Kathleen Palmer, RN, BSN, nurse coordinator in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition at the School of Medicine (SOM), thought she was attending a group photo shoot on July 14. Instead, she was surprised with a UMB Employee of the Month Award.
University President Jay A. Perman, MD, gave Palmer a framed certificate and thanked her for fiercely protecting the rights of research study participants. “I found your nomination to be very compelling,” Perman said. “UMB needs people like you — people who will advocate for our study volunteers — and I’m very pleased to be honoring you with this month’s award.”
Palmer, who also received $250 as July’s Employee of the Month, was described by the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine (PPGM) team as someone who attacks her work, takes on monumental tasks with blinders on, and fearlessly presents new ideas. Palmer has been a key contributor to accomplishing the translational medicine mission of PPGM.
“She assembles and leads multidisciplinary teams and interfaces with stakeholders at all levels. Kathy is a powerhouse of ‘purposeful action’ geared toward overcoming the myriad obstacles to advancing personalized medicine,” said Alan Shuldiner, MD, John L. Whitehurst Professor of Medicine, associate dean for Personalized Medicine, and director of the PPGM, who nominated Palmer for the award.
Palmer recently revamped the division’s approach to staffing and monitoring clinical research projects. Within six months she evaluated, reshaped, and ensured Institutional Review Board compliance for multiple projects.
Not only has Palmer’s excellent work elevated the University of Maryland Medical Center and the SOM’s national profiles, her dedication has been an inspiration and made her a role model to others in the PPGM. “Her dedication and commitment to her role in the program has inspired others,” Shuldiner said. “She goes above and beyond expectations and is always willing to accept and carry out additional responsibilities, not only for the good of the program, but for the campus community as a whole.”
“I’m very shocked and very happy,” an emotional Palmer said after she accepted the award. “I’m so honored that all of you would think so much of me to recommend me for this. You know how much I care about what I do and I love working with all of you.”