Dean’s UCare Hero Award Given at Holiday Breakfast

When Raisa Gonzalez, executive assistant to Eduardo Alfonso, M.D., saw her boss arrive at the holiday breakfast for executive assistants on Thursday morning, she immediately thought she had made a mistake. She mentally scanned his schedule to determine if she had double-booked him. She soon learned that she was wrong, which doesn’t happen often to Gonzalez. Alfonso, professor and chair of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, had scheduled himself to be present as she was given the “Dean’s UCare Hero Award” for this year’s most outstanding executive assistant.

This was the second year for the annual award and breakfast, hosted by Magaly Robitaille, deputy chief of staff to Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School. Robitaille told the dozens of executive assistants who represented departments from across the medical campus that the Dean recognizes their important role in the leadership and success of the medical school.

“This breakfast is in your honor,” said Robitaille. She echoed Dean Goldschmidt’s sentiment that “we could not succeed without your support and know you give more than 100 percent.”

January will mark 17 years that Gonzalez has been at UM, making her what Robitaille describes as “our go-to person.” She has been the assistant to five of the last six chairs of ophthalmology. Alfonso told the guests that Gonzalez was an incredible resource and praised her for her loyalty to the institution. “Raisa has been tremendous with everyone. Thank you for everything you’ve done.”

Accepting the crystal award, Gonzalez said she was “humbled and honored to be recognized by the University. I feel blessed to be here.”

The two other finalists were Mabel Luis, of the Diabetes Research Institute, and Alicia Reyes, of Radiation Oncology.

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