April 26, 2018

Kathy Keck of Transplant Center wins 2018 Administrative Professional Award

She is lauded for “going the extra mile.” She says that’s the Vanderbilt way.

Kathy Keck was recognized for her dedication to others at the ceremony announcing the 2018 Administrative Professional Award. Photo by John Russell

For Kathy Keck, lead administrative assistant in the Vanderbilt Transplant Center, going the extra mile is part of the job.

It is that mindset that garnered Keck the 2018 VUMC Administrative Professionals Award.

“Going the extra mile should be the Vanderbilt logo, because that’s the culture around here,” said Keck. “Working here gives me a sense of purpose.

“I feel that if I can help those around me in some small way each day, then they’ll be better equipped to do what they do best, which is to take care of patients, because at the end of the day, that’s why we all do what we do.”

Keck was recognized on April 25 during a reception and celebration of Administrative Professionals Week. Speakers at the event were Traci Nordberg, VUMC’s Chief Human Resources Officer, and Dan Enck, assistant manager of clinical support programs at the Vanderbilt Transplant Center.

Kathy Keck, center, at the celebration on Administrative Professionals Day, with Traci Nordberg, left, and Don Enck. Photo by John Russell

The VUMC Administrative Professionals Award, established in 2016, is named in honor of the late Mary Etta Skeen, who served as an assistant to Vanderbilt University and Medical Center leaders during a career that spanned more than three decades.

The annual recognition honors and celebrates the contributions that administrative professionals make toward furthering Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s missions.

“I’m very humbled to have been chosen for the award this year,” Keck said. “I interact with so many assistants across campus throughout the week, and I know how hard they work and the extra time and effort they put in on a daily basis to support their doctors, administrators and staff.”

Keck’s was one of 67 nominations submitted for the award. Multiple nominations highlight her “above and beyond” attitude and work ethic. A few comments from her colleagues include:

“Anyone who has visited or worked in the Transplant Center has been impacted by Kathy Keck. Those who work with her are enriched by her presence and blessed by her wonderful Credo behavior. She is a role model and example to her colleagues whose work day she unknowingly enriches through her selfless efforts to take care of those she supports.”

Another reads:

“She is very good at building relationships and fostering teamwork across departments. Kathy is very resourceful. Kathy demonstrates concern and compassion for co-workers and elevates others above herself.”

Many provided examples of times Keck went out of her way to help others, whether it was making certain that a visiting speaker had transportation to the airport; or staying in the Emergency Room with a co-worker who suffered a fall leaving work; or securing a safe and clean space for a lactation station in the Transplant Center.

“Kathy consistently goes above and beyond her expected job duties,” reads another nomination. “You will never hear her say ‘that’s not my job’ or be met with anything aside from a complete willingness to help in any situation.”

The Administrative Professionals Award recognizes and rewards significant individual staff achievement in relationship to VUMC’s pursuit of excellence in education, health care, research and community service. According to criteria for the award, recipients exhibit:

  • Integrity in all matters
  • The competence to go above and beyond
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality
  • An ability to anticipate faculty member’s needs/questions and proactively create resolution without being asked
  • The ability to make work fun and make others laugh
  • Concern and compassion for coworkers – going out of one’s way to ease someone else’s personal burden
  • The willingness to elevate others ahead of oneself.