Three HOBI employees win Superior Accomplishment Awards

Texas EQRO Superior Accomplishment award winners and nominators
Division 3 winners included Carla Bredehoeft (at left) and Yijun Sun, Ph.D. (at right) with guests Jaclyn Hall, Ph.D. (center left) and Jessica Feltner (center right).

Congratulations to three HOBI employees who received 2022-2023 Superior Accomplishment Awards for excellent work performance at the division level. Carla Bredehoeft and Yijun Sun, Ph.D.,  both employees with the Texas External Quality Review Organization (EQRO) administered by the UF Institute for Child Health Policy (ICHP), won awards in Division 3. Donny Weinbrenner  a  research coordinator III in HOBI, won an award in Division 5.

Meet the winners:

Carla Bredehoeft, senior business manager for the Texas EQRO, received a Superior Accomplishment Award in the Administrative/ Supervisory category in Division 3. Bredehoeft has worked as the operations/business manager for the > $70 million Texas EQRO project for more than five years.

“She is exceptionally organized, manages scheduling, organizes hiring operations, ensures deliverables are on schedule, and repeatedly amazes me that she is only one person,” Jaclyn Hall wrote in her letter of nomination for Bredehoeft. Hall is a faculty member in HOBI and executive director of the Florida Research Data Center housed in the UF-FSU Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Hall, who works closely with the Texas Medicaid EQRO project, was particularly impressed with how Bredehoeft managed the task of moving the entire 54-member project staff to another building on short notice.  

“She simultaneously planned the move, calmed frustrated and anxious employees … and arrived in jeans and sneakers to personally help all staff with the move over several days.”

Yijun Sun, Ph.D., a data manager III for the Texas Medicaid EQRO project, received a Superior Accomplishment Award in the Scientific/Technical category in Division 3. Sun has worked as a lead data scientist for the $70 million Texas EQRO project for more than 5 years.

“I regularly work with statisticians from various departments across the health sciences, and Dr. Sun is one of the most competent and experienced statisticians at UF Health,” Hall wrote in her letter of nomination for Sun.

Hall said she was most impressed by Sun’s ability to work with a team for a larger project goal, including Sun’s supportive and respectful manner of discussing complex statistics with a larger project group, and her ability to understand and incorporate the views and intents of several project PIs from different fields into a study design that answers the larger research questions.

“These skills are not taught in a degree program,” Hall said. “They are in part innate in a person’s character and in part gained through time and experience.”

“Dr. Sun is the definition of a team player and is a true asset the EQRO, the HOBI department and the university as a whole,” Hall said. “Her consistent focus on collaboration and communication, in additional to attention to detail, are exemplary.”

Donny Weinbrenner, a research coordinator III in HOBI, received a Superior Accomplishment Award in the Administrative/Supervisory category in Division 5. Weinbrenner was nominated by Sonya White, the assistant director of research administration at HOBI who recognized his “dedication to excellence in all aspects of his job, his willingness to collaborate with others, and his focus on continual growth and development.”

Donny Weinbrenner
Donny Weinbrenner

In the past year, Weinbrenner led the coordination of project deliverables for several high-profile, national research studies while also liaising with 14 data partners across three states in support of two large national research programs. 

“He is highly engaged and navigates his workload well, with a constant focus on prioritization and completion,” White wrote in her nomination letter. In addition, he has facilitated several research proposals and continues to lead two high-level monthly program meetings.

White also credited Weinbrenner for creating a collaborative environment and mentoring new hires. 

“Donny is always willing to assist his peers and coworkers, frequently offering help when workload and team needs are intense.  His consistent focus on collaboration and communication are exemplary,” White noted. During a time when his team experienced rapid growth, Weinbrenner made himself available to multiple new teammates as a teacher and helping hand during the onboarding process. He is also an integral member of HOBI’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) committee. 

Lastly, White recognized Weinbrenner’s constant focus on learning and self-improvement. He is currently working towards earning his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification which he plans to complete in early 2023. Throughout his training, he has implemented the skills he has acquired to improve his team’s processes which has resulted in greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Division winners received a $200 cash award and were automatically nominated for the university-level Superior Accomplishment Award.

Jamie Hensley
Jamie Hensley

Other HOBI staff members who were nominated by their supervisors for the 2022-2023 Division 5 Superior Accomplishment Awards included:

Jamie Hensley, clinical research manager for OneFlorida+ Clinical Research Network, was nominated by Brittney Roth Manning, associate director of clinical research for OneFlorida+, and Liz Manini, former HOBI director of administrative services and chief operating officer of OneFlorida+. Hensley was acknowledged for her dedication and continued growth within the department, her work ethic, excellence in her job performance, and her leadership of others.

In addition to praising her impressive efforts as the manager for All of Us, a large multi-site NIH project that aims to enroll 1 million people across the country in a 10-year longitudinal cohort study for precision medicine, Roth Manning recognized Hensley as the department’s “go-to” person to assist other coordinators, even outside of her team. “Nearly all supervisors introduce their new coordinators to Jamie as a departmental resource and a friendly face to help new staff orient themselves to work and the department,” Roth Manning stated. 

Elaine Villaca
Elaine Villaca

Elaine Villaca, clinical research coordinator III, was also nominated by Brittney Roth Manning and Liz Manini for her work with  All of Us.  “Elaine routinely exceeds expectations within her role and takes her responsibilities very seriously,” Roth Manning wrote. Under Villaca’s guidance, the All of Us research team made significant strides in patient enrollment to the study, even doubling its enrollment rate in one month. At the same time, she prioritizes ensuring that our students also learn about clinical research and develop skills that will be of use in their future education and employment. She has proven to be a valuable asset to the department and her team.

Mahmoud Enani
Mahmoud Enani

Mahmoud Enani is an application developer analyst  nominated by his supervisor Alexander Loiacono, the department’s associate director of IT, for his willingness to go “above and beyond his job description.” According to Loiacono, Enani’s easy-going nature, positive attitude and expertise in his role make him an excellent team lead and mentor to his teammates. When he takes on new challenges and responsibilities, he does so with ambition and tenacity. In his work with OneFlorida+, Enani was tasked with developing a new data pipeline to work with their current processes. Loiacono said, “He worked extra hours and weekends to develop, troubleshoot, make fixes to update the process.” 

Congratulations to the winners and all the nominees.