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Five Employees Receive Presidential Awards

Recipients honored for bringing ‘a quality of intelligence and imagination’ to work

Five Duke University and Duke University Health System employees were named Presidential Award recipients Thursday for exceptional service to Duke in 2015.

The Presidential Award, one of Duke’s highest honors, is given to staff and faculty for outstanding job performance and distinctive contributions within the past calendar year. The awards are presented to staff and faculty in five categories: Clinical/Professional Non-Managerial, Service/Maintenance, Managerial, Executive Leadership, and Clerical/Office Support.

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During a luncheon at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead presented Presidential Award recipients with a Presidential Medallion and $1,000. Twenty-three Meritorious Award recipients were also recognized.

“No one won this award because they took an existing job description and did the job well,” Brodhead said. “Everyone who won these awards did it because you brought a quality of intelligence and imagination. We need people to figure out what’s an even better way to get that job done, what’s an even better way to design that process. Everyone who is up here exemplified that trait.”

Here are the 2015 Presidential Award recipients:

Jean Hartford-Todd
Clinical child life specialist, Duke Cancer Patient Support Program
Clinical/Professional Non-Managerial

In her Duke role, Hartford-Todd supports families facing cancer diagnoses to end-of-life care, and she is responsible for the KidsCan! program at Duke, which supports parents with cancer and their children ages 4 to 18. The program gives children opportunities to express their feelings about their parent’s cancer, and under Hartford-Todd’s leadership, the program has tripled in size.

“Jean becomes deeply involved with families and puts her heart and soul into caring for them,” wrote Tiffany Atkinson, oncology recreation therapist for the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, in the nomination. “Her compassionate and thoughtful efforts have made a significant impact on patient and family satisfaction.”

Oliver “Ollie” Miller
Device support analyst 2, Duke Health Technology Solutions

As part of Duke Health Technology Solutions (DHTS), Miller supports more than 1,000 people at the South Alston Avenue office of Duke’s Patient Revenue Management Organization. He sets up IT equipment for new or transitioning personnel, as well as installs software for employees so they can securely and efficiently work from home, increasing productivity and helping PRMO extend its available hours to patients, wrote Marc Greenway, DHTS IT manager for Field Services, in the nomination.

“Ollie takes the time to explain new technology to his coworkers and his customers,” Greenway wrote. “He constantly goes above and beyond the scope of his normal duties to help out his teammates and faithfully ensures all of his customers are up and running.”

Richard Outten
Senior manager of Enterprise Systems and Support, Duke Office of Information Technology

Outten has been called a “quiet leader” who supports website development, mobile applications and other technologies at Duke. He is usually working behind-the-scenes on large IT projects such as the DukeMobile app, the Duke Events Calendar, the MyDuke online services portal for students, and the Scholars@Duke online hub for Duke faculty research and activities.

Through the Office of Information Technology, Outten is known for mentoring all levels of programmers and collaborating with other universities on open-source software initiatives.

“His actions speak louder than his words, and everyone knows that he will roll up his sleeves and help whomever and wherever he can to move a project along or unburden a team member,” wrote Deb Johnson, assistant vice provost for Undergraduate Education, in the nomination.

Tracy Futhey
Vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer, Office of Information Technology
Executive Leadership

Having served as Duke’s chief information officer since 2002, Futhey has developed close partnerships with key commercial service providers such as Microsoft and Apple, moved many of Duke’s technological services to the cloud, and helped provide technological services to Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China, and to other Duke international sites.

Futhey meets with staff members on a monthly basis to foster dialogue and build relationships. She has also participated in the North Carolina Next Generation Network initiative, bringing together six municipalities and four research universities to encourage the delivery of ultra-fast, gigabit speed networks in central North Carolina.

“She does not seek the stage in these initiatives, but is passionate about seeing the end result accomplished,” wrote John Board Jr., Duke’s associate chief information officer, in the nomination. “She also invests enormous energy for the benefit of all higher education in explaining to vendors, large and small, what is special about higher education IT.”

Lakeshia “Kiwi” Whitted
Staff specialist, Office of Curricular Affairs, School of Medicine
Clerical/Office Support

When the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences needs human brain specimens or cardiovascular physiology labs need pig hearts, Whitted makes sure the School of Medicine professors and students have the supplies they need.

Whitted supports faculty laboratory activities every day. For example, she makes sure the 100 brains in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences’ collection have been properly curated, preserved and carefully handled. In addition to handling lab requests and policies, Whitted supports colleagues by “giving advice or providing counsel about something that is wearing on them,” wrote Amy Ward, director of the Office of Curricular Affairs, in the nomination.

“Her spirit is infectious and people love to be around her,” Ward wrote. “Not a day goes by that she doesn’t pop in my office to ask how I am doing or if I need anything. And she does this with everyone.”