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UVA EVP-COO Area News | February 2016
A monthly compilation of news within the EVP-COO
portfolio at UVA

Emergency Info  |  Finance Blog  |  FM News  |  OE News  | UHR News  | 
UVAF News | Rotunda Renovations Webcam
EVP-COO Extended Team Resources | Center for Leadership Excellence Classes

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OE Project Alliance Showcase | Pancake Breakfast | Accolades | Spotlight on Excellence | Employee Profile: Lori Strauss | New Faces and New Roles | Hoo's Kicking It | Scholarship Awards for Family Members of Faculty and Staff


Organizational Excellence (OE) is focused on quality and improvement efforts that support and advance teaching, research, and service. An OE Project Alliance SHOWCASE will take place on Friday, February 26 from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. in the McIntire School of Commerce, 3rd floor of Robertson Hall.  At this open poster exhibit, project representatives will be available to share information about the work, answer questions, and listen to your feedback. Come see demos of ResearchUVA, TravelUVA and more!  

RSVP today, and to read about the previous SHOWCASE, visit the OE site.

Staff Appreciation Pancake Breakfast:
Tuesday, March 8, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Join the vice presidents and deans at the Fresh Food Company in Newcomb Hall on Tuesday, March 8 between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and enjoy a hot breakfast and our thanks for all you do to make the University a great place to work. In addition to pancakes, the menu features sausages, scrambled eggs, fruit, and gluten-free options. One hour of parking validation at Central Grounds Garage will be provided. Please carpool! A free shuttle will be provided from the Lee Street Garage beginning at 6:50 a.m.


The University's fire safety team in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety has been selected to receive the 2015 Governor's Virginia Fire Service Award for Civilian Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Support. This award, among the highest fire safety excellence awards in the Commonwealth, recognizes the team's exemplary community risk reduction program providing critical safety to students, faculty, staff, and visitors. In announcing the award, the Virginia Department of Fire Programs called UVA's fire safety program " one of the most outstanding and comprehensive programs in the country" and said that it "serves as a model for colleges and universities across the United States."

The fire safety team members are excellent partners to many of our Operations staff. Be sure to congratulate our colleagues in EHS on this important recognition! 

Spotlight on Excellence

In October, Organizational Excellence recognized two Spotlight on Excellence honorees at a Quality CORE Network session. The latest round of recipients includes Kim Turner and Laura Mellusi from the College of Arts and Sciences. Visit the OE site to read more about them and nominate one of your colleagues for Spotlight on Excellence recognition. Let's celebrate excellence!

Employee Profile
Lori Strauss, UVA Health System Chief Corporate Compliance and Privacy Officer

Focused on the Health System, Lori Strauss is a key member of the University's compliance team. Together, this group works to ensure that the University is adhering to all applicable regulations in an increasingly complex federal and state regulatory environment.  

What brought you to UVA and how long have you worked here? The opening of First Med, UVA’s Urgent Care Center, brought me to UVA. My husband’s job relocated us from West Chester, PA to Charlottesville 21 years ago. I had been managing an Emergency Department in Pennsylvania and was very excited to be the start up person for UVA’s Urgent Care Center. I’ve served UVA for 20 years in varying roles (and agencies – UPG, the Medical Center, and University) over the years.

What was your first job ever?  I worked at a family run grocery store and loved it!  I had the opportunity to rotate to all areas and fulfill many roles – cashier, produce, meat, deli, stocking. We all enjoyed working together and had so much fun. I babysat for years before working at the grocery store so I guess babysitting really was my very first job. My first volunteer job was as a candy striper at our community hospital; this experience confirmed my desire to become a nurse.

In no more than two sentences, tell us a little about what you do in your job.  I oversee the development and maintenance of the Medical Center’s Corporate Compliance and Privacy Program that is based on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the Office of the Inspector General’s Compliance Program Guidance documents. The Corporate Compliance and Privacy Program helps the Medical Center ensure it complies with applicable federal and state laws as well as the Medical Center’s ethical and other policies.  

What is your favorite thing to do in the area?  This is really difficult since there are so many things to do in Charlottesville and the surrounding area.  We’ve enjoyed family camping trips to Lake Sherando; food and music festivals with friends and family at Grave’s Mountain, Crozet, and Monterey; music and wine festivals at some of the 50+ wineries in the area; fireworks at Wintergreen; tubing on the James River; fairs at McIntire Park; concerts at JPJA; UVA sporting events; drives along the Blue Ridge and watching the sun set at Raven’s Roost; gardening; … I can’t choose a favorite as I enjoy and partake in a variety of activities.

