Unprecedented …

Important Stuff Joe Knows - What's going on at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler

November 19, 2019 – We often struggle to find just the right word to describe a particular situation or event. But the word “unprecedented” perfectly defines the UT System Permanent University Fund (PUF) grant of $95 million to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) and UT Tyler last week. Never before has the UT System made this large of an investment from the PUF into not one, but two institutions in the same community. This happened, in large part, because of you. For years, and in many cases decades, you’ve been coming to work here every day, doing what you do, doing it well and doing it with a smile on your face. Whether you know it or not, people have noticed, including the members of the Board of Regents. Regardless of your job title or responsibilities, your daily commitment to our mission makes it much easier for UT System to entrust us with this funding. Thank you for being who you are and for doing what you do.

To read more about last week’s exciting announcement, click here: https://www.uthct.edu/article/121.

Announcements …

Lung Cancer Awareness Month – Great American Smokeout

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and November 21 is the Great American Smokeout. The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives not just for a day, but year-round. Lung cancer is the leading smoking-related cause of cancer death. More lives are lost to lung cancer than to breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about one in five deaths. Many smokers want to quit but have difficulty succeeding. UT Health Science Center is teaming up with the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to start their journey towards a smoke-free life.

    • Tuesday, November 19 – The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) projects on tobacco cessation and lung cancer screening will have a table at the cafeteria entrance from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can enter a drawing for a door prize from the gift shop.
    • Wednesday, November 20 – The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) projects on tobacco cessation and lung cancer screening will have a table in the lobby of the Riter Center from 8 a.m. until noon. You can enter a drawing for a door prize from the gift shop.
    • Thursday, November 21 – The Great American Smokeout is set aside to encourage smokers to begin healthy, smoke-free lives – not just for a day, but year-round! Daisy Drinkard with American Cancer Society and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) projects on tobacco cessation and lung cancer screening will be outside the Blue Star Café, near the picnic tables, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Enjoy activities and games with prizes. Grand prizes include three $50 gift cards from Walmart. Be sure to take a photo with our “Eliminate Tobacco Use” selfie frame to share on social media with the #EliminateTobaccoUse hashtag! (In the event of rain, we will be in the piano lobby of Building A.)

UT Health Thanksgiving Meal

UT Health Science Center and UT Health North Campus Tyler are thankful for all of the dedicated employees, contractors and volunteers who make education, research and healthcare happen here. We want to show our appreciation with a Thanksgiving meal in your honor Thursday, November 21, for:

    • Day shift – 11 a.m. until 1:50 p.m.
    • Evening shift – 5 until 6:15 p.m.
    • Night shift – 11:59 p.m. until 1 a.m. Friday, November 22.

All meals will be served in the Blue Star Café and your ID badge will serve as your ticket for the meal.

Security Reminder: 8 Shopping Tips for the Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again. Holiday shopping has begun. Everyone is looking for those unique gifts, hot toys and cool electronics. Whether it is a hard-to-find toy for kids or the latest 4K smart TV, Black Friday sales seldom fail to pique the interests of even the most casual shoppers. Yet even after the chaos of Black Friday lies both Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. While it’s clear that businesses are after your dollars during the holidays, you should be aware that cybercriminals also want your money and your personal information. Continue reading: https://www.cisecurity.org/newsletter/8-shopping-tips-for-the-holiday-season.

Are you aware of the UTHSCT policy on holiday pay?

If you’re planning to take time off, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas and/or New Year’s Day, please be sure to notify your immediate supervisor and submit an electronic leave slip dlfor your days off via Passport at https://passport.uthct.edu. All employees are required to submit electronic leave slips before taking scheduled days off, and immediately after unscheduled days off. NOTICE: To be eligible for holiday pay, employees mustbe in a “paid-employee” status the day before the holiday and the first scheduled work day after the holiday. If you are not in an approved “paid-employee” status on those days, you will not be eligible to receive holiday pay. If you have questions, please call 903-877-7740 before the holidays.

Student Government Association Toys for Tots Drive

The UT Health Science Center Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring two Toys for Tots collection boxes. One is located in Student Services on the first floor of the new School of Community and Rural Health Building. The other is located in the D-wing of the Biomedical Research Center in front of the conference room. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are welcome from anyone who wishes to donate.

UT FLEX FY19 Claim Deadline Approaching

If you had a flexible spending account in fiscal year 2019 (September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019), November 30, 2019, is your last day to submit all fiscal year 2019 healthcare and dependent care claims. Log in to www.myUTFLEX.com to check your balance and/or to submit claims.

Recent news …

$95 million approved for expansion at UT Tyler, UT Health Science Center

From UT Health East Texas …

View the UT Health East Texas Weekly Update from CEO Moody Chisholm and the UTHET leadership team here:


An archive of past editions of the newsletter is always available via this link: https://www.myuthealthnews.org/uthet-weekly.

Submit your events and announcements …

Announcements for the Important Stuff Joe Knows newsletter must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the Friday before the item is to appear in the following Tuesday’s newsletter. Submit announcements here: https://www.myuthealthnews.org/submit-announcement. Event listings for the Friday Forecast event calendar must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Thursday to appear in the next day’s edition of the calendar. Submit events here: https://www.myuthealthnews.org/submit-eventEarly submissions are always welcome!

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Important Stuff Joe Knows is a weekly newsletter published by Joseph Woelkers, EVP & COO of The UT Health Science Center at Tyler, stuffjoeknows@nulluthct.edu. Emails to this address will not receive a personal response.