If an organization is looking for someone to promote the value of walking for one’s health, Randall Foster is your man.
Foster, the messenger for the Department of Neurology, walks an average five miles a day.
|Randall Foster is a man on the move — walking up to 10 miles on a busy day delivering charts, grants, contracts and more from the Sparks Building to The Kirklin Clinic. His dependability and timely work ethic are among the reasons he was selected as Employee of the Month for December.
“That’s one of the reasons I like my job — I get to get out and get a lot of exercise,” Foster says. “On a really busy day I probably walk 10 miles. I’m 51 and people always ask me how I stay in shape. It’s because I walk several miles a day, five days a week.”
Foster walks with a purpose. He hand-delivers papers, charts, grants, contracts — even spirometers when needed — walking from the Sparks Building to The Kirklin Clinic and other neurology offices throughout campus.
Foster has provided consistent, professional service to all members of neurology, and they rely on him daily to help keep the department running. He often is requested to make last-minute deliveries and move sensitive documents. Foster’s dependability, reliability, courteousness and consistent, timely work ethic make him an essential team member and UAB’s Employee of the Month for December.
“Randall is a major pillar in our structure,” says Karen Fields, administrative director of neurology. “He ensures that our charts arrive in clinic on time, that grants make it to central administration and that our human resources documents and other documents make it to the right places, avoiding timely and sometimes costly mistakes.”
Co-workers have plenty of stories of Foster’s willingness to do that which is needed when asked — even above and beyond his responsibilities.
“One particular instance that comes to mind is that of an NIH grant deadline in which we were down to the wire,” Fields says. “Randall stayed late going back and forth to the various entities that needed to sign off and then safely delivering it to Grants and Contracts. He did this like he handles all of his requests — with professionalism, dedication, and most important, a wonderful attitude. He never complains and always is quick to assist.”
Mary Ward, administrative associate in the neuromuscular division of neurology, says the department depends on Foster’s daily presence, dedication, knowledge and reliability to get the job done.
“Once you’ve given your package to Randall, you can breathe a sign of relief in the knowledge that if it can be done, he will do it,” Ward says. “He is more than a messenger or courier for those of us in busy physician offices. He is a right hand, strong arms and legs to accomplish what needs to be done and support those who count on him — without complaint, knowledgeably and with a smile.”
Co-workers say one reason Foster is so dependable is because of his attention to detail.
They say his mailroom is neat and well organized. Mailboxes are updated with correct labels and bins are well marked for employees to place mail and other documents.
“Randall also keeps a written record of who requests the delivery, the destination of the delivery and the date and time of delivery,” Foster says. “This comes in very handy for him and for all of us when he is asked about the specifics of a document’s delivery.”
Foster has two other talents his co-workers have relied on through the years — his singing and his ability to bake cakes.
Foster sings in a bluegrass band at his church in Springville each Sunday and has sung at co-workers’ weddings, parties, churches and funerals.
“I’ve been called here at work by people on campus I don’t even know and they’ll say, ‘We don’t have anybody to sing at this wedding or funeral and we heard about you. Can you come do it for us?’” Foster says. “My boss Karen Fields always has been really good about letting me do it, and I enjoy it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through the years, if there is something you’re called to do you should never turn it down unless you absolutely have to because you may never get asked again.”
And then there are the birthdays. The department celebrates employee birthdays one day each month and Foster often is asked to provide a cake for the gathering.
“They must like it,” he says. “I usually don’t get to take any home.”
If you know someone who should be Employee of the Month, nominate them; send letters of recommendation to Kelly Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.uab.edu/eotm.