Joy Lewis, program administrator for the Division of Infectious Diseases, performs essentially four jobs at once — and according to her co-workers, she is exemplary at each.
From assisting Professor Jane Schwebke, M.D., and Assistant Professor Christina Muzny, M.D., to supervising both the operations of the Personal Health Clinic and the supply chain for research study kits and petty cash for the Jefferson County Health Department STD Clinic, Lewis has learned balance and competence that earned her the title of Employee of the Month for November 2016.
“To do all of this requires the utmost dependability and efficiency,” Dr. Muzny said.
Lewis began working at UAB 17 years ago as a receptionist in the department, and Schwebke said it quickly became apparent that she was well-suited to work in that area.
“Her ability to interact with the patients in a non-judgmental and friendly manner was amazing,” she said. “Every patient loved Joy.”
Schwebke said that Lewis mastered quickly everything that was thrown at her — from making mail-out kits for studies and helping doctors package tablets for studies to ordering supplies and handling petty cash — and took on more responsibility as the years progressed. In the past several years, she has begun to manage major aspects of the divisions’ clinical trials, including patient recruitment, handling work related to the International Review Board and interacting with the industry monitors, among others.
“Not only does she attend to these tasks, but she is the hub of our research wheel, attending to the needs of everyone on the team in a professional manner,” Dr. Schwebke said. Joy is the lifeblood of my program and I cannot imagine being at work without her.”
For Lewis, she said she doesn’t mind going above and beyond at her job by working extra hours or attending health fairs. Before starting at UAB, Lewis worked in customer service, so connecting with people is something she’s had time to perfect.
“There is really no secret other than just staying positive and not panicking when something goes wrong,” Lewis said. “I always keep a smile on my face.”
This isn’t the first time Lewis has been recognized. In October 2015, she was named Employee of the Month for the Department of Medicine. According to Hanne Harbison, the lead nurse practitioner for the division, Lewis is an exceptional employee, who never hesitates to assist a co-worker or step in to fill an open role.
“She always goes beyond her required duties when needed,” Harbison said.
|Each month, UAB recognizes and outstanding employee for their dedication, hard work and contributions to the university’s success. If you know of a great employee, you can learn how to nominate them for this recognition and uab.edu/humanresources.|
Muzny said that multiple study participants have told her they enjoyed working with Lewis, and that Lewis has a knack for talking to people and making them comfortable when discussing medical studies.
“This is not an easy thing to do, particularly with some of the vulnerable populations that I routinely work with,” said Muzny, who works with African-American lesbian and bisexual women. “I have been approached by multiple study participants over the past few years expressing gratitude about their positive experiences with Joy.”
Lewis said she loves working with the patients, and she always keeps one rule in mind:
“I’ve learned to be patient and treat the study participant or patient how you would want to be treated,” she said.