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Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award

The Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award recognizes one outstanding employee, annually, who consistently demonstrates commitment and passion, strong leadership, exemplary professional skills and commendable personal attributes all in support of the UConn Health mission. This is among the highest honors awarded to UConn Health employees.

Congratulations to Michelle DeLayo, DNP, Nursing Director, Patient Safety, Quality and Advance Practice , our 2020 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award winner!

The 2020 Virtual Award Celebration was be held on December 22. Congratulations to this year's nominees:


  • Joanne Boucher and Alexandra Garten, Director, Ambulatory Medicine Services Lead APRN COVID Call Center & GI APRN, Ambulatory Services, nominated by Anne Horbatuck, Vice President, Ambulatory Operations
  • Tamara Cardoso, Patient Experience Specialist, Patient Experience, nominated by Cindy Molin, Vice President, Patient Experience
  • Michelle DeLayo, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, Nursing Director, Patient Safety, Quality and Advance Practice, nominated by Caryl Ryan MS BSN RN, Vice President Quality and Patient Services, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Raymond Foley, DO and the ICU team, Professor of Medicine, Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit, School of Medicine, nominated by Lynn Kosowicz, MD, Professor and Interim Chair Department of Medicine
  • Elissa Nagle, Business Systems Analyst, School of Dental Medicine, nominated by Steven M. Lepowsky, Dean, School of Dental Medicine

Nomination Period and Process

Each Senior Leader, from UConn Health's five divisions including Institutional Support, UConn John Dempsey Hospital, School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and UConn Medical Group, will submit one nominee.


Any UConn Health employee that consistently demonstrates the stated criteria. Prior award nominees are eligible for nomination. Prior recipients of this award are not eligible to receive the award.


Through the generosity of Dr. Deckers, via the UConn Foundation, the awardee receives four lower field level box seat tickets to a Red Sox game and a certificate. In addition, his/her name is inscribed on a perpetual plaque.


The Dr. Peter J. Deckers award is celebrated annually at a ceremony. Each nominee is invited to attend this special event. The award is presented by the Chief Executive Officer, UConn Health, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. The 2020 award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, December 22, in the Academic Rotunda for the nominees only due to gathering limitations. Guests can watch the celebration virtually.


Use the information below to help write a persuasive nomination. The goal of the nomination is quality, not quantity.

  • Be specific. Provide the selection committee specific information on how the individual’s achievements have made a positive impact on the UConn Health mission. Ensure that the nominee’s contributions match the specific award criteria. Address all parts of each question completely to assure the committee has all the information it needs to know about your nominee.
  • Show measurable results. Monetary savings, a new service, patients receiving care/services in a timelier and/or professional manner, staff morale increasing, students being better prepared. Clearly paint the picture of why someone deserves to be recognized.
  • Keep it brief. Write short, concise sentences and give specific detail. Avoid giving work history or job descriptions, unless it directly relates to the award criteria.
  • Say it like it is. Don’t worry about crafting beautiful paragraphs. Feel free to use bulleted lists when appropriate. Be sure to explain the technical details in such a way that non-experts will understand, and spell out/define any unfamiliar acronyms.
  • Get support. Share the writing of the nomination with individuals/colleagues from your division. Ask co-workers, supervisors, students, and/or faculty, who know or work with the nominee, to submit a detailed statement in support of your nomination.
  • Avoid jargon. While you are familiar with your nominee’s work, more than likely the members of the selection committee won’t be. Keep that in mind as you describe the nature and quality of the contributions and accomplishments.
  • Cite multiple, specific examples. Use descriptive language and then give a situation or example that shows the attribute. Include more than one example of how the individual went above and beyond the daily responsibilities of the job.
  • Communicate sincerity and personal commitment. Show that you personally value the contributions of your nominee.

Selection Process and Committee

Selection Process

Each year a committee is chosen to review nominations and select the award recipient. Every effort is made to create a diverse group that represents the six division across UConn Health. Committee members are not permitted to submit nominations and are not eligible to receive an award during the time they serve.

The committee evaluates the nominations based on the award criteria and the corresponding examples. Each selection committee member rates the nomination using a 1-5 scale with 1 indicating that the response does not address the criterion to 5 indicating that the response exceeds the criterion. The average is calculated from each nomination. If there is a tie, additional consideration is given to a PAW or Husky Hero Award recipient. Then the committee then meets to make its final selections.

Selection Committee

Laura Didden, Business Services Manager, Deans Office, School of Dental Medicine

Steve Jacobs, Director, Environmental Health & Research Safety, Research Integrity & Compliance

Deb Kaufman, Executive Staff Assistant, Office of Health Affairs

Ingrid Napolitano, IT Project Manager, Strategic Projects and Clinical Systems

Robin Perregaux, Director Organizational Staff Development & Support Services, Human Resources

Alexis Crean, Committee Facilitator/Contact, Human Resources


2019: Jim Behme
Simulation Center Coordinator

2018: Jeff Boyko
Director of Logistics Management

2017: Kirsten Shea
Correctional Managed Health Care

2016: Lakeesha Brown
Human Resources

2015: Susan Garthwait
UConn John Dempsey Hospital

2014: Kathleen Coyne
UConn John Dempsey Hospital

2013: Gail Johnson
Correctional Managed Health Care

2012: Wendy Martinson, RN
Quality Assurance

2011: Bob Norris
Information Technology

2010: Caryl Ryan, RN

2009: Robyn J. Wahl


Peter J. Deckers, M.D.

The UConn Health Employee Appreciation Award is named in honor of Peter J. Deckers, M.D., Executive Director of Perioperative Services, Dean Emeritus and former Executive Vice President for Health Affairs