Recognize Someone: Rewards and Recognition Programs

UI Health Care Vision: World Class People—Fostering a culture of excellence that values, engages, and enables our workforce

UI Health Care is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment that nurtures excellence. In doing so, UI Health Care Human Resources offers many opportunities to recognize individuals, develop careers, and celebrate achievements.

Award categories:

Recognition Tools

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  • Send an e-card or create a certificate to recognize someone’s work or encourage effort:
  • OC Tanner offers a variety services, articles, recognition research, and creative ways of recognizing employees. Visit


  • Making a Difference
    • Focus: To support the special efforts that makes a difference to our patients, their families, our co-workers, and the public we serve, reflecting our commitment to innovative care, excellent service, and exceptional outcomes
    • Initiator: All UI Health Care Faculty, staff, or volunteers
    • Eligible recipient: All UI Health Care faculty, staff, and volunteers
    • Timing: Ongoing
    • Online nomination – Making a Difference nomination form
  • Service Star Award for Service Excellence
    • Focus: Nominate a UI Health Care staff member for going the extra inch beyond one or more of our 8 Key Behaviors, for a patient, family, or colleague.
    • Initiator: All UI Health Care faculty, staff, or volunteers
    • Eligible recipients: All UI Health Care faculty, staff, or volunteers
    • Timing: Ongoing
    • Service Star online nomination form or use the nomination cards found throughout the hospital
  • Improving Our Workplace Award
    • Focus: To recognize individuals and teams whose efforts demonstrate three of four: initiative, innovation, measurable results, sustaining impact
    • Initiator: Any UI faculty, staff, or student may nominate—supervisor or team sponsor signature is needed
    • Eligible recipient: Individuals or teams at unit, department, interdepartmental, or campus levels
    • Timing: Two nomination periods, deadlines Nov. 1 or March 15
    • Online nomination
  • Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award
    • Focus: Recognizes staff members in conjunction with other Board of Regents institutions whose accomplishments have significantly benefited the university, brought honor or recognition to the university, and had a significant positive impact on the state of Iowa
    • Initiator: Any member of the UI (faculty, staff, or student) may submit nominations
    • Eligible recipient: Merit Supervisory Exempt/Confidential or Professional and Scientific
    • Timing: Awards nomination window (April–May)
    • Online nomination
  • UI Outstanding Staff Award
    • Focus: Recognizes current UI staff who have made outstanding accomplishments and contributions that significantly benefitted or brought honor or recognition to the UI
    • Initiator: Any member of the UI (faculty, staff, or student) may submit nominations
    • Eligible recipient: permanent full-time and part-time (50 percent or more) Merit, Merit Supervisory Exempt/Confidential, and Professional and Scientific staff
    • Timing: Awards nomination window (April–May)
    • Online nomination
  • David J. Skorton Staff Excellence Award in Service to the UI
    • Focus: The David J. Skorton Staff Excellence Award for Public Service is given annually to individuals who have made significant contributions and have shown “exceptional imagination and dedication to improving the university community.” Service must include activities of high quality in staff governance, committee work, policy improvement, program creation, etc., and must be outside normal job responsibilities.
    • Initiator: Any member of the UI (faculty, staff, or student) may submit nominations
    • Eligible recipient: Merit Supervisory Exempt/Confidential or Professional and Scientific
    • Timing: Awards nomination window (April–May)
    • Online nomination


Career Development

  • Certification Recognition for Tertiary Health Bargaining Unit Staff
    • Focus: Compensation ($500) for obtaining and maintaining a position related certification
    • Initiator: Applicant
    • Eligible recipient: SEIU staff members only
    • Timing: Annual
    • Procedure: Submit application form, obtain management/supervisory approval. Form should be forwarded to departmental HR to be attached to a workflow voucher.
    • Visit The Point: Human Resources, UI Health Care, Rewards and Recognition
  • Professional Development Award
    • Focus: Awardees may use the award to cover the fee for Learning & Development courses
    • Initiator: Applicant
    • Eligible recipients: Staff members employed in a regular appointment, 50 percent or greater
    • Timing: Spring and Fall Semesters
    • Procedure: Staff members receive an email notification; submit a completed award application to UI Learning & Development. Awards are selected through a lottery drawing. Only one application per person.
    • Visit or email
  • Tuition Reimbursement
    • Focus: Allows eligible faculty and staff to apply for financial assistance to help defray the cost of tuition for one college credit course–can be applied toward a relevant degree, certification, or training relevant to staff member’s UI Health Care position.
    • Initiator: Applicant
    • Eligible recipient: P&S, SEIU, Merit Exempt and confidential paid by UI Health Care (50 percent or greater appointment). Must be employed for one continuous year by deadline.
    • Timing: Semester
    • Procedure: Electronic application through Employee Self Service prior to application deadline (Personal > Learning and Development > Tuition Assistance Application). Application routes via workflow to supervisor, approval required prior to supervisor deadline.
    • Visit: Tuition Reimbursement


  • Milestone Achievement Program
    • Focus: Years of continuous service at the University of Iowa; recognition gifts given at each 5-year milestone
    • Initiator: UI Health Care Human Resources
    • Eligible recipient: All UI Health Care faculty and staff (50 percent or greater) who are in a continuous permanent position
    • Timing: Monthly
    • Procedure: Department receives and presents award to employee
  • Retirement


  • Staff Appreciation Grants
    • Focus: Funding provided to units during the fiscal year for use toward appreciation/recognition efforts in their specific area.
    • Initiator: Department (HR rep or supervisor)
    • Eligible recipient: All faculty and staff
    • Timing: One per fiscal year
    • Procedure: Must submit a written recognition program and an approximate budget noting how the funds will be used. Maximum request is $300 per application, totaling less than $10/person.
    • Staff Appreciation Grant
  • Wellness Grants
    • Focus: Providing grant funds directly to departments for activities that promote physical and emotional health and well-being
    • Initiator: UI employee
    • Eligible recipient: All faculty and staff
    • Timing: Once per fiscal year
    • Must submit Wellness Grant Application and follow guidelines. Maximum request is $500 per application, totaling $10/person.

Department awards

  • DAISY Award
    • Focus: Rewards and celebrates extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by a nurse
    • Initiator: Patients, visitors, faculty/staff, or volunteers
    • Eligible recipients: Nursing staff only
    • Timing: Monthly
    • Paper nomination form is submitted to Central Nursing Office and the Retention Committee selects a winner, DAISY Award nomination form
  • PHIL (Pulmonary Health and Illnesses of the Lung) Award for respiratory therapists
    • Focus: Recognizes excellence in respiratory therapy for outstanding care, treatment, professional excellence, and compassion with a patient and/or family dealing with pulmonary illness
    • Initiator: Patients, visitors, faculty, or staff
    • Eligible recipients: Respiratory therapists
    • Timing: Annual
    • PHIL Award nomination form
  • ROSIE Award
    • Focus: Recognizing social workers
    • Initiator: Patients, visitors, faculty, and staff
    • Eligible: Social workers
    • Timing: Monthly
    • Nominations are submitted to Social, Patient, and Family Services for the “Social Worker of the Month.” ROSIE Award nomination form.
  • Helping Hands
    • Focus: An award program for Merit Staff involved in direct patient care who are excelling in their roles to provide exceptional patient care and interactions
    • Initiator: Patients, families, visitors, UI Health Care staff members
    • Eligible: Merit Staff who perform direct patient care
    • Timing: Monthly
    • Document holders are around units with nomination forms. Nominations are sent to Nursing Recruitment. A committee decides who should be awarded each month. Presentations are given on the unit, as well as cookies and fruit. Helping Hands nomination form.