The Employee Advisory Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 EAC Awards. Each award winner was personally presented their award within their departments. Congratulations to our nominees and winners, and congratulations to all employees who continue to put in the hard work to make Augusta University an experience like no other.
Dr. Brandy Gunsolus
Dr. Alicia Arnold
Complete Health Improvement Program (PIVIO-CHIP)
Nominated by: Charlene Johnson
Environmental Services Technician
Ms. Dina Walker was nominated for the Clay Adamson Award by Ms. Charlene Johnson. On her nomination it states that Dina is an outstanding employee. She is a very hard worker with perfect attendance. She reports to work 2 hours prior to her shift on a daily basis. You can always depend on her to get the job done in any capacity that she is tasked to do. Dina has a genuine smile every day. She gives her all as soon as she walks into the University. No task is too large or small. She takes pride in her work and always makes sure that it is complete and done correctly. Her quality of work is exceptional. She is always professional in the workplace. Dina does not need prompting to do something extra. She always takes the initiative to take care of what needs to be done before being asked. Customers are very happy with her and it is such a joy to have Ms. Dina Walker on our Environmental Services staff.
Nominated by: Brandon McCray
Ms. Krista Green was nominated for the James A. and Erie P. Blissit Award by Mr. Brandon McCray. He stated that Krista has primary duties as the Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Development in Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement (PAE) but she works on behalf of every member of the department, which was especially true during this past fiscal year rife with departmental administrative staff shortages. Despite these challenges, Krista played an essential role in helping the department secure $38.5 million in philanthropic support. Due to staffing transitions, Krista almost single-handedly provided administrative support for the 40-plus PAE team members at different times of the year, sometimes with only one other administrative support person. Highlighting the significance of her workload is that a fully-staffed PAE department includes five administrative assistant positions – two are still to be hired and Krista bears primary responsibility for onboarding all of them.
During the 2022 fiscal year, Krista transitioned the Vice President for Development, Eileen Brandon – providing her with invaluable support to ensure individual and departmental success. According to Eileen, Krista was able to provide counsel and guidance, based upon her years of experience and her professional maturity.
Dr. Brandy Gunsolus
Nominated by: Kellie Vinson
Dr. Brandy Gunsolus was nominated for the Golden Pen award by Ms. Kellie Vinson. According to her nomination, Kellie says as the world’s first Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science, Dr. Gunsolus is the model for excellence and outstanding performance. She is a trailblazer and an avid promoter of the laboratory field. She consistently advocates for the promotion of AU Health and Augusta University. As an outspoken advocate for the laboratory profession, she has represented her colleagues in legislation affecting laboratory medicine.
Along with being a member of several national committees and organizations, she is the President of the South Carolina American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and the National Chair of the ASCLS Scientific Assembly. Over the past year, Dr. Gunsolus has published 5 articles, created 3 posters, performed 27 professional and educational presentations, and made 8 media appearances in both television and podcasts. She appeared in Becker’s Hospital Review as an interviewee and advocate for "The Biggest Issues Facing Lab Directors Today".
She has demonstrated leadership through multiple speaking conferences such as the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, Joint Annual Meeting; The Georgia American Medical Technology Annual Conference; and the Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina Medical Laboratory Symposium. She is a pioneer and is well respected by her colleagues as demonstrated by her media appearances and requests for speaking at events.
Dr. Alicia Arnold
Nominated by: Dr. Steven Holsten
Dr. Alicia Arnold was nominated for the Hospital Quality Award by Dr. Steven Holsten. In the nomination Dr. Holsten shared that Dr. Arnold is the best breast surgeon he has encountered during his time in medicine. He says she is compassionate, technically gifted, and detail oriented. She offers her patients cutting edge technology and has wonderful outcomes. Dr. Arnold has pioneered breast care in Augusta, GA that have created less pain, suffering and risks to patients. She frequently uses safe technology (e.g. breast tumor location devices) that puts the patient results before provider convenience. While Dr. Arnold uses technologically advanced equipment, she also knows when analog surgical care is best. She has a keen eye for costs. Her OR efficiency is unmatched, performing cases in the lower quartile of range compared to peers.
