As a big buyer of Dell computers, UTMB participates in a program for employees that allows them to take advantage of some additional discounts and incentives on Dell laptops and desktop PCs. It’s new hardware, not old recycled machines—pretty much the same stuff you’d buy from Dell if you visited their web site or ordered from one of their catalogs. They offer deals and discounts to us on a regular basis; I’ll start posting them here. Are they good deals? They seem to be, and I’ll probably take a close look at what they’re offering when I go to replace my family’s home computer this summer. I’ve had good luck with the Dells I’ve used at work, including a laptop that’s seen hard use for 3 years and proven nearly indestructible. But I still plan to shop around. My disclaimer: I’m not personally advocating these products, just making you aware of the offer. Don’t call me if your hard drive crashes. wink. Get info on the promotion good through June 6, 2007: Dell Employee Purchase Program (.pdf, 194 KB).
Archive for May, 2007
Several people noticed the flags on campus are at half mast and asked me about it. A few of the guesses included the recent passing of a prominent and beloved Galvestonian; I knew that probably wasn’t it because the decision to lower the flag isn’t made locally; the call is made in Austin by Gov. Perry. Someone thought it might be because of the death of the leader of the Moral Majority, Rev. Jerry Falwell. That sounded a little inconsistent with what normally happens. I didn’t know the answer, but it was at my fingertips. Early this week we posted a button on the home page marking this as National Police Week.
In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor the federal, state, and municipal officers who die or are disabled in the line of duty. He also designated the week in which Peace Officers Memorial Day falls (May 14-22 this year) as Police Week. Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week are commemorated through annual ceremonies across the nation, including one that took place in Galveston. The flag is at half mast in memory of officers killed or injured in the line of duty. Visit the UTMB Police Department…
The natives went restless this week when a sign went up at Cafe on the Court saying this would be the last week for sushi. I received no fewer than three “what’s up” calls—probably because I’ve blogged about sushi before—and it even became a brief topic of conversation in a staff meeting. I guess many of us have come to love those rolls of rice and seaweed. It’s quick, supposedly good for you and a welcome break from the standard lunch fare.
I put in a call to Brad Chandler, who manages food services for UTMB in his role as director of Morrison’s. I’ve worked with Brad; he’s a good guy. My experience suggests he likes to make his customers happy because ultimately, it’s good for UTMB and good for Morrison’s. So the news about losing sushi came as a surprise; a few months ago he’d mentioned how popular it was. Sure enough, the sushi is NOT going away. The current on-site sushi chefs are moving on, and that was behind the signage that led to the confusion and angst. For the next few months the sushi trays will be delivered; new on-site sushi chefs start in August. Keep your chopsticks handy.
Often when we talk about heroes at UTMB, the first people that come to mind are the frontline clinicians in places like the Trauma Center and critical care units. No doubt there are many heroes among those folks, but let me introduce you to one you might not know about, one whose job at UTMB doesn’t involve patients. His name is Roger Stone, and his ”day job” at Logistics puts us in touch about things like commuting and campus deliveries.
Away from campus, Roger is an assistant sailing coach/safety officer for TAMUG. Some quick actions by him and his sailing crew during a recent sailboat regatta averted certain disaster and may have saved some lives. There was a great write up in the Daily News this past weekend. I’ll let the paper tell you the story, but wanted to give Roger a salty dog’s “thumbs up” for his actions. We’re proud that he is one of us.
Here’s a real treat for you. It impressed me so much I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to share it with you. I’ve said before that people—”regular” people doing extraordinary work—are what make UTMB great. It’s why we are still here after more than 100 years. If you need a sense of who we are, what we are and why we are special, take a few minutes to listen to these comments from the people who bring life to our institution and give soul to what we do. The comments were collected as part of Nurses & Hospital Week. They’re also running on campus TV Ch 53, but my blog readers are getting a sneak peek at the webcast. Enjoy. It feels good.
My boss’s office overlooks the Burke Evans Plaza, and I peeked out a little after 11 a.m. to see if a crowd had assembled yet for the Nurses & Hospital Week kickoff Luncheon. The lines weren’t long but there was already a good-sized group. By the time I made it down around 11:20, Dr. Stobo and his likely successor, Dr. David Callender, were among the crowd. There was good energy, even if it was starting to feel like summer. While I didn’t get a chance to meet Dr. Callender, I did see many familiar faces and get to speak with many friends (between mouthfuls of hot dog and chips).
