The Pulse highlights Building Services
There are many unsung heroes of the pandemic, but one group we’d like to highlight is the custodians, maintenance personnel, and building managers that quietly keep things running behind the scenes. They ensure that things are kept clean and safe for everyone who visits the halls of Boynton Health Services. We interviewed Dennis Lui, building services manager, to see what his workday was like and what challenges he faced over the course of the pandemic.
Dennis began working as a student custodian part-time while he was in school. After graduation, he applied to the building supervisor position where he worked for about ten years, before moving into the position of building services manager. A typical day for Dennis starts with a team meeting to go over any new problems that pop up, such as building issues, pipe leaks, staffing problems, etc. The day starts as early as 4am for some of the building staff!
We’ve all faced challenges over the past two years. However, Dennis and his team have faced some unique challenges. Maintaining the building staff’s workforce is especially difficult since much of the team is students. At the start of the pandemic, many students went home or had to isolate, which meant that building services found themselves left with a very small team. The full-time team is already quite small - just five people in total. Despite this, building services continue to work hard to sanitize the building every day. They wipe things down daily, maintain sanitizing stations throughout both clinics, place plexiglass in high traffic areas, and supplying a steady flow of PPE. Stocking the mask stations happens frequently, usually two to three times a day!
Dennis and the building services team continue to provide outstanding service even as we move away from the worst of the pandemic. They work hard to help keep our community safe!
Words from Leadership
Hats off to the Marketing Communications Team for their social media posts during Black History Month. [Can we add some of the links to the posts here?] Engaging, informative, and important are the best words I can think of to describe them. Thank you Marcomm Team .
I also wanted to call out one of our heroes in the public health world. Dr. Joycelyn Elders is the first African American Surgeon General of the United States. I have had the opportunity to meet her in person twice. She was a pediatrician and Public Health expert who did not shy away from controversy. It was a privilege to have met her.
She was a friend of Dr. Donald Peters, a former Boynton Director and ACHA President 1993-94, the first African American President of the American College Health Association. He invited Dr. Elders (while she was Surgeon General to be the keynote speaker at ACHA, and she did not disappoint the audience. She was standing ovation!
Executive Leadership’s DEI Update
With the goal of better understanding our patients, Tom Geskermann is leading the efforts to enhance the collection of patient demographic data. Though Boynton Health currently has access to the demographic profile of the student body as a whole, we do not have the same information specific to our patients. Many assume that we are provided this information from the University through PeopleSoft; however, we do not receive demographic information, preferred names, or pronouns through the automated daily registration feed updates.
Patients can occasionally feel suspicious of extensive demographic questions and the motives behind information gathering, why the information is needed, and how it will be used; this suspicion is valid, often rooted in history or personal experience, and will be respected. It is essential to know that a patient who declines to disclose demographic information will never be denied access service and that patients can choose to provide all, some, or none of the information requested.
Having an accurate understanding of Boynton patients is key to providing high-quality service that meets the unique needs of different patient populations. The next step for this project is to engage providers and staff on how best to collect this information and secure the necessary resources to design and implement an improved process to collect this information accurately and consistently from patients.
Update from Ken Horstman, Vice President for Human Resources
Boynton Executive Leadership is excited to share that the university seeks applicants for the newly created Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) position. This new position will play a significant role in advancing the ED&I vision for human resources in collaboration with the Office for Equity and Diversity as well MPact 2025–specifically, the objectives and actions related to Community and Belonging–and serving as the ED&I leader for the PEAK initiative.
Black history is American history, and new historical feats occur every day. While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, George Washington Carver, and Barack Obama, there are countless other African Americans who've made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, astronaut Mae C. Jemison, open-heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, inventor Garret Morgan to name a few.
How old were you when you learned about Chief Oshkosh?
Oshkosh B'Gosh store was named after a Black Indigenous man named Chief Oshkosh, where Oshkosh, Wisconsin, got its name. African Americans and Native Indigenous people have had a strong association and connection that dates back many decades. Many Indigenous people became leaders and chiefs of their own tribes, including a Negro-Aboriginal named Chief Oshkosh in the late 1700s into the early 1800s. He was a part of the Pawnee and Menominee Tribes from Wisconsin.
Learn more about Chief Oshkosh
Erin Jackson has made history at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics as a speed skater. The 29-year old won gold Sunday, February 13, 2022, in the women's 500m with a time of 37.04, becoming the first Black woman to win an individual medal in the event, according to Team USA. She is also the first U.S. woman to win gold in speed skating at the Olympics in nearly 30 years after Bonnie Blair placed first in 1994.
What started in 1926 as Negro History Week (2nd week in February), Black History Month is celebrated annually in America and Canada and, more recently, has been observed in Ireland and the United Kingdom (observed in October). The month is a tribute to African American people who have made significant contributions to America and the rest of the world in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields. Historian Carter G. Woodson introduced this recognition as the accomplishments and contributions of Black people in America were not adequately shared.
“Organizational culture can be referred to as the glue that keeps an organization together. It is the silent code of conduct; it’s more about how things get done, rather than what gets done. It can also be referred to as white noise, the background static that may affect you but goes unnoticed. When a new employee is learning the ropes, they are learning the culture.
Culture is not a thing. It’s not something an organization has or doesn’t have. Culture is something an organization is.”
Excerpted from Lizz Pellet, The Cultural Fit Factor: Creating an Employment Brand That Attracts, Retains, and Repels the Right Employees (SHRM, 2009).
Help us to better communicate with Boynton Health’s stakeholders what we are about. We have two questions, 1. What is Boynton’s culture in your own words? 2. What do you think Boynton’s culture should be?
Take a few moments to anonymously share your thoughts.