Mandy Bates, VP of Human Resources for IU Health Physicians and interim VP of Human Resources for the adult academic health center.

Amanda (Mandy) Bates is passionate about helping physicians and health care providers avoid burnout and have the efficient tools they need to provide the best patient care possible.

In her role as vice president of human resources for IU Health Physicians, Bates brings a personal understanding to her role: She was once on the other side of the coin as a parent of a child with a serious health issue.

Bates was honored as the 2018 Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professional of the Year during a luncheon ceremony yesterday at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s 54th Annual Human Resources Conference & Expo.

Bates has been in her current position over nine years and has been with the organization for more than 25 years.

“Every day, I get to do something challenging and professionally fulfilling. I can make a difference in the lives of our physicians and team members and they can make a difference in the lives of our patients. I don’t have the privilege of getting to care for patients, but I think I can make a difference in making sure our physicians and team members are well taken care of,” Bates offers.

In nominating Bates for the award, Liz Dunlap, chief human resources officer for Indiana University Health, noted some of Bates’ accomplishments including: decreasing first-year turnover at IU Health Physicians by 9.1% (best in the health care system) through a focus on new training, 30- and 90-day reviews, engagement tips and more; instituting a medical assistant career ladder and certification program; and compiling a team to address physician burnout.

“Because of these efforts, Mandy has surpassed the qualifications for this award. She has not only shown her passion for her work, she lives it. Mandy is continuously trying to improve the work her team does and she finds a way to reach her goals each year,” Dunlap writes.

Bates’ passion for her work is informed by her experience as the parent of a seriously ill child.

“My oldest son has congenital heart defects and we had to get care at Riley. As a family member of a patient, what a treasure we have (in Riley) and they work miracles and he’s alive because of that. Health care – and IU Health in particular – is an industry and an organization that I believe in. I’ve been a recipient of amazing care. I’m here to pay it forward,” she maintains.

She also points to her team at IU Health Physicians as one of the reasons she’s been able to make sustainable changes in her role.

“I cannot accept this (award) as an individual. It’s within the broader team and colleagues at IU Health who do amazing things that make it work. I would have to give credit to the entire HR community at IU Health,” Bates maintains. “More than anything, I’m one person on a broader team that’s doing terrific work to make things better, so our physicians can come to work and do their best.”

Bates chairs the HR Leadership Council for the American Medical Group Association and serves on the Press Ganey HR Leadership Council and ProCourse Leadership Advisory Council. She is also an active volunteer in her community, with organizations that include the Client Choice Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul and she is a mentor for the Starfish Initiative, a program focused on college readiness for economically disadvantaged high school students.