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Hoos Building Bridges award winners

July 3, 2024

Three FM staff members among Hoos Building Bridges award recipients

A collaborative team of staff from Facilities Management and the Faculty & Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) were honored during the 2024 Hoos Building Bridges awards ceremony.

FM team members — Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist Emily Douglas, Occupational Health and Safety Manager Shelomith Gonzalez and Senior Supervisory Construction Administration Manager Chris Hoy — received the award along with FEAP staff Mary Sherman, LaBarron Burwell and Pamela Hamilton.

The team was recognized for making significant strides in addressing mental health within Facilities Management through their initiative, Mental Health in the Workplace, which has already reached approximately 500 employees and aims to cover all units by 2024. By partnering with Region Ten Community Services Board to offer Mental Health First Aid training and hosting quarterly roundtables, they provide essential resources and support. Their efforts extend beyond UVA, as they have presented at state and regional conferences, sharing their successful strategies and fostering a culture of mental health awareness.

This team's work exemplifies internal and external collaboration, bridging various departments and community organizations to address a critical need. Their tailored approach within Facilities Management and the inclusion of diverse perspectives enhances the program's impact. Chris Hoy's personal story has been particularly influential, reducing stigma and encouraging openness about mental health issues. Their dedication has created a supportive environment, improving overall well-being and making UVA a leader in mental health awareness.

“Knowing that we are positively impacting people's well-being, reducing stigma around mental health, and increasing awareness and access to resources has been incredibly fulfilling for all of us,” said Mary Sherman of FEAP.

Six individuals and two teams were among the recipients of the 2024 Hoos Building Bridges award and were honored at a reception on June 25 at the Rotunda. Awardees were presented with framed certificates and a $250 monetary award from President Ryan.

About the author

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