What is your favorite Charlottesville area restaurant? There are so many fantastic restaurants in Charlottesville that it’s difficult to select a favorite. The extra pounds I’ve put on over the years are evidence that I’ve dined at several of them. I’d have to say my favorite is the Ivy Inn. We’ve celebrated many birthdays and anniversaries at the Ivy Inn and they prepare a menu with your name and the occasion to make it a special evening. 

What is something you have always wanted to learn how to do? I’d like to learn calligraphy.  Plus, I think I really need to learn calligraphy since my handwriting is atrocious and I have three daughters, two of whom are recently engaged and I know they’ll want nicely handwritten wedding invitations.
Who do you want to learn more about in the EVP-COO Area? Send a note to to nominate someone for next month's Employee Profile.

New Faces and New Roles

The Office of Organizational Excellence welcomed Carolyn Politis as the Communications and Program Coordinator effective February 8. Carolyn has more than 20 years international experience in change management and communications, most recently at Pitney Bowes and GlaxoSmithKline. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of NSW (Australia), a Graduate Diploma in Communications from Canberra University (Australia) and a Masters of Management from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (Australia). Please join us in welcoming Carolyn to the team!

Julie Bird is the new Change Management Lead for the Managerial Reporting Project. She is a UVA alumna, returning to Grounds after spending 11 years with PRA Health Sciences. In this new role, Julie will manage stakeholder outreach for the project, is directly responsible for training, and serves as the key point of contact regarding MRP training matters. Julie has vast experience and education in training development and delivery, especially regarding large-scale change in complex organizations. She is passionate about change management and is well-equipped to help the MRP team turn data and technology into useful tools for people to do their jobs better, more efficiently, and with higher quality. Welcome, Julie!

Phil Porter has been named Director of University-Foundation Relations in the Office of the Treasurer as of January 11. In this role, Phil is responsible for collaborating with foundations on shared services and process improvements, outreach and relationship building, and foundation compliance with University policy. Since last May, Phil has served as the Project Manager for the implementation of the University’s new Gift Processing Services organization.  Prior to joining the University, Phil led international development and relief work in over 15 countries. He has also worked as a consultant, including time with Accenture, helping clients implement strategic planning, accounting, and e-commerce solutions.  Phil holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary. Congratulations on your new role, Phil!

Bryan Garey has been appointed interim Vice President for Human Resources while a search is conducted for the University's Chief Human Resources Officer. Bryan is an alumnus of the University (MFA) and of St. Mary's College of Maryland. He has more than 20 years of HR experience, the last eight at UVA. Bryan came back to the University in 2008 as Director of Employee Development and was Assistant Vice President for Human Resources until his recent appointment as interim Vice President. He also worked at the University of Florida for seven years, where he served in a series of progressively responsible HR leadership roles. Thank you, Bryan, for filling this important role!

Hoo's Kicking It

Hoo's Well and the School of Nursing present Hoo's Kicking It, a FREE, confidential, and personalized tobacco cessation program to help you quit.

Orientation: Wed., February 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Classes meet: Wednesdays from March 2 - April 6, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Orientation and classes will be held on the 3rd floor of McLeod Hall (FREE parking)

Call (434) 243-1021 to reserve your spot! The program is open to adults who are not UVA employees or members of the UVA Health Plan. Employees, spouses, and adult dependents enrolled in the UVA Health Plan are eligible for free nicotine replacement therapy and quit medications, as appropriate.

Why should you attend? Participants will benefit from customized treatment plans and weekly evaluation; coping and behavior modification strategies to make it easier to quit; weekly blood pressure and carbon monoxide monitoring; tobacco cessation medication recommendations; health history and evaluation; personal support, inspiration, and nurses committed to your health and wellness!

Call (434) 243-1021 with any questions and reserve your spot today!

March 1 Application Deadline: Scholarships for Faculty and Staff Family Members

Through the generosity of current and past employees, the University of Virginia is proud to award two scholarships for children and/or grandchildren of current faculty and staff. Please see the Student Financial Services site for eligibility requirements and application information. Applications must be received by March 1, 2016 for award consideration.

Have something for the next EVP-COO Area News?

Share news from your area with your colleagues, whether it is an update on a project underway, news of a hire, news of recognition received or anything you think others might like to know and find useful. Please send your content suggestions to EVP-COO Area Communications Manager Jerilyn Teahan at
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