Marketing and CME Manager, Department of Internal Medicine
Nominator, Jolena Nollar: "Allison Picinotti deserves the 'Hardest Worker' trophy for her immense commitment to our department and her work this past year. She has a fearlessly creative mind, an eye for design, a wonderful relationship with the English language, and a phenomenal sense of humor."
Allison is our Department's Marketing and External Continuing Medical Education (CME) Manager; she is responsible for our department's communications, our web and social media presence as well as overseeing our external CME courses. Allison tirelessly promotes our departmental programs, divisions and faculty at every opportunity ~ this statement is actually not new.
What is new is the intense increase in effort she provided our department over the past year as the pandemic impacted our entire department and operations. Allison spearheaded the work related to needed communications: updates, operational changes, new clinical protocols, constantly keeping a pulse on the communication needs of our department as well as specific divisions that were hugely impacted. This work wasn't something that could be done in a typical 9-5 work day - it was whenever communications were needed. Allison rose to the occassion maintaining the high level of work product we have all grown to expect from her.
During this time, the need to communicate required expeditious production and turnaround time. Allison responded quickly and frequently and without much prep time. The space here is too little to share examples of all she was a part of during those early months of the pandemic, but to identify a few:
- Prepped updates for our Department both in email and web formats
- Assisted Hospital Medicine in providing clinical flow and protocol data communications
- Built a COVID link on our internal website with any and every bit of related information faculty and staff may have needed in relation to COVID
- Began work immediately on canceling in-person external CME events and researched, then implemented ways to convert those opportunities and events to virtual formats
- Continued production of our departmental newsletter offering sage guidance on how to share transparently without inciting fear in staff
Allison brings a considered and thoughtful yet equally challenging leadership approach to motivating and inspiring innovation and change management within her teams. She never tires of looking for ways to innovate and create, and she asks that her staff keep that top of mind as well. She works closely with the Medical School's OCME, and oftentimes finds herself in the position of encouraging them to innovate, change and progress.
Allison's exemplary leadership was amplified this past year as she purposefully guided her team in the shift from in person to virtual formats for CME. She knew that pursing this pathway would lead to enhancing our CME knowledge portfolio, gain recognition for our course directors and thus resulting in patients who need our faculty's care finding us. A win, win, win.
A piece of that process was to work with all the facilities that we had booked for in person events. Most vendors were understanding and waived the cancellation fees. One longtime vendor we use was not so inclined. Their fee was exorbitant - well over $100,000. Because of Allison's grit, sound reasoning and tireless efforts, she saved our department that cancellation fee by negotiating an arrangement that produced a future state that was amenable for all parties.
A leader who is considerate, motivating, innovative, fearless and fiscally responsible! Does it get any better?
Allison steps right up to help whenever and wherever she sees her skills enhancing our work; her customers are anyone and everyone who needs her!
Examples include, a last minute late evening communication needed for a division; a needed logo for an urgent residency program initiative; a quick about face on review and graphic enhancement of our strategic plan for IMPOWER; and the list could go on and on.
A specific initiative that Allison grabbed onto was examining software for recruiting faculty and tracking related data. Faculty recruitment isn't part of her job responsibilities, but she knows it is important and saw a gap that she thought she could fill. No one asked her to tackle this or research it, but that's what she did. She saw the need, and she went to work on it.
Allison is a tireless advocate for the power of advertising/marketing/technical enhancements and the use of communication and graphics to tell our stories. Whether working with internal or external groups, Allison looks to find the best outcome for all involved and truly exemplifies the core values of Michigan Medicine and our Department: Integrity, Innovation, Teamwork, and Caring.
So much had to change with the onset of the pandemic....
A major event for our Department is our annual Employee Celebration where we acknowledge long serving employees who have celebrated milestone work anniversaries, as well as the winners of the award I'm now nominating Allison for. Last year, we had mere weeks to decide what to do with our April event and pivot to something equally celebratory, yet safe.
Allison worked swiftly and creatively to shift the celebration to a virtual format. She assisted in all technical pieces of that change and worked closely with Silvana, who leads the organization of the event. I was amazed they were able to pull this off in just a few short weeks. The event was so well received, we are following that format again this year. That is fine process improvement in a fast paced environment that resulted in a product that is high quality, efficient and very effective in leaving people involved feeling special!
Allison's willingness to tackle any process through the lens of technical/web site presence and give it new or renewed vigor and presence is such an important component of her work, and one that may for the most part go unnoticed or taken as a given. Her work is behind the scenes, yet right out there for the world to see.