan and the world,” Hunt said.

Later, the attendees were shown a video featuring a number of the long-serving team members. They reflected on their careers and why it’s been so satisfying to work for Michigan Medicine.

For many in the video, and honoree Debbie Dusina, the most important factor in staying at Michigan Medicine has been their colleagues.

“We spend almost as much time with our coworkers as we do our own family,” said Dusina, who has spent 26 of her 40 years in cardiology. “So I really do consider them family at this point. We’re one team that comes together each day to help people.”

And that daily commitment is at the heart of the Service Awards’ mission.

“This night belongs to our staff,” Grantham said. “Holding an event like this is the least we can do to show our appreciation.”

Check out the video above to see long-time employees reflect on their careers — and the photo gallery below for a look back at the Service Awards!

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