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2007 Laurita Thomas Diversity Champion Award Winners

Gerald HoffName: Gerald Hoff

Position/Department: Insurance verification representative, Registration and Insurance Verification

Years Employed at UMHS: 13

What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is an acceptance that is free of barriers, an acceptance that is free of fears, an acceptance that not only embraces our differences but holds them with value. It’s remembering the struggles of our past and the sacrifices of many that brought us up to this day. It's the realization of the consequences when we all don't share the same rights and opportunities. It's knowing that if we share respect and appreciation for one another we will achieve success.

How do you demonstrate your commitment to diversity at work?
My current role as a diversity representative is to spread awareness and to educate staff using various methods. I am also co-developing a department-wide diversity survey along with annual mandatories for all staff within our department. One of the educational tools I use is the Diversity Quizlette, a monthly quiz I send to the entire department.

Other activities include:

What drives you to make this effort toward embracing our differences?
My mother, Gloria Hoff, is my number one role model. Her lesson on the importance of doing for others stands out in my mind; she was always there to help someone in need. She was active in raising funds for the American Cancer Society, and, if she wasn’t telling you the importance of doing for others, she was teaching you by the way she lived every day of her life.

 My second role model is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. If you can just follow a few of his lessons, you will contribute to society and reach out to your fellow man and cherish our differences. He was such a gift to us all. I know that I'm not alone when I say he has influenced many of us and will continue to do so as time goes on.

What others are saying about Gerald:
“Gerald is a role model for what drive, commitment and passion look like when incorporated into living life on a daily basis. We are lucky to have him as a team member in the department of Outpatient Registration and Insurance Verification, the division of Hospital Finance, the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan community as a whole.” - Mary Anne Ryan, Director, Outpatient Registration and Insurance Verification