Baye Diouf, Clinical Analyst with the Medical School’s Finance Department, is the 2019 recipient of the Neurosurgery Department’s annual Angie Balkcum Award. The award was announced during the January 24, 2019, Employee Appreciation Event held at McNamara Alumni Center on the U of M campus.

Making investments
“He accounts for department funds while always keeping his eyes on the human element,” said Department Head Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, about why Diouf won the award. “These funds aren’t just numbers to him. They are investments in residency education … investments in faculty growth. I appreciate his insights about inserting the human element into what is essentially number crunching.”

The award memorializes Balkcum, a long-term department employee who personified the principles of dedication, service, excellence, and good humor. As the recipient, Diouf will receive a monetary award and have his name engraved on a plaque displayed in the department.

Important work
“It made me feel proud,” he said. “The work the department does is so important. It comes down to the patients and the care we provide. It’s great to be part of that and it’s even better when someone recognizes you as the department’s employee of the year.”

Diouf has worked with the Neurosurgery Department since he joined the U in 2012. “I support the department’s strategic goals, providing most of the financial analysis, management and budgeting. I also help troubleshoot problems and get the department through situations that might have financial implications.”

When the former department administrator joined another Medical School department last year, Diouf stepped into that role from March until June. “It was important in my mind that someone be there until we found the right person,” he said. “It was something I needed to do and was willing to stay for as long as it took.”

Tremendous asset
New Department Administrator Larry Gunderson was immediately impressed by Diouf when he came on board. “Being new to the job, Baye has been a tremendous asset to me,” he said. “He has answered many questions and told me about the history and expertise of the department. His enthusiasm is inspiring.”

Winning the Angie Balkcum Award reminded Diouf about why he thinks the Neurosurgery Department is so important. “The department has a long history of resilience, and persevering through pressure and change,” he explained. “This recognition tells me that I need to build even more resilience and be on the lookout for the next thing. It is about the mission, supporting everyone in the face of increasing changes and growth.”