Team-Building at NEOMED

Why is there a pig on the wall inside the College of Medicine office suite?

Simple – it’s team-building! The goal is to create a teamwork triangle, which includes mutual trust and respect, results and communication. (Learn more about this philosophy.)

In June 2019, Theresa Donohue (administrative manager of the College of Medicine and Health Affairs) and Emily Murphy (director of Health Affairs) raised the idea of holding monthly team-building activities, coupled with a potluck lunch, for College of Medicine faculty and staff whose offices are in the suite. Eating meals together as a team not only has a positive impact on productivity and team dynamics. It also offers a chance for interaction with each other in a casual setting.

Recent activities have included:

  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark – A beach ball with multiple work-related questions was passed around among the group. This activity took place in the Campbell Atrium, where students, staff, and faculty wandered by and some, including Dr. Boltri, joined in.
  • Hawaiian Luau – A large pig (drawn by Emily Murphy) was filled with multiple work/institutional questions. Team members were blindfolded, spun around and asked to answer questions they touched on the pig.
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator Test – Team members took the well-established Myers Briggs personality test and discussed the results as a group. The team was able to gain a better understanding of one another and how best to communicate and work with team members.
  • “Last Meal” – Staff wrote their own epitaphs and shared them with team members.
  • “I appreciate you for…” – To celebrate Thanksgiving, team members wrote down why they were thankful for their team members, leaving their comments on decorative boards on each employee’s door.
  • Wellness through Poetry – The team learned about Haiku poetry and how to use it as a way to express feelings and decompress in times of stress.

The monthly team-building exercises were embraced by everyone involved, including Elisabeth Young, M.D. (’85), dean; Eugene Mowad, M.D., vice dean; Joseph Zarconi, M.D. ('81), senior associate dean of Health Affairs and professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine; and Anita Pokorny, assistant dean of students – each of whom led a session in 2019.

In  2020, other staff located in the College of Medicine suite  will have the opportunity to lead a team-building session – which  will, of course, include plenty of food!

If you have any questions or would like more information on the team-building activities, please contact Teri Donohue,, or Emily Murphy at

—Submitted by Theresa Donohue and Jennifer Lint, director of administration and communications, College of Medicine

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