UW Hospital and Clinics Mother of the Year: Two Kids, 80 Staff and a Rowing Team
Madison, Wisconsin - Christine Williams' day had not gotten off to a good start as she sat with her colleagues during this year's employee appreciation picnic.
Before leaving home for work, Williams had a trying morning because her children were not on their best behavior.
Yet, during the picnic, Williams, a transcription and record quality manager, would get the most pleasant surprise of her five-year career in a private conversation with Senior Vice President, Human Resources Janice Bultema.
She was named the UW Hospital and Clinics' Working Mother of the Year.
"This came at such a funny time, and it was one of those trying moments because my kids were battling me that morning," she said. "Every time I think about this, I get so overwhelmed. It is so important for me to be the best mom I can be. To be recognized was something I never put on my list of accomplishments."
UW Hospital and Clinics Again Named a Top 100 Company for Working Parents
For the sixth year in a row, UW Hospital and Clinics has been named by Working Mother magazine as one of the top 100 companies for working parents for innovative programs that help employees balance their careers with parenthood. Those include flexible hours, career training and advancement opportunities, tuition assistance, and Back-Up Care, which offers center-based or in-home back-up care for employees' loved ones—infants through elders.
Williams, a native of Westmont, Illinois and 2005 graduate of Illinois State University, worked three and a half years in record circulation and record quality before starting her current job in February 2011. Her husband Brian works a job on the third shift, so she sleeps while he works, and she is at work while he sleeps. Still, she is able to properly balance her career while raising her two children: four-year-old Warren and one-year-old Whitney.
"The challenge is outrageous to people who look at my life and say 'How do you get through everything?,'" said Williams. "I love my job. I enjoy what I do. I love my husband. I love my children, and I love accomplishing good things."
Encouraging Colleagues to Get Fit, Focus on Healthy Living
For example, she encouraged her staff of 80 workers to get involved in exercise and fitness activities after Williams gained 60 pounds when she had her son.
"Between my son and daughter, I worked with my staff to sign them up for 5Ks and 8Ks, Heart Walk and Crazylegs and align those events with my weight-loss goals and focus on healthier living," she said.
Williams said she was in the best shape of her life when she became pregnant with her daughter and decided to "enjoy every calorie" of her second pregnancy.
"I gained 100 pounds with my daughter, and my goal was to lose every pound before my daughter turned one and I did," she said. "I think everyone gained weight with me, and through the hospital's employee wellness program, we all enjoyed losing it together."
Williams also put together an award-winning rowing team with her colleagues.
"We have three paddles on the wall to represent all our victories," she said. "It's exciting to get to do this stuff with staff outside of work and be healthy."
Williams will be going to New York with her family to receive the Working Mother Award. She said her husband was surprised by the news as much as she was.
"He told me we don't have two kids at home, we have three, because I'm always packing his lunch for work or getting his clothes prepared," she said. "He said he was very happy and proud of me."
An "Amazing Support System" at Work
Yet, Williams said getting the award would not have been possible without her director, Jane Duckert, who has given her the freedom to stay home with her children when issues arise.
"She has been an amazing support system and has said to me, 'Christine, this can be done tomorrow. Go home and spend time with your kids,'" she said. "I am so appreciative for the flexibility and the guidance that UW Hospital and Clinics has given me. This organization has truly allowed me to be a better mother, because of the people that work here. The caliber of employees and management is truly outstanding."
Date Published: 09/18/2012