University of Arizona Campus Health has been awarded the 2022 University of Arizona Team Award for Excellence by the Employee Recognition Committee. The award recognizes outstanding achievements by functional or project-oriented teams comprised primarily of university and classified staff who uphold the university's values while performing above and beyond expectations.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by our colleagues,” said David Salafsky, DrPH, MPH, interim co-executive director and director of health promotion and preventive service, UArizona Campus Health. “I know this means a lot to our team. It will be a milestone that we will look back and reflect on for years to come.”
In his nomination letter, Michael D. Dake, MD, senior vice president UArizona Health Sciences, wrote that there is no better time than now to recognize the contributions of the Campus Health team.
“The Campus Health Service team has gone above and beyond to keep our campus and the greater Tucson community safe from COVID-19,” Dr. Dake wrote in his letter. “They did so while maintaining the highest standards for delivering quality outpatient medical care, mental and behavioral health services, and health education and prevention programs to meet the needs of students and employees. The safe return of more than 45,000 students and 15,000 faculty to campus could not have been accomplished without the dedicated efforts of Campus Health physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, health educators, pharmacists and receptionists.”
While the list of services provided by Campus Health is long, some of their key contributions to the well-being of the campus community during the pandemic included: medical care for all students and employees who tested positive for COVID-19; operating testing sites for all students and employees with symptoms; medical oversight and staff support for the COVID-19 vaccine POD on the UA Mall; operating the vaccine booster clinic administering over 9,200 doses; Counseling and Psych Services (CAPS) mental health support for students dealing with the disruption related to the pandemic; providing telemedicine and telecounseling to expand services; and supporting student athletes with COVID-19 care and clinical management.
“Our team has been incredibly dedicated – each and every member of our staff rose to the occasion,” said Dr. Salafsky. “The pandemic has presented challenges for all of us, but health care workers have had to bear a unique burden. Through it all, the staff have persevered, and that is really a testament to the dedication of our team.”
In a nomination letter by Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, distinguished laureate professor of public health at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and 17th U.S. Surgeon General, he noted the stresses put on health care providers over the past two years. “Throughout it all, the Campus Health team stepped up on a daily basis to care for our students and employees, shouldering the additional workload and adapting to our response to the virus as new data and new tools became available.”
Dr. Salafsky said that there has always been a close connection between Campus Health and Health Sciences, from staff with faculty appointments to team members receiving their education through Health Sciences colleges.
“Through our collective work addressing COVID, one of the silver linings has been having a chance to work with many others across in Health Sciences under Dr. Dake’s leadership,” said Dr. Salafsky. “We have served as a teaching and training site for many years, across the health professions, and the connections we have with Health Sciences are vital.”
Judging for the award was done by more than 50 volunteers, peers and colleagues from across the university's campuses. For the first time since 2019, recipients will be recognized at an in-person event on April 14. Awardees from 2020 and 2021 also will be honored at the event.
The team award comes with a $1,500 prize that can be split among members or used in another way.
Click here to see the Campus Health staff honored with this award.