The SPIRIT of DOM Award

SPIRIT of DOM AwardAs part of our commitment to recognizing our highly dedicated staff and NFAs and increasing the visibility of their work, we established the SPIRIT of DOM (Service, Professionalism, Inclusivity, Responsibility, Inspiration, and Teamwork in the Department of Medicine) Award in 2017. This award aims to acknowledge staff members and NFAs who exemplify the UCSF PRIDE Values and make the DOM and UCSF a better place to work. Since the award's establishment, 25 awards have been given for excellence and commitment to the department.

For the December 2021 cycle, the award committee received 35 nominations across all DOM sites, representing a wide variety of roles. The following four individuals, appearing in alphabetical order, were selected to receive the award:


Cindy CurielCindy Curiel is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at ZSFG. She is incredibly busy, working on several studies including REACH, COVID-19 RESOURCE, CARE, COMET, and RISE. She is actively involved with the CLEAR Lab’s Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) program and supports our community partners at the Lifelong William Jenkins Health Center by leading the weekly Veggie Giveaway and other community projects. Outside of work, Cindy is the Chief Development Officer on the executive board of MiMentor, a national nonprofit organization that creates mentorship opportunities for underrepresented pre-health students. Cindy’s colleagues expressed exceptional praise and respect for her dedication and commitment: “Cindy recognized a need for more leadership opportunities for high school students that completed our annual Youth Participatory Action Research Project (YPAR) over the summer. To address this need, she applied for and was awarded funding from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for a project to collect survey responses from community members about poor air quality in Richmond, CA. Cindy drafted the grant proposal and YPAR students will conduct surveys in Spanish to highlight the voices of mono-lingual, Spanish-speaking patients of Lifelong medical who are often excluded in research and policy.” “As the pandemic has impacted our Latinx community disproportionately, Cindy – as a native Spanish speaker from the Bay Area – became a trusted confidante for many participants which enabled her to distribute accurate information on COVID and link participants to community resources for those experiencing food or financial insecurity. Cindy takes the necessary time to navigate participants through the applications and red tape to ensure they get connected to needed resources, going above and beyond to support this highly vulnerable population.” Thank you, Cindy, for your incredible work to live the UCSF PRIDE Values and bring the mission of the Department of Medicine to life in all that you do! 

Kat LiKatherine “Kat” Li, has just been named Manager of the Division of Palliative Medicine at UCSF Health. At the time of this award cycle, Kat was the Assistant Division Manager in the Division of Hospital Medicine at UCSF Health where she was a dedicated and inspiring role model for many years, starting as an Administrative Analyst. Kat has been nominated for the SPIRIT of DOM Award numerous times over the years and the esteem of her DHM colleagues has been shared in abundance. According to Annie Droste, Division Manager: “This year, our division hired and onboarded over 40 new faculty due to expanded clinical needs at Mt. Zion and reduced patient census for our residency teams due to work hour restrictions. This large number of new faculty put a large burden on our credentialing analyst, and when Kat and I discussed how we could support this employee, she immediately said she would share the work. This level of professionalism and integrity – to take on additional work that will not advance her own career (she’s already moved beyond this level of employee) – purely to support the division and our other employees is incredible. Of the three staff members she directly supervises, all three have excelled during this time, thanks in large part to Kat. Kat has been able to inspire them through the challenges of their new work and make sure they are not experiencing burnout. Finally, Kat is an active member of our division’s Anti-Racism Taskforce, showing her commitment to teamwork. Through the taskforce, she helped identify divisional priorities to ensure our division embodies anti-racism in clinical care, hiring practices, and education for our faculty and staff. She also led efforts to work with Talent Acquisition to ensure the division is doing everything we can to recruit more diverse staff members and has helped keep our website updated to showcase our diversity work to external candidates.” Congratulations, Kat, on this SPIRT of DOM Award for your inspiring work and being a role model! 

Sarah LiskerSarah Lisker works as an Academic Program Management Officer, managing Dr. Urmimala Sarkar’s research lab  in the Division of General Internal Medicine at ZSFG, where she began with the DOM six years ago. Sarah’s unfailing commitment to the UCSF PRIDE Values, along with her work and engagement in various diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives earned her several nominations during this award cycle. Jennifer Thomas, DGIM Division Manager, shared: “Sarah has volunteered for numerous committees, serving on our division’s FUN committee for several years helping to raise morale; providing important input to the UCSF at ZSFG Research and Academic Building Planning Committee’s Dry Lab and Administration Design Group; and serving on the award selection committee for STAR Achievement Awards at least once. The primary care clinic where our faculty practice is called the Richard Fine People’s Clinic (RFPC), and in the fall of 2020, RFPC leadership created an Anti-Racism and Equity Committee. Although Sarah had relatively little involvement with RFPC on a day-to-day basis, she felt the work of the committee was important and so elected to join. Sarah also is a member of the Leadership Team of UCSF Women In Tech, a member-led group for staff, faculty, trainees, and learners with a primary goal of helping women pursue and continue to develop careers in and around technology. Sarah’s support of her own team, as well as other division members, is notable. Sarah makes a point to reach out to new hires with her own welcome message – not as part of any organized buddy system, but just because she’s a warm person who has recognized the challenges of starting a new job in this largely remote environment, and is making an extra effort on her own to help people feel included.” Sarah was also lauded by colleagues for her efforts to advocate for equitable practices for research participants in dimensions such as transportation and childcare costs associated with their volunteerism in research. Sarah, thank you for your passion and actions that bring connection, diversity, and equity to all that you do in the Department of Medicine!  

Pat WirattigowitPat Wirattigowit is the Post Award Manager for the Department of Medicine in Central Administration on the Research Administration and Revenue Management team, making waves of positivity and productivity for all those with whom he interacts in his work. Pat has been nominated several times for a SPIRIT of DOM Award, in large part because of his tireless ability to offer help and support to faculty and staff colleagues alike, with a generosity that is quite inspiring to all. According to Jon Rueter, Director of Research Administration and Revenue Administration: “At least once a month I hear from someone writing to express thanks and gratitude for Pat’s help including PIs, Division Managers, both new and longstanding post-award analysts, which is unparalleled. He has also been our lead in helping support the development of the new BSR tool, Plus Faculty Portfolio, for the last two years. Other departments routinely reach out to Pat to ask if he can demonstrate this BSR tool for them and Pat is always gracious and tries to help. When we first began shelter in place, Pat asked to volunteer to help any RFAs who need backup because they needed to take COVID leave. Finally, Pat has gone above and beyond in his support related to UCPath. As soon as UCPath went live, Pat immediately began exploring and experimenting. Through his self-guided experimentation and analysis, he hit upon a better and simpler way of using the MCOP worksheet. In fact, his guidance and training at our DOM RFA meetings was significantly helpful, and aligned much more closely with the kinds of complex payroll situations our RFAs actually face. Pat also discovered a number of "bugs" or changes stemming from UCPath so we could escalate them to our central campus partners. He has really helped me understand the pain points our RFAs are experiencing so I can advocate for our department users. Pat has shared too many tips and tricks to count, and updated Excel templates each time the DPE report is updated to make certain kinds of analysis for our RFAs easier to manage. And Pat is happy to do it!” Congratulations, Pat, on your award and thank you for your generosity, talent, and vast contributions to easing the way for so many!