I also met Colleen James, who took on the not-so-small responsibility of helping to organize the week’s many events. She was quick to transfer credit to many others for their work, and I salute you all for your efforts. If you want to see what they have planned, both a schedule and an overview are online. If you are a UTMB nurse or one of the cast of thousands who work to make our hospitals and clinics hum, thank you. I hope you get to participate in some of these events and have a great week.
Kudos to Dean of Medicine Garland Anderson for getting recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can read more about the Baden-Gibbs Award online.
Three alert-worthy events in four days may be a record for us. I’m not suggesting Galveston is a sweet little crime-free town, but when you look at the official statistics for our campus, an assault is pretty unusual, and an assault on the night following a report of an armed person running around strikes me as a bit beyond peculiar.
In case you missed it, the alert is below. We periodically remind folks about the safety escort service the UTMB Police Department offers. The number is below. If it’s dark and you’re worried about your safety, give our PD a call:
Campus Crime Alert: Patient reports assault near cafeteria courtyard
Late Wednesday night, May 2, a female patient was allegedly assaulted in the cafeteria courtyard between John Sealy Hospital and Café on the Court. Between 11:45 p.m. and 12:15 a.m., the woman indicated an assailant grabbed her from behind while she was sitting at a table in the courtyard. A struggle ensued and the woman was able to drive off her attacker. The suspect ran south toward the Administration Building and then continued running to the east.
The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 6’3″ tall, thin build, with scruffy unkempt dirty blonde hair, unshaven and dirty. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, black muscle shirt and khaki pants with holes.
Members of the campus community are advised to always stay alert and pay attention to their surroundings, exercise caution and report any unusual person or activity on or near campus to the UTMB Police Department at (409) 772-1111. Remember, after dark the UTMB Police Department will provide a safety escort for persons walking on campus or to their vehicles. Call (409) 772-2691 to access this service.
If you have any information that could aid the UTMB Police Department in the ongoing investigation of this offense, please call (409) 772-1111.
We’re two for three this week with days so far we’ve activated our emergency notification system, with Monday’s small fire at 1108 Strand, and the call made today to the Galveston PD about a person seen on a street near campus with a gun.
Fortunately neither incident turned out to be a big campus threat, although I imagine the report of a gunman shook some people up, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy and the handful of smaller but just as disturbing incidents that have happened since.
It took about 20 minutes from the moment we received the call until we had a message composed and disseminated via a campuswide email broadcast, the alert phone line and web site, and our home pages. Once upon a time, we (or anyone) might have considered that a pretty good communication response time (our university police were on the street immediately; I’m talking about notification, not law enforcement response.). Now we’re working hard to shave off more time and increase the mechanisms we use to push out those messages. Twenty minutes is a long time if someone’s walking around with a weapon and ill intent.
May is a good time to be having these discussions and looking carefully at what we do with an eye to do it better. It’s traditionally the time of year we host informational sessions and update our campus emergency plans in preparation for the tropical storm season, although as the ice storms that affected so many off-island employees last winter demonstrated, threats come in all shapes, sizes and seasons.
If you are interested in hearing more, a large group will convene Wednesday, May 23 from 2 – 5 pm in the Clinical Sciences Auditorium for the Annual Emergency Preparedness All-Staff Meeting. If you can’t make it (and I know most can’t carve so much time out of their day), watch for meeting summaries online and in Impact.
A final note on today’s incident: They don’t like to draw attention to themselves, and that’s why I don’t think many know this, but our UTMB Police Department is among the best on any university campus in the state. We take them for granted on most days. But you see why they’re so good when a crisis—whether real or just reported—presents itself. They take their jobs and our safety seriously. I feel like I’m in good hands.
We had a great Earth Day last week, commencement season is upon us, Cinco de Mayo is this Friday (but don’t tell my wife or she’ll want me to take the salsa dancing lessons), and next week we celebrate Nurses & Hospital Week 2007. Watch iUTMB and my blog for more details on all these great events.