Medical assistant Rand receives Regents' Outstanding Employee Award

Julia Rand
Julia Rand

Julia Rand, a Medical Assistant in Breast Imaging Services, has been recognized as one of only three UT Southwestern employees to receive this year's Regents' Outstanding Employee Award. Selected by the UT System Office of the Chancellor and UT System Administration executive officers, 30 recipients are selected from among the 14 UT System institutions and the UT System Administration.

"She is a vital member of our clinic and is a dedicated, dependable, and hardworking employee who consistently goes above and beyond her required duties," said Dr. Stephen J. Seiler, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Medical Director of Breast Imaging, who nominated Rand for the award. "Julia’s most basic role in our clinic is to provide support for the radiologists who are performing breast ultrasounds and ultrasound-guided procedures."

As a prior Strauss Service Excellence Award winner, "Julia utilizes her superb service skills to keep patients fully informed and comfortable throughout their visits," Dr. Seiler added. "Her calm demeanor, thorough knowledge of the procedures, and ability to anticipate a patients' needs help put our patients at ease and create a solid foundation for the radiologists to build strong patient-physician relationships."

Amber Ledesma, Clinical Operations Manager for Breast Imaging Services, noted Rand's "unmatched commitment" to patient satisfaction. "She is extremely intuitive and picks up on minor signals from patients, physicians, and colleagues that may need special attention," Ledesma said. "Through her ability to adjust her workflow and communication style, Julia is able to turn potential negative and stressful situations for those around her into relaxed and positive experiences."

Ledesma recounted how Rand assisted with the production of informational videos that explain step-by-step what patients can expect when having a needle biopsy of the breast. "Keeping patients safe is at the forefront of every thought Julia has," Ledesma said. "She serves as a volunteer member of the Fall Risk Committee for the University Hospitals. Her idea to add the established tagline 'Call, Don't Fall' on mugs provided to patients was selected and implemented across the hospital campuses."

Another idea she recently devised was something simple, practical and effective, according to Dr. Phil Evans, Professor of Radiology and Director of the Center for Breast Care. "Julia recently recognized there was no place for women to put their purses in ultrasound rooms," he said. "Julia devised purse hangers that keep the purses off the floor, which our patients love."

Proper labeling of biopsy specimens sent to pathology is very important, Dr. Evans noted. "Julia developed a quality assurance process to make certain that all specimens are properly identified."

Each month a new Radiology resident begins his or her breast imaging rotation, Dr. Evans added. "This service is quite different from most other Radiology rotations as there is a great deal of resident-patient interaction. Julia is currently working on a presentation for these new trainees that will introduce them to the service and provide useful information for performing ultrasound examinations as well as interacting with patients."

The winners will be recognized at a special ceremony and luncheon on May 14 in Austin.