Excellence, commitment, teamwork, outstanding service and attendance are the traits for which staff are recognized.

Kim Schneider, left, honors Karen Sowers, right

Karen Sowers of UNC OB-GYN’s Global Women’s Health division this year was awarded the annual UNC OB-GYN Staff Excellence Award at the department’s holiday gathering at the Carolina Inn.

Members of the department nominate staff for excellence, commitment, teamwork, outstanding service and attendance. The winner of the award receives $200 and two days of paid vacation.

The nominations said Sowers’ dedication and commitment to work is reliably evident. She “is the heart of our division” who “consistently goes above and beyond to ensure our success. She always goes the extra mile.” Known as a creative problem solver who works hard, she is a positive influence on the workplace and “never shies away from a challenge.”

The following nominees were also awarded the UNC OB-GYN Superstar Award:

  • Jamie Burchette, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Jessica Gage, Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
  • Donna Groce, Administration
  • Linda Holst, General Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Kathia Pena-Centeno, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Crystal Royal, UNC Horizons
  • Gail Thomas, UNC Horizons
Charity Watterson Ruterus MIGS

Faculty, staff and providers in the department enjoyed lunch, fellowship, entertainment and remarks from Dr. Daniel Clarke-Pearson, department chair. Kim Schneider, vice chair for administration, announced the staff awards, and Deborah Patel and Dr. Lisa Rahangdale recognized the awards given to clinics earlier in the year.

Guests also took their turns in a photo booth and donned their ‘ugliest’ holiday sweaters to get everyone in a festive mood. Charity Watterson, a nurse at UNC Weaver Crossing, won the top award for her light-up Christmas tree sweater. Also notable were the “Ruterus” sweaters worn by the team at UNC Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.