In 2022, ORS continued to be the example of a results-oriented organization and a calming influence as COVID-19 persisted into a third year. ORS was the centerpiece of response efforts, ensuring the health and safety of our workforce, patients and visitors. Our cohesive Incident Management Team continued to facilitate pandemic response by providing and improving safe workforce conditions. We led these endeavors while simultaneously advancing an inspiring and ambitious 5-year strategic plan, promoting DEIA initiatives, supporting mental health and well-being for employees, and proactively forging connections at all NIH satellite campuses. The plan reevaluates and reimagines ORS programs and services, mapping out a vision for a new ORS and a new and rewarding future of work.
With the exponential increase in hybrid meeting demands, the audiovisual infrastructure required substantial upgrades to transition to this new future of work at NIH. We improved meeting flexibility, reliability and increased capacity for more simultaneous events, and positioned NIH as a leader in new hybrid technology. At the NIH level, ORS leadership had representation on every NIH Future of Work (FOW) subgroup, helping to map out the way NIH conducts business going forward.
For our own employees, ORS continued improving workforce conditions, encouraged confidential voicing of opinions, gathered data on awareness and educated on available services. We championed mental health, wellness and employee recognition though webinars, support groups, supervisory training and multiple fact-based Town Hall/All Hands meetings. ORS co-sponsored and executed “gratitude tours" with NIH leadership to celebrate various program areas exhausted from the COVID-19 response.
It goes without saying for another year, there has never been a more important time to celebrate public service at NIH than during COVID-19. ORS has been at the forefront, protecting the people and science at NIH, and I am grateful to our staff for their dedication and passion to the NIH mission.
Colleen A. McGowan, MHA, FACHE
Director, Office of Research Services