You would think …

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

December 3, 2019 – What if I told you there was a vaccine to prevent one of the fastest growing causes of cancer? You would think that people would be lined up out the door to get that injection. But you’d be wrong. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can prevent six types of cancers. But less than 40 percent of the children in Texas who are recommended to get the vaccine series have completed it. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) is joining with the American Cancer Society to better understand this issue and to find solutions. You’re invited to the “You Call the Shots: Northeast Texas HPV Forum,” this Friday (12/6) in the Louise and Joseph Z. Ornelas Academic Amphitheater from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Hear from experts about the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine and how to increase vaccination rates. A survivor will also share his story about the painful and life-altering aftermath of HPV cancer. Please consider attending this important conference if your schedule permits.

Announcements …

Blue Star Café Menu
The Blue Star Café menu is back online! Visit for the today’s offerings in the Home Line, Chef’s Corner, Specialty Bar and the Soup of the Day. (Please note, this link will currently redirect you to a page on The menu will usually be updated each Friday evening with the following week’s selections. Enjoy!

Holiday Activities from the Service Excellence Team & Employee Advisory Council
In December, several Christmas-themed activities will be taking place on campus.

    • Show your holiday colors – December 4, wear red; December 11, wear green; December 18, wear Christmas-themed sweaters, scarves and ties.
    • Christmas tree ornament decoration – a tree will be placed in the Piano Lobby near the windows. Undecorated wooden and plastic ornaments will be located nearby for those who wish to decorate and hang an ornament.
    • Holiday wreath decorating contest – submit your idea to the Service Excellence Team table in the Piano Lobby on December 6, between 10 a.m. and noon, for a wreath that promotes either the holidays, your department, or an area of process improvement such as fall prevention, infection prevention, immunization, hand hygiene, etc. Pick up a wreath from the Clinical Operations Administration suite (Building A, the old Human Resources offices), between December 9 and 11, to begin decorating. Submit your wreath at the judging tables in the Piano Lobby on December 16, before noon.
    • Ugly sweater contest – the uglier the better. The contest will be held on December 17. More details to follow.
    • Group photo and winner announcements – December 18, in the Main Lobby (inside the fountain entrance).

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.

Employee Advisory Council Birthday Winners
The Employee Advisory Council (EAC) has chosen two winners at random from the November birthday list: Rezwana Rahman won a $10 gift certificate to the gift shop. Jessica Tinsley won reserved parking in Lot C for a month. Happy Birthday and Congratulations from your EAC!

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.

Recent news …

UT Health Science Center Star Spotlight: Sandra Perez, MPH Student and Health Education Coordinator

From UT Health East Texas …

View the Ardent: Purpose Matters newsletter for November 2019, from President & CEO David Vandewater and the Ardent Health Services leadership team here:
An archive of past editions of the newsletter is always available via this link:

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.