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Barbour named OCA winner

Health System Physical Plant’s Richard Barbour selected as a recipient of UVA’s Outstanding Contributor Award

Richard Barbour

Richard Barbour, zone manager of Health System Physical Plant Zone 1 South, has been named a recipient of the 2020 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contributor Award.

This prestigious award recognizes staff nominated by their peers for their dedication to service through individual efforts, group contributions, and commitment to our larger community. Barbour was selected for his dedication to UVA Medical Center operations, in particular through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Richard has led his team through the maze of COVID, through the uncertainty and angst of this time, working shoulder-to-shoulder with healthcare workers,” said Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Don Sundgren.

Barbour is a longtime employee of the University, celebrating 40 years of service this year. He entered the UVA Apprenticeship Program as a plumber apprentice in 1986, learning the trade and graduating in 1990. He progressed through the ranks to his current role as zone manager, which he has served in for the past 12 years.

Barbour was notified he had won the award during a regular staff meeting earlier this month.

“I was shocked. I was surprised,” he said. “I really appreciate all of my team members and my management team who thought about me to put my name in for this recognition…I just think of all my years of service and the different team members…as I have taught them my trade, I have also learned from them as well. You can’t lead without a team.“

Barbour has worked hard to ensure the medical center facilities have remained fully operational despite numerous challenges including team member isolations that have reduced staffing for periods of time, changing clinical operations and new infection control precautions. In addition, his team also successfully took over the maintenance of large portions of the 400,000-square-foot University Hospital Expansion tower as well as worked to adapt building systems to meet the needs of UVA Health’s COVID-19 response.

“It’s in times of crisis, when Richard’s ability to marshal forces, exercise calm in the face of a storm, and jump in to help, is truly evident,” said Kevin Fox, director of UVA Health’s Facilities Planning & Capital Development. “His commitment to the well-being of the medical center’s patients and staff is commendable.”

Despite this year’s challenges, Barbour’s team members have noted that he has continued to care for and grow his team.

“He still made time to walk jobsites with his staff, teaching and mentoring, and just checking in to make sure that they were doing OK,” said Nina Green, assistant director for HSPP Clinical Operations. “It is because of Richard’s ability to balance the demands of the mission with the care of his team that continues to make HSPP successful!”

“Richard truly is an outstanding contributor to his team, the department, the University, the community and the world, which have all benefitted from the incredible patient care and research occurring within UVA Health facilities,” said Derek Wilson, director of HSPP.

Barbour and the 10 other recipients of the award will be honored at a virtual celebration on December 17 and receive $1,000 and an engraved gift.

UVA Today: UVA Employees Honored for 'Jumping in' and Meeting COVID Challenges.

About the author

Jane Centofante
Communications senior generalist
UVA Facilities Management
(434) 982-5846