GME Program Administrator, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Nominator, Carly Kish: "Sam makes everyone around him want to be a better person, not only by the dedication he has to his work, but also by the way he treats people."
Sam serves as the Fellowship Coordinator for Geriatric Medicine and does very well in his position. He is highly knowledgeable and stands out among his colleagues as being a lead coordinator. Sam brings a positive energy and consistently is supporting his colleagues. He sets realistic goals for himself that he completes in a timely manner, while also encouraging those around him to grow in their professional roles. He makes confident decisions, is an active listener, works effectively with others, and has a strong rapport with all those he interacts with. He constantly identifies more efficient ways of doing work. One example includes creating a 'FAQ' sheet to make submitting PCard reports easier. He shows initiative and is flexible when approaching new tasks. Sam contributes fresh ideas during staff meetings and encourages coworkers to be inventive. Sam’s performance is the very definition of 'exemplary'.
Sam is often seeking out ways to improve a variety of areas in GME, Internal Medicine, and Geriatric & Palliative Medicine. He has volunteered his time on multiple committees - most recently the Internal Medicine Staff Recognition Program, GME Program Coordinator Advisory Committee, and the Go Blue Guide Project Team. Additionally, he along with a cohort of his colleagues, have presented at a national conference. The Fellowship Coordinator role is very demanding and requires a high level of commitment, professionalism, and leadership which I believe Sam demonstrates effortlessly. Sam makes the staff around him better by epitomizing a strong work ethic. He is the first one to roll up his sleeves and get the job done, always volunteering to help and support our team.
Sam supports our division - although officially he provides support to the fellows and the program director. Sam ensures that the fellows are comfortable and have an understanding of the goals and expectations of the program from day one. He checks in with them, builds trusting relationships, and truly cares about them.
He encourages wellness initiatives among the team and his mind is always thinking of ways to be a better 'servant leader'. He continually solicits feedback in order to improve the program and strengthen the division, as a whole. In addition to providing a commitment to customer service, he is constantly advocating on their behalf to administration, faculty, and GME alike.
He consistently reassures individuals who he supports that they can always ask for help and he is always able to help them. Sam will work in a variety of locations, including the clinic and the VA, to make sure he has face-to-face time with the fellows and his program director. Sam willingly goes out of his way to help everyone he works with, whether that is coming in early to help a colleague set up for a conference or checking in with a fellow just to see if they are 'ok'.
It is a joke that we share during our one-on-one meetings that Sam is always coming up with 'crazy ideas'. While, in turn, these are actually not crazy at all, they are big picture, down the road, planning ideas that if were able to come to fruition could really transform the way that we work.
He has had many meaningful contributions to our division, but the one that stands out is the revamping of our fellowship recruitment process. Prior to Sam's 'crazy idea', fellowship interview season spanned many dates in the fall which would take up the time of faculty with often only 1 or 2 interviewees per day. With the amount of dates, there would often be cancellations from the faculty due to their other commitments, which would lead to scrambling to find coverage. Although the candidates never knew it, the days were chaotic and behind the scenes. Sam identified ways to make it smoother. He proposed 4-5 interview days each season, having multiple interviewees participating in a day of recruitment. This eliminated the amount of blocked time on faculty calendars, allowing them to dedicate time for these days each season with little interruption. It helped put our best foot forward as a division and we have received amazing feedback.