Lovida Roach was recently interviewed about her work with MLearning, her views on customer service, and balancing work and life while working full time and pursuing an MBA.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities.
I am a business systems analyst intermediate with HITS on the Learning Management team in the Education and Training division. I have a bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University and am currently enrolled in the MBA program at UM-Dearborn.
I hold customer service near my heart; I am driven to go above and beyond. Before HITS, I worked for Washtenaw County for 24 years, I started out in one department as a file clerk and continued moving up the ladder for 14 years. After having reached my ceiling in that department, I decided to seek an opportunity for a middle management position in a different department. I remained in that role for another 10 years.
I was initially hired as general support person for the Learning Management System known as MLearning, the system that manages employee training. However, my hunger for education and thirst to provide optimal customer service has allowed me to climb swiftly up the ladder and increase my expertise of MLearning. Some of my roles include: researching and analyzing learning management system data for various functions within Saba, the platform that powers MLearning; providing a second line of customer support for high-volume customers; and training (developing and creating videos, teaching facilitator/instructor/manager classes, one-on-one facilitator training).
My favorite part of my job is helping others achieve their learning and training objectives. I truly enjoy working with people, whether it’s an individual or a group. I’m proud to share my expertise and knowledge of MLearning. My work directly impacts thousands of employees and ensures that our patients receive the excellent care that people have come to expect at Michigan Medicine.
The work that I do has a direct impact on thousands of employees as they strive to complete their mandatory training within time constraints. And in turn, the “mandatories” as they are often called internally by staff, ensures our patient population receives the greatest care possible. I understand how projects are run and how to navigate difficulties within the workplace. Being the only facilitator trainer for Michigan Medicine, I am the go-to person in my division.
Do you have any examples of your MLearning work?
I am the U-M School of Nursing liaison and work with nurse specialists every week. I have been determined to keep customer service a mindful and preeminent priority. I work with Sheryl Woloskie, Educational Nurse Specialist (UMH Professional Development and Education), on a weekly basis to analyze MLearning training and data for the Michigan Medicine Inpatient Nursing and Assistive Personnel staff as a request from the Nursing Director of Professional Development and Education, Sharon Smith, and other senior leadership individuals, as a dedicated way to ensure their customer educational and training needs were met. In doing so, I have received recognition from Smith.
“Lovida is an incredible resource for us and makes what sometimes seems impossible, possible. The past several months she worked closely with our nurse specialists to get our M-Learning data straightened out—no small task in such a difficult system. Just yesterday, she attended a professional development and education nursing meeting to help us get out of ‘the post-enrollment business’ for CNO. We appreciate all that she does for us, she is an expert, a delight to work with—always calm, a great listener, and has a great sense of humor.”Sharon Smith, Director of Professional Development and Education for Nursing Services at the University of Michigan Health System
My team and I also created new opportunities for more efficient CNO operations, and it was a major challenge. Organizing all of the offerings with orientations of each topic and marking these individuals events as complete was time-consuming. As a team, we turned to another method to not create these offerings at all—which allowed a quicker uploading process and greater ease analyzing with MLearning data.
What was it like receiving the Impact Award?
Receiving the Education and Training Impact Award from David Sweetman, senior director of HITS Education and Training, was a great honor. The nursing training session of roughly 4,000 nurses was massive planning challenge. MLearning was used frequently for setting up demos, creating training packages, and online training before class attendance. Nurse educators created menus for staff—keeping the MLearning team distant from this process to give more ownership to those nurse educators to ensure correct assignments and/or completions for employees, allowing them to remain compliant with their required training. This work resulted in a 60% reduction in nursing-related incidents.
How do you balance working at HITS and pursuing an MBA at UM-Dearborn?
I’ve learned to manage my work-life-school balance—I know how much to take on. For example, I have taken breaks from school when I have been overwhelmed. Last summer, I took two classes, and realized it was too much for me to do that and excel at work.
I am really busy outside of work; I have an elderly mother that I help take care of and three adult children that I am involved with. School is intense, but I am committed to my schoolwork daily from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. When I leave work, it is time for me to maintain my school focus.
I started my MBA program over ten years ago, and am getting back to it. It’s a program that needs attention, and adding school to the top of priorities was difficult for me. I have decided to put on hold other passions in my life as I pursue my education. I feel pressure to do well, especially because I am older. My critical thinking skills are not as developed in the classroom as they used to be, but my life experiences help make up the difference.
Where did you find your love of working with people?
My favorite part of my work is helping others achieve their training objectives. I truly enjoy working with people, whether it’s one individual or a large group, and accomplishing goals together. I’ve always been customer focused—an innate quality in my family. I want to help people, and have been blessed to be in positions to help people. I have always been meant to do so!
I had always been interested in providing geriatric patient care when I first decided what my career path would entail. However, as I grew professionally, found myself more interested in business and law. As I was pursuing my educational goals to become a certified paralegal, I discovered that criminal law wasn’t a good fit for me, so I decided to pursue my education in business management. I utilized my degree for several years with Washtenaw County before retiring. That’s when I came to Michigan Medicine, and my first assignment included being part of a team with Marie Baldwin, who is now the director of HITS Learning, Design, and Delivery—when MiChart was going live. I loved the people and the work but my assignment was limited, so I was very happy when someone from another department requested to have me assigned to their group once my assignment with Marie ended, and I’ve been working here ever since.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My daughters grew up playing travel soccer, and it started my love of travel. Traveling alone allows me to practice self-care methods and escape from my busy life here at HITS.
I love to travel! I have been to Cancun (Mexico), Paris (France), Brazil, Jamaica, Saugatuck (Michigan), Boston (Massachusetts), Washington, D.C., and others! I really want to visit all 50 states (I’ve been to 32!), and really want to visit Switzerland.
How do you inspire others to be driven by your type of work?
I’m hoping that my actions resonate with people and they want to mirror what I do. I enjoy talking to people and can start a conversation with anybody. I hope to be an example that people want to emulate.