Staff Award for Excellence - Bailey Reale

Bailey Reale

Bailey (right) with mom, Lisa (left), and dog Wally

Research Area Specialist, Division of General Medicine

Nominator, Dr. Deborah Levine : "Based on Bailey’s exemplary performance, leadership, customer service, and process improvement, Bailey is an ideal candidate for the DOIM Staff Award for Excellence. Her hard work and exceptional performance have been critical to the success of our research program and served as a model in the division." 

Work Performance

Bailey has outstanding leadership and management skills. Since joining the Division of General Medicine at the University of Michigan in July 2015, Bailey has managed a multi-million-dollar portfolio of five federally-funded projects and supervised up to 20 individuals including statisticians, database analysts, research area specialists, and research assistants. Her responsibilities have included project management, hiring and supervision of research staff, regulatory affairs, grant submissions, budget management, and interviewing study participants.

Bailey has a strong work ethic. She produces high-quality work on time. For example, Bailey managed a mailed survey in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and normal cognition and achieved a 93% survey completion rate.

Bailey demonstrates resilience and adaptability. In 2019, Bailey’s faculty co-supervisor and my colleague, Dr. Lena Chen, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Bailey helped organize and lead the memorial service for the University of Michigan community and Dr. Chen’s family to celebrate Lena’s life.


Bailey displays positivity in all work situations, even difficult, stressful situations. She has created a positive culture on the research team and in the Division of General Medicine. Bailey’s positivity makes her an effective leader and colleague because it creates a supportive work environment and helps the team be more productive and reach their goals. Her positivity also is contagious. She always treats people with respect, dignity, and kindness. She behaves honestly and ethically. She demonstrates high capacity for improvement by seeking and using feedback to continuously improve. She also helps to improve others’ skills. Bailey has coached a wide range of staff members, including both high and low performers, on oral communication, organization, time management, and professionalism.

Bailey has emotional intelligence. Bailey is able to understand and manage her emotions. She also is aware of others’ feelings. Bailey handles interpersonal relationships wisely and with empathy. Using this emotional intelligence, Bailey is capable of motivating herself. Bailey has exceled in conflict resolution. For example, she has used constructive approaches to address behaviors and performance issues of supervisees. Her supervisees and other administrators evaluate her highly.

Bailey serves as role model to other managers both within and external to the division. She is sought out for her knowledge and leadership. Bailey leads by example and truly takes all stakeholders input and makes sure that everyone involved has a voice.

Customer Service

Bailey strives to provide excellent customer service.

Bailey interviewed older patients with mild cognitive impairment and their care partners for one of our studies. Not only did she demonstrate awareness of participants’ feelings that arose during the interviews, but Bailey also adjusted her behavior in response to those feelings and treated participants with respect and compassion. Bailey put participants at ease. The older participants liked and responded favorably to her. She always treats people with respect, dignity, and kindness.

Bailey has shown critical thinking in identifying solutions to all manner of problems we have faced in our research program. For example, we were conducting a national mailed survey of physicians when the COVID pandemic hit. After pausing the survey, she led the development of a comprehensive research reactivation protocol that allows survey administration to resume and reach target recruitment goals while keeping staff safe.

Process Improvement

Bailey made meaningful contribution to process improvement in hiring. She developed a team-based process and set of behavior-based questions that all team members use interviewing applicants for positions. This ensures that candidates are rated equitably on behaviors by all interviewers. At a team meeting, every team member provides feedback on the applicants and a consensus is reached on which applicant to hire. Team members welcome the opportunity to participate in hiring and develop personnel skills. Faculty and staff members in the division, department, and medical school now use Bailey’s team-based hiring processes including behavior-based questions to interview candidates.

Bailey also made meaningful contribution to process improvement in grant management. She developed a series of checklists to improve quality and efficiency including, but not limited to, checklists for on-boarding new hires, completing administrative components of new grant submissions, and preparing survey mailings. She also led the development of standard operating procedures for research projects. These documents ensure teams and team members complete research processes reliably. Faculty and staff members in the division, department, and medical school use Bailey’s SOPs as templates for their research projects.

Bailey is a leading member of the division's DEI Committee and has done an exceptional job in taking the lead to improve the awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion within the division.