2017 ADR AWARDS - Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

 

2017 ADR AWARDS

 

 The Secretary of Vetrans Affairs
Alternative Dispute Resolution Awards

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Excellence Awards Program was established in April 2007. The Program emphasizes the importance of effectively managing conflict and resolving disputes, thereby saving time and resources. Below are the ADR award winners that were recognized on Thursday, September 28, 2017.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Excellence Awardees

 

Karen Maye, RD, Assistant Chief, Nutrition and Food Services, Battle Creek VA Medical Center

Category: Individual Effort by a Manager

Karen Maye, RD, Assistant Chief, Nutrition and Food Services, Battle Creek VA Medical Center

The Battle Creek VA Medical Center Clinical Nutrition staff provides comprehensive nutrition care to veterans and their families through a broad range of programs and services utilizing Medical Nutrition Therapy. In addition to her commitment to her job as a dietician, Karen Maye consistently assists in resolving complaints at the lowest possible level not only at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center but throughout VISN 10. There are a limited number of mediators at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center, making it difficult to utilize mediators for non-EEO related mediations, but Ms. Maye’s service to the Agency as a mediator saves the agency time and money. In FY16, Ms. Maye had a 75% resolution rate. Further, Ms. Maye has been innovative within her job by utilizing mediation techniques with staff members who may be experiencing workplace disputes. She consistently takes it upon herself to try and resolve workplace disputes in an effort to reach early resolution.

 

David G. Fagan, Office of General Counsel, District Contract Law National Practice Group, Portland, Oregon

Category: Individual Effort by An Office of General Counsel Employee

David G. Fagan, Office of General Counsel, District Contract Law National Practice Group, Portland, Oregon

Mr. David G. Fagan is assigned as litigation counsel on the District Contract Law National Practice Group litigation team. The team is a first of its kind team in the Office of General Counsel that focuses 100% on litigation with an eye towards building efficiency. Mr. Fagan volunteered to serve as litigation counsel despite the heavy workload in contract litigation and scant resources available. In his capacity as litigation counsel, David represented the VA in numerous ADR efforts related to complex and contentious litigation. Over the course of the past 12 months, David successfully settled six contract appeals with claims totaling nearly $4.5 million for a final settlement of approximately $1.5 million. The $3 million direct cost avoidance is even more impressive when the additional, indirect costs of litigation are considered. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals judges frequently serve as mediators in contract litigation. David’s efforts to settle cases have been lauded by the judges. There is no question that David’s yeoman work to bring resolution to litigation matters has saved time, money and resources for the Department.

 

Jeffrey Kager, Chief, Learning Resources Service 

Category: Individual Effort by an Employee

Jeffrey Kager, Chief, Learning Resources Services, Durham VA Medical Center

Mr. Kager is an outstanding employee with over 33 years of experience in VHA. He has also been a certified VA Mediator at the Durham VA Medical Center for over ten years. Several years ago, he was requested to assist the Salisbury VA Medical Center EEO Coordinator with a backlog of over 75 EEO and workplace dispute mediations. Mr. Kager performed over 60 of those mediations himself over an 18 month period. Mr. Kager has an 89% resolution rate for workplace disputes. He is always ready to assist with ADR work in VISN 6. Mediation evaluation forms indicate that he is engaging and has a very strong relationship with both the local bargaining unit and regional council. Mr. Kager is also VHA National AIB training faculty member and a member of the National VALNET Chief Librarian Mentoring program. All of Mr. Kager’s skills contribute to his being an outstanding mediator at the Durham, NC VA Medical Center.

 

John Jones, ADR Specialist, Office of Resolution Management

Category: Individual Effort by a Certified Neutral

John Jones, ADR Specialist, Office of Resolution Management, North Atlantic District II, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Mr. John Jones is a certified ORM Neutral and a certified master trainer. Mr. Jones furthered the Department’s mission and goals by promoting and utilizing ADR throughout the VA. He provided a weeklong EEO mediation training session to a new cadre of VISN 6 collateral duty mediators. Mr. Jones returned to conduct mediation with the newly-minted mediators and provide guidance as they gained practical experience. Mr. Jones effectively manages conflict and helps to resolve issues quickly and at the lowest level possible. He consistently provides support and offers a range of ADR services which includes mediation, coaching and facilitation. He mediates EEO cases and workplace dispute claims at multiple levels of complexity, regularly achieving resolution.

 

VA Northern Indiana Health Care System EEO/ADR Team, Fort Wayne/Marion, Indiana

Category: Individual Effort by a Workplace ADR Program

VA Northern Indiana Health Care System EEO/ADR Team, Fort Wayne/Marion, Indiana Members of the Team include Mr. Rodney O. Brown, Ms. Anaury Angeles, Mr. Kendrick Dixon, and Ms. Sonya Turner

Despite a highly demanding schedule as a result of the ongoing VISN consolidation, the EEO/ADR Team coordinated and hosted a VISN-wide Basic Mediation Skills Training. A total of 35 new mediators were trained. The training translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential savings for VISN 10 with the acquired conflict prevention and dispute resolution skills. In addition, the EEO Team serves as mentors to newly trained mediators as the team shares its skills and expertise. The EEO/ADR Team also traveled to different Community Based Outpatient Clinics to conduct face-to-face training on the ADR program and conflict resolution with the different staff managers and supervisors. Northern Indiana is proud of its accomplishments in the ADR arena, resulting in a $150,000 savings for the facility. The Northern Indiana EEO/ADR Team has the second fastest overall turnaround time in processing EEO related ADR requests in the VISN. The Team’s commitment to the program is admirable and contributes to the attainment of a model EEO and ADR program at the local and VISN level.