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Berrios and McKernan Win Service Excellence Awards

May 24, 2023
by Serena Crawford

Anne Marie Berrios, senior administrative assistant, and Sinéad McKernan, electronic health record utilization manager, were selected for Department of Internal Medicine Service Excellence Awards.

The award, given annually at the department’s spring town hall meeting, acknowledges staff members who exceed performance expectations and promote the goals, values, and mission of the Department of Internal Medicine.

Mark A. Holter, CMPE, CPA, vice chair, finance & administration, noted the many wonderful staff that contribute to the department’s overall mission in many ways. “We received several nominees for this annual award, all worthy of such honor and recognition,” he said. “ I congratulate the two recipients chosen this year and wish them many more years of excellent achievements in their fields.”

Providing Exceptional Support Without Missing a Beat

At Yale for nearly 20 years, Berrios has been in her current role for nine. She provides administrative support for Section of General Internal Medicine faculty who are affiliated with the Internal Medicine Traditional Residency Program and work at the New Haven Primary Care Consortium.

Known for her kind demeanor, exceptional professionalism, and ability to problem-solve, Berrios is a role model, says Gretchen Berland, MD, associate professor of medicine (general medicine), who notes that Berrios provides assistance to dozens of faculty members. “Her positive outlook and consistent support for faculty really stands out,” Berland said. “We’re so lucky to have her on our team.”

Berrios somehow manages to keep all the balls in the air, never missing a beat, says Benjamin Gallagher, MD, FACP, assistant professor of clinical medicine (general medicine). “She even fields requests from some of our patients who circumvent the clinic phone tree because they know she will get the job done,” he said. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she was a key player in organizing our transition to working from home and to telemedicine.”

Thinking Outside of the Box to Streamline Processes

At Yale for more than eight years, McKernan has been in her current role for nearly seven. She manages the electronic health record (EHR) utilization team, which she built from the ground up. The team was created to improve Department of Internal Medicine clinicians’ experience within Epic by providing personalized utilization training and one-on-one assistance. As the department’s number of clinicians has grown, so has the need for a more personalized approach to EHR utilization support. McKernan and her team developed the Epic STAR (Solutions That Achieve Results) program, a series of topic-focused training sessions launched in fall 2021.

Positive, helpful, and collaborative, McKernan is known for thinking outside of the box to improve processes, streamline workflows, and find solutions. Because of her knowledge and dedication, she has created an outstanding resource for faculty, and her team has grown.

The EHR utilization team’s success is a testament to McKernan’s ingenuity and resourcefulness, says Jennifer Lacerda, associate director of clinical affairs. “She works her magic, and everything just clicks,” Lacerda said. “I am beyond grateful that she is part of our team, and I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes next!”

The Service Excellence Awards were created in 2016 to honor department staff who help the university operate even more effectively and improve the lives of faculty, staff, and students in large and small ways. Previous winners include Susan Ardito, Alyssa Carboni, Laura Crawford, Tracy Crosby, Cynthia Frank, PhD, RN, Lynn Gambardella, Mary Geda, and Laura Whitley.

The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators, and educators in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.

Submitted by Serena Crawford on May 24, 2023