Dr. Arnold promotes putting patients first. She will go the extra mile to make sure they receive the best care, often at the expense of her time and effort. Dr. Arnold is proud of her cancer survivor status, and uses her story to promote breast screening and care throughout the CSRA. She leads a Breast Cancer Survivor Support group, a monthly activity for patients and families to have an open forum for questions and discussion on a broad spectrum of survivorship issues. Outside of direct patient care, she is an active contributor in all efforts made to improve the patient and provider experience at the Georgia Cancer Center. Not only is she able to identify opportunities grow and change because she is so immersed in the day-to-day of patient care, but she is proactive with being a part of "big picture" solutions.
Nominated by: Nick Bennett
Sterile Processing Technician
Jeffrey Boja was nominated for the Service Excellence Award by Nick Bennett. Mr. Bennett states Jeffrey is always early and never calls in. He excels at making due with limited staff and resources, especially amid our recruitment journey over the past 18 months where the evening shift has been the most impacted. He is a role model for what forward thinking and customer service looks like. When thanking him for his hard work and congratulating him on a job well done, he always responds with "I am here to serve". He embodies patient and family centered care, and is a beacon by which other staff may follow. He is always friendly and addresses everyone respectfully, and has worked hard to build strong relationships between our department and the departments which we serve (primarily the Adult OR). He is a man of great conviction, and takes quality improvement to heart, actively seeking ways to improve and implement changes in the department that will help us achieve our quality and throughput goals and improve both patient and employee satisfaction.
Jeffrey cultivates an environment of diversity and inclusivity in the department, engaging every employee for their thoughts and feedback on daily operations, opportunities for improvement, progress toward departmental team goals, and identification of barriers hindering our quality and throughput processes. He's helped institute a number of initiatives in the department and actively seeks to implement his own ideas for a better, more efficient workflow. He is the first in our department to undergo Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training, and because of his dedication, we have three other staff members who joined him on his Yellow Belt journey. His energy and dedication is contagious and inspires others around him, all bringing a level of engagement and passion our department has not known in my time here.
Nominated by: Carlee Leopard
Research Operations Coordinator
Ms. Amy Pizio- Moore was nominated for the SPIRIT Award by Ms. Carlee Leopard. In the nomination Ms Leopard shares Amy is the definition of SPIRIT! She goes above and beyond for her pediatric oncology patients. From dressing up on holidays to make kids smile, to bringing them in birthday cards or gifts. She deserves recognition for all she does! Amy continues to take on more and more job responsibilities, without complaints or faulting. She is always willing to do more. She is the definition of teamwork. She will help any and everyone, if it means the patient receives more benefit. The Pediatric Immunotherapy Program, under the Georgia Cancer Center, would not run nearly as smoothly if she were not a part of it! She is loyal to our team, and we would all work more efficiently if we worked like she does. She never calls out, and is always there when you need her. The Pediatric Immunotherapy Program is very unique. We care for patients all around the country, here in Augusta. She strives to make sure patients have continuity of care, from one state to the next. Amy’s enthusiasm, proactivity, and zest for helping our families and organizing multiple systems for our team has proved invaluable. Her attention to detail and organizational abilities are unmatched. Despite continuing to add more to Amy’s job description, she continues to do every task given without faulting.
Our clinical team manages multi-site investigator initiated clinical trials and when we did not receive the regulatory support required to continue these successful endeavors, after the retirement of our previous regulatory coordinator, Amy stepped up, when asked, and now has regulatory oversight over the PIP studies. Her attention to detail and keen organizational abilities have made this transition virtually seamless.
Complete Health Improvement Program (PIVIO-CHIP)
Nominated by: Dr. Richard Sams
Pivio, the Complete Health Improvement program (CHIP), is an intensive lifestyle modification program, developed by the Lifestyle Medicine Institute (LMI).
In 2019, Drs. Richard Sams and Joseph Coppiano discussed the need for a an intensive lifestyle modification (ILM) program in to address the epidemic of chronic lifestyle related diseases. Research reveals that upwards of 90% of healthcare dollars spent are attributable to unhealthy lifestyles (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and economic cost of chronic diseases). A chart audit in family medicine revealed that 50% of patients had a BMI > 30 (obese) and 14% had a BMI > 40 (severely obese). At the time there was no ILM program available.
The team has demonstrated remarkable respect for one another and supported each other's professional development while providing outstanding patient care in an innovative fashion. The team has overcome significant logistical hurdles in the implementation of the program amidst the pandemic and in the context of the department not implementing a similar program in the past.
Past Awards Ceremonies