13 Employees Begin Their Front Line Supervisor Program Journey

The third class of the Duke Learning and Organization Development program will study leadership and more over six months

The 2023 cohort of the Front Line Supervisors Program gather on the stairs of the Freeman Center for Jewish Life. Photo by Jack Frederick.

“At the individual level, it’s about positioning and repurposing and seeing the opportunity to leverage those skills more effectively,” said Gina Rogers, associate director of Learning & Organization Development, who organizes the program. “And it really helps Duke live the value of excellence in that we are in active development and growing our own talents as a retention strategy.”

During the kickoff event on May 31, the class members, supervisors, and other supporters gathered in the Freeman Center for Jewish Life over refreshments and received an overview presentation of the program. The highlight was a motivating keynote message from Keisha Williams, assistant vice president of Learning and Organization Development, who urged the group to fully embrace and maximize their six-month experience.

Keisha Williams, assistant vice president of Learning and Organization Development, speaks to the Front Line Supervisors Program cohort on May 31. Photo by Jack Frederick.

"If you feel challenged, you’re in the right space. We want to stretch and grow you a little. It may feel uncomfortable at first but trust me you're in the right space,” Williams said. “It’s a good time to be at Duke. I’ve never seen a greater focus on the development of our people and growing them with intention. Run with it, grow, be flexible and bold, because that’s what leading in this space is about.”

Out of 1,000 initial applicants, Erica Walker is among the group of 13 professionals across Duke who were selected to participate in the latest cohort.

Walker, who has been with Duke for 14 years, is experienced and confident in approaching patients for trauma and snakebite studies in the Emergency Department at Duke University Hospital. However, her role as a supervisor of six clinical research coordinators is still relatively new to her, as she was promoted last summer.

"I recognize the importance of leadership here at Duke and how being a great leader paves the path for overall success," said Walker, senior clinical research coordinator team lead for the Department of Emergency Medicine. "With this opportunity I want to learn new skills, strategies, and perspectives that will help me empower my team. Fostering teamwork is essential in clinical research and really helps with overall team morale."

Program participant Christa Rutledge has spent her 26-year career working in clinics and doctors’ offices, but she knows she can always continue to grow and adopt new strategies to best organize, train and lead 12 non-clinical staff at Duke Health North Durham and Duke Outpatient Clinic.

“One of the things I really try to do is to be a constant learner,” said Rutledge, service access team lead. “The healthcare field is constantly changing and if you’re not willing to take on that learning aspect of the industry, then you can fall behind.”

Diandrea McCotter, left, and Gina Rogers stop for a photo during a kickoff event for the Front Line Supervisors Program. Photo by Jack Frederick.

Program alumni, including Diandrea McCotter, director of Inpatient Rehabilitation Services for Duke University Health System, attended the event to show their support for the new cohort. McCotter, who was part of the inaugural cohort in 2019 as a new supervisor, has since been promoted to oversee physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy across the health system. She attributes her growth as a leader to the program and joined the event to celebrate the new cohort's opportunity to experience similar growth.

“You want to invest back in the program,” McCotter said. “We want to make sure we’re nurturing new leaders.”

For more information, see the Front Line Supervisor Program website on Duke Human Resources.

2023 Front Line Supervisors Class

  • Alisha Couch, departmental business manager for the Campus Research Administration Support Office
  • Amanda Douglass, assistant manager of Rehab Services for Duke Acute Care Rehabilitation
  • Arianna Decreton, annual giving officer for Duke Alumni Relations in the Fuqua School of Business
  • Christa Rutledge, service access team leader at Duke Health North Durham and Duke Outpatient Clinic
  • Crissie Moody, case manager for Duke Case Management
  • Elizabeth Nixon, assistant manager of Rehab Services for the Duke Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy South Durham Clinic
  • Erica Walker, senior clinical research coordinator team lead for the Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Heather Kelly, assistant nurse manager for the Duke Emergency Department
  • Jordan Butler, service access team leader for Duke Urgent Care Croasdaile
  • Jorge Fidhel Gonzalez, supervisor for the Department of Biology Greenhouse
  • Lauren Woods, population health specialist for DukeWELL
  • Preston Roundy, assistant manager, Rehab Services for Duke Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Douglas Street Clinic
  • Veronica Mills, program coordinator for Duke Population Health Sciences

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