Oct 29, 2021 9:00 AM

Read time: 3 minutes


Award participants during zoom call

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is proud to recognize Denna Collier, Deni Morrison, and Dalton Wilson as 2021 University of Utah Staff Excellence Awards​ recipients. This prestigious award recognizes superior service and ongoing contributions by full-time staff.

Normally the recipients of the Staff Excellence Awards are honored at a luncheon. However, this was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of the luncheon, HCI CEO Mary Beckerle, PhD, visited with Denna, Dalton, and Deni on Zoom to congratulate and celebrate them.

Read more about each of these award recipients and why they were nominated.

Denna Collier, Nurse Manager

Denna has been a University of Utah (U of U) employee for almost 20 years. Denna’s current role is nurse manager at HCI’s infusion center at the South Jordan Health Center. There, she started a COVID-19 antibody inpatient area to avoid exposure in the hospital.

“I was put in charge of the COVID-19 antibody plan and by the next week we were able to see our first patient,” Denna says. “Everyone pulled in the same direction and it was great to see the team come together.”

“Denna cares about her team, maintains an open-door policy, and often consults with them to improve the department,” say nominators Amy Horyna, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C; Laurie Coleman, MSW, LCSW; and Stephen Burgener, RN. “In addition to her manager responsibilities, she took it upon herself to care for COVID patients while maintaining a busy infusion center. We appreciate her example and willingness to serve patients and her team!”

Deni Morrison, Grants and Contracts Manager

Deni’s job focuses on research grants. It is an ever-changing and challenging position and her work supports efforts that help HCI maintain its Comprehensive Cancer Center designation—the most prestigious title given out by the National Cancer Institute.

“Even though I play a small part, it means so much to be involved with such a talented group,” Deni says. “I love the people and I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of the position. I like getting satisfaction from achieving a resolution to a problem.”

“Deni Morrison is one of those employees that every manager hopes to find,” says Kris Frisby, associate director of research administration, who nominated Deni. “To say that she is a team player is an understatement. Faculty request to have Deni manage their grants because they know the level of efficiency and accuracy she brings to her work. She is a constant example of HCI’s principle of ‘excellence in all we do.’”

Dalton Wilson, Business Data Analyst

Dalton is a senior business data analyst for clinical trial operations and has worked at HCI for five years. He started at HCI in the Research Informatics department under the Total Cancer Care project and now oversees all the software being used at HCI, as well as the requests for grants and internal reporting.

“I love being part of the behind-the-scenes work and making sure everyone has what they need to succeed,” Dalton says. “I strive to make people’s lives easier.”

Jessica Moehle, director of operations for the Clinical Trials Office, nominated Dalton.

“We rely on Dalton’s expertise and appreciate his dedication to provide thorough comments and ideas as we move through a critical project for the entire university’s research initiatives,” she says. “He is very knowledgeable about the needs of our researchers. Dalton strives to improve at every level. He is passionate about the quality of his work and ensuring that he is doing better than he did the day before.”

hci proud

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