Gratitude …

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

November 26, 2019 – In just two days, many of us will gather with the people we love to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s important that we take a break from our fast-paced lives and jobs to take account of the good in our lives. I can’t begin to count the things I’m grateful for without numbering the people of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) among them. I’m well aware of the many amazing things that have been accomplished in East Texas over the past months and years because of your hard work and dedication. So, again, thank you! But let’s also remember that there are those among us who will not be celebrating with loved ones this Thanksgiving. Some will be here on campus, working to care for our patients. Others will simply be alone, for a variety of reasons. Let’s make sure that, between now and Thursday, we go out of our way to let these special people know how much they are appreciated. Gratitude costs nothing, but it can mean everything to the person who receives it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Announcements …

Thursday and Friday are official holidays
We hope you’re able to enjoy some time off. For the complete Fiscal Year 2020 Holiday Schedule and an explanation of leave accrual, click this link: Also, see the announcement about our holiday pay policy below.

New ID badge delivery underway
The UTHSCT Police Department is currently printing and delivering new employee, student and contractor identification badges. Any employees who need a new photo should come to the Police Department Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Employees who telecommute should come to the Police Department to pick up their badges. The Police Department business office will be closed November 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Photos will not be taken and badges will not be available for pick up on those days. We appreciate your patience with the new ID badge process!

Introducing PolicyMap
PolicyMap is an online national data and mapping tool and analytics platform with multidisciplinary applications for college students and faculty. It is used in undergraduate and graduate curriculums and research related to social sciences, public administration, public health, education, statistics and geography, among others. Users can leverage thousands of U.S. data indicators to perform demographic and socioeconomic analysis, in many cases from a neighborhood census block group up to the national level, in addition to creating custom regions for research and studies. UTHSCT network-connected users can access PolicyMap here:, and a list of tutorials, guides and training calendar here: A quick start guide prepared especially for UTHSCT users is available here:

Gift shop holiday sale and special hours
All Christmas holiday décor is 20% off today through Wednesday (11/27). The gift shops will have limited hours the week of Thanksgiving. Monday (11/25) through Wednesday (11/27), the Main Gift Shop will be open 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Riter Center Gift Shop will be closed. Both gift shops will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday (11/29).

Fall 2019 Service Awards photos available
UTHSCT recently held the Fall 2019 Service Awards ceremony, which served as a platform to recognize employees who have served at the institution for five to 35 or more years. Congratulations and thank you to all for your continued service! Photos of the honorees with UT Health Science Center and UT Health North Campus Tyler officials are available here:

December Cancer Support Group Meeting
The Cancer Support Group for patients, survivors and caregivers will meet Wednesday, December 4, 2019, from noon until 1 p.m. in Building G, Room 3117 (behind the library), on the third floor. Our special guest will be Jack Voss, director of pastoral care. Lunch will be available. If you have questions, please call Margaret Callens at 903-877-8812.

Great American Smokeout Winners
Door prize winners: Letha Starks, Sandra Perez and Cherelyn (Cherre) Hayter. Walmart gift card winners: Lamesa Jordan, Courtney Houze and Donna Patillo. Congratulations and thank you for helping make our event a success!

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 for your days off via Passport at 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 to check your balance and/or to submit claims.

Recent news …

UT Health Science Center at Tyler announces growth of partnership with Winona High School

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:

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: 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: 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, Emails to this address will not receive a personal response.