Dr. Lisa (Schlater) Ziemnik is the recipient of the 2019 Young Alumni Achievement Award, presented Thursday as part of the Beyond the Berg event to welcome this year’s graduating seniors into the alumni family.
Presented for the first time at Beyond the Berg, the award recognizes a recent graduate between their 5th and 20th class reunions who has demonstrated leadership abilities and achieved distinction in his/her respective field of employment and/or service to humankind.
Lisa, who graduated in 1999, is a pediatrician in the Dayton area who, early in her career, developed a systematic way to help children and families manage mental health challenges. She was later asked to collaborate with the Prevent Blindness organization to improve preschool vision screening, a project that impacted 35,000 preschoolers throughout the state.
For her latest project, Lisa moved from private practice to a new position as the medical director of the new Dayton Children’s Urgent Care. She set up, trained and oversaw the implementation of this new concept in pediatric care called Kids Express. Kids Express is staffed by nurse practitioners who focus on quality pediatric care in close coordination with local pediatricians.
In its first four months, Kids Express is already making inroads in decreasing the use of the ER for simple conditions and providing easier access to care for parents and families.
In presenting the award, Alumni Council President and Trustee Chad Breeden, ’88, said, “Lisa, we are so proud of you and I know that your achievements will inspire the soon-to-be Heidelberg alumni.”
Accepting the award, Lisa thanked her husband, Dave, ’98, for nominating her. She had some words of advice for the Class of ’19. “All of the relationships you built at Heidelberg will never leave you,” she said. “You never know when your paths will cross.”
‘Berg students are prepared to be excellent co-workers. “Soon, you’re going to walk into an office, communicate with your co-workers, share ideas, ask questions. You’re used to already doing that. Your professors have prepared you well, so it’s not going to be intimidating.”
She encouraged the grads-to-be to jump on every opportunity presented to them “and grow with it.”
“Ten years from now, you might be up here where I’m at right now,” she said.
Chad gave the students “a long-term homework assignment”: Keep Heidelberg posted about what’s happening in their lives and careers. As alumni, they’ll have access to a network of thousands of other alumni across the nation. “That network will play a great role in your life,” he added.
Finally, he offered one piece of advice for graduation day. “Show some love to your mom and dad. This will be just as emotional for them as it is for you.”
At Beyond the Berg, the seniors had their first opportunity to give back to Heidelberg with a gift of $20.19 in honor of their class year or to make a $50 gift to become a Young Alumni Fellow.
The event was co-sponsored by the Student Alumni Association, the Alumni Council and the Office of Alumni Engagement.