December 28, 2017

KPWHRI’s Mentorship Awards honor Ron Johnson and Dr. Lisa Jackson


Being a mentor is about selflessly supporting and inspiring others to grow, writes Dr. Jennifer McClure. It also feels good to know you’re helping others.

Congratulations to the winners of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute’s 2018 Mentorship Awards. Programmer/Analyst Ron Johnson, MA, won the Outstanding Staff Mentor Award and Senior Investigator Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, won the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.

In presenting these awards each year since 2009, the Institute highlights its commitment to promoting the career development of our employees. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate those among us who selflessly give of their time and talent to help their peers grow professionally and personally.

By acknowledging and encouraging mentorship at KPWHRI, we strive to create a culture of caring, where peers help one another succeed. It’s an investment in our people that results in a more highly skilled workforce, improves job satisfaction, and can help buffer people against burn out. But it’s not completely altruistic. As our peer mentors will tell you, they also benefit greatly because it feels good to help others. Ron, who serves in a senior programming role within the Institute’s IT Unit, works primarily on health economics projects related to patient out-of-pocket costs, hypertension, and medication adherence.

Those who nominated Ron for his award wrote:

  • “Ron makes an effort every day to give information and understanding of the Institute’s data structure. … He always makes himself available when I have questions.”
  • “The knowledge, advice, and resources that Ron shares with me helped me gain new skills, which resulted in a new career for me as a programmer … Ron made that happen.”
  • “Through Ron’s willingness to shares his skills, knowledge and expertise … he enabled me to achieve my goals and aspirations. Ron acted selflessly when he devoted his personal time to provide training resources to focus on my career growth.”

Lisa serves as the Institute’s principal investigator (PI) for both its Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, and the Vaccine Safety Datalink project, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those who nominated Lisa for her award wrote:

  • “Lisa generously shared her knowledge and expertise, acted as a positive and enthusiastic role model, promoted my learning and growth, and helped provide me with a solid funding base.”
  • “Lisa presented me with opportunity after opportunity to choose from.”
  • “Lisa makes herself available for informal consultations at any time. … She gives me her undivided attention whenever I come to her.”
  • “She leads with quiet confidence, respect, and the utmost honesty in her work at every level.”

Others nominated as Outstanding Staff Mentors were Cara Lewis, Melissa Rabelhofer, Anne Renz, Judith Schaefer, and Ella Thompson. Others nominated for Outstanding Faculty Mentors were David Arterburn, Diana Buist Jessica Chubak, Sascha Dublin, Nora Henrikson, Susan Shortreed, and Greg Simon.

All staff and faculty are eligible for either award and the recipients each year are selected by a committee of their peers. This year’s committee included Joe Glass, Yates Coley, Helga Ding, and Tanya Matthews.

Congratulations to this year’s Mentoring Award recipients and all of our nominees. And thanks to everyone at KPWHRI who mentor those around you, whether in large ways or small. You are the secret ingredient that makes KPWHRI such a special place!

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