July 19, 2023

New series, Staff Grand Rounds, offers learning opportunities, training for Heersink staff

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RS25155 fall campus 20181127 004 21220 scrA one-of-its-kind speaker series for staff is launching in Heersink School of Medicine July 27.

Staff Grand Rounds is a new quarterly event, hosted by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and is designed to empower and educate staff on topics of professional advancement, engagement, belonging, professional adaptability, and more.

Engaging staff in a new way

The series is unique because it is entirely staff driven. The curriculum is managed by the Staff Diversity Liaison Group, a team of 35 staff representing every department at Heersink School of Medicine. Liaisons are appointed by their department and have a strong interest in building inclusion and belonging within the school while navigating staff needs. The group is well-connected with their peers and colleagues, and they source topic and content ideas directly from staff members in their area.

Leisha Hultgren, Ph.D., program director for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, says Staff Grand Rounds meets a long-requested need. “We see this type of request for staff engagement come up in workgroups and school-wide surveys and other inventories. We have continuously seen a need to lift staff up with this type of opportunity.”

Hultgren says the new series will offer staff an opportunity to learn and grow similar to what faculty have with department and clinical Grand Rounds. Ultimately, it will create greater inclusivity and belonging for this category of employees. Staff Grand Rounds aims to help staff feel more satisfied with work, connected with colleagues, and better equipped to advance in careers at UAB.

Staff Grand Rounds is an example of how inclusion is embedded in all that we do and what drives us every day at the Heersink School of Medicine, Hultgren explains. In fact, leaders at Heersink are incredibly supportive of the new series.

“The new speaker series showcases the dean’s office’s commitment to foster inclusivity at every level within the school,” says Mona Fouad, M.D., senior associate dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Heersink School of Medicine. “It is crucial to offer new learning opportunities for our workforce. I am proud of our staff for forging a new path of growth that will equip everyone with learnings on professional development topics.”

By emphasizing belonging and career advancement, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Staff Diversity Liaison Group hope to continue creating a gratifying workplace for all Heersink staff.

“If you lift up one person or group, then it helps lift up everyone else,” Hultgren says.

Head shot of Dr. Megan McMurray, PhD (Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), 2019.Finding and feeling joy at work

The first event in the series kicks off Thursday, July 27, at noon CT and focuses on how staff can find and feel joy in their daily work lives.

Megan McMurray Hays, Ph.D., associate director of Education for the UAB Medicine Office of Wellness, will discuss how to strategize joy in our work. Her talk, “Beating the burnout: Strategies for finding joy in your job (and life) again” will cover how to experience joy at work from both a high-level standpoint and day-to-day perspective.

Join the first event in the series to learn about developing joy in our professional relationships and work atmospheres, plus learn the role of joy in professional opportunities, growth, and celebration. Stepping stones to creating a more joyful work-life also means mitigating burnout and shifting perspectives.

Hays says she will cover a few learning objectives during her talk, including how to identify multilevel factors that cause distress at work, understanding signs of burnout, exploring practical tips for finding joy, and answering questions from attendees.