Appreciation for Carole Harwood's Many Contributions Over the Years

After 17 years of contributing to NEOMED, Carole Harwood will say farewell to the University as she looks ahead to retirement. Harwood has contributed to NEOMED’s growth and success in a variety of ways, most notably as the communications and development manager for the BeST Center, which promotes recovery and works to improve the lives of people with schizophrenia.

The Pulse spoke with several of Harwood’s current and former coworkers who have gotten to know her and how she has made a difference at NEOMED.

How has Carole Hardwood contributed to NEOMED’s success during her career?

Mark Munetz, M.D., retired Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Chair of Psychiatry:

Carole did a cover story about the BeST Center as it was just rolling out in 2009. When she talked to me about the BeST Center her enthusiasm was palpable. I remember her telling me that BeST was going to be one of the best things that NEOMED ever did. (Carole loves to play with words.) It was that enthusiasm that led her to join the BeST Center, leaving a secure position for a new, grant-funded adventure.  

Harry Sivec, Ph.D., senior managing consultant trainer for BeST Center:

Carole has always focused on the best outcome for a project, regardless how much time it might take for her to achieve it. She would definitely “go the extra mile” for her team. Her attention to detail, expertise in planning and working with others, added to her desire for quality events/programs led to so many successful BeST Center events. If Carole was working a project, I knew it would be done well.

Ruth Simera, M.Ed., executive director, Coordinating Centers of Excellence:

Carole ensured that the BeST Center got off to a strong start, including coordinating ribbon-cutting events for new partnership agencies that initiated evidence-based practices. She later led the Coordinating Centers of Excellence through rebranding and the creation of cross-center campaigns that assisted in tying the centers together under a broad mission.

What is her main role and how has she contributed to the Department of Psychiatry?

Dr. Munetz: Whatever her official job title might have been, Carole worked exceedingly hard to do anything and everything that needed to be done for the BeST Center and the Department overall to be successful. She raised funds, wrote grants, understood complex budgets, worked with partner organizations, organized and led a peer advisory committee for BeST and more. When there was something complicated that needed to be done and no one in a position to get it done, Carole never failed to step-up and help get it done. This included the spectacular, successful but sadly short-lived, MEDTAPP project. Only Carole could work with grants accounting to address the indirect cost formulae associated with MEDTAPP. Carole would remind us whenever she had the chance that she loved to “MEDTAPP.”  

There were numerous grants and gifts that would not have come to NEOMED without Carole’s heroic efforts.

Dr. Sivec: Carole has been the ultimate event planner for so many different programs and projects.

She almost single-handedly managed most of the early training projects for the BeST Center, especially the CBTp program. She was instrumental in helping us get many of our early external grants, including helping our agency partners manage the grants.

Simera: Carole was hired to lead the BeST Center’s communications and fund development strategies. She did that but also stepped in to fill gaps as needed, including managing portions of the grants received, particularly the financial portions. She never intended to be a “people manager,” but when asked to do so under the new structure of the Coordinating Centers of Excellence, she graciously agreed, and in true Carole fashion, did a superb job of it. She was well organized, thoughtful in her approach and a wonderful mentor and guide to the employees she supervised.

What do you enjoy about working with Carole Harwood?

Jami Brewer, program assistant, BeST Center: 

Her kindness and dedication to her work and colleagues.

Dr. Munetz: Carole was always positive and rarely if ever said no. The only nos I can remember were when I asked her to delegate something to someone else that she thought she could do better. She was usually right but put too much on herself.

Sandy Panovich, dissemination coordinator:

I enjoy Carole’s humor, stories and her diplomatic way of handling problems. She is definitely a public relations master of “damage control”!

Dixie Weisgarber, business manager:

Carole is always caring and professional. She is genuinely kind and I love that about her!

Simera: Carole is one of the most conscientious people I know. I trust her implicitly and relied on her without hesitation to represent me and the Centers. I love how thoughtful and thorough she is. She has a mind like a trap when it comes to remembering people and their stories and their preferences. Just amazing.  

Do you have any special memories or stories of Carol Harwood to share?

Brewer: When I first started working at the BeST Center, we shared office space together. This made it easier for me to get through the learning curve of our programs. It also was a great opportunity to get to know each other. She always asks about my kids and made me feel comfortable and welcome.

Dr. Munetz: Carole was incredibly committed to getting consumer input to the BeST Center. She worked tirelessly to hold regular meetings of individuals living with serious mental illness along with family advocates. At times relationships among the consumer group members were challenging, as they might be with any family. Carole somehow managed to steer her way through those relationships and keep the committee engaged and productive.  

Emily Ribnik, M.Ed., director, Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence:

One of my very first memories of Carol is from my first day of work in the Department of Psychiatry. I only knew a few people. She came over, and while the primary reason was to locate some MIA baskets, she stayed and spent time with me that first day. She welcomed me to the department. We also bonded over our love of cats – which continued to be conversations for months. She has always been available to talk with me when I have had questions. She has also been a support to provide insights from her years of experience, funny stories, and suggestions to help with my reflections on how I’m approaching something. She is a positive presence, even when situations were stressful – she found a joke and a laugh to keep it all grounded.

Weisgarber: Carole and I are both military brats. So, I loved bonding over this with Carole when I first started here.

What will you miss about working with Carole?

Brewer: I will miss her stories and spirit.

Dr. Munetz: Carole and I will both miss the continuing excellence of the work of our colleagues in Psychiatry at NEOMED. I don’t know how her big shoes in the department will be filled.

Panovich: I will miss Carole’s professionalism, passionate spirit and compassionate empathy. She will truly be missed!

Ribnik: I will miss hearing her laugh and her stories.

Weisgarber: I will miss Carole’s stories about her nieces and nephews. She always glows and transforms when talking about them. And I will miss her special voices for each person. She can always cheer me up or make me laugh! I will miss her laugh and her smile.

Dr. Sivec: I’ve always admired her kindness, quick wit, intelligence, integrity and dedication. She would add humor and fun to all of our projects. She would get to know those she worked with and always find a way to relate. She loved to share stories and experiences. She also enjoyed learning about different cultural traditions and languages. It was always a pleasant surprise to hear a friendly morning greeting in different languages. I will miss working with her.

Simera: Carole really “classes up” the place. I will miss her attention to the important little things, as well as her amazing professionalism.

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