Robin Award

The 2024 Recipient of the Robin Tarter Award is Fran Picano.

The recipient of this year’s Robin Award, Fran Picano, serves the Michigan Medicine community from the minus 8 station in the UH cafeteria. As you know, Fran makes utterly delicious, deeply thoughtful meals that apply her Italian background and many years of experience in fine dining, hospitality, and food service. Her food is truly hand-crafted, made from scratch, wholesome, healthy, and prepared with love- something rare to find in the hospital setting and truly soul-enriching for residents who work long hours and may go days –or weeks– without a home-made meal.

Fran consistently goes far beyond the call of duty to ensure her food is truly the best it can be — she campaigned for proper equipment, for example, so that she can steam vegetables properly. Not only does Fran pour her love into quality of the meals she serves, she pours it into her interactions with all of her customers. She warmly greets us as we approach, asks us how we are, will chat about our day, thanks us for working hard, all the while asking us about our meal preferences and carefully packaging our meals so that they’re tastiest when we eat them. I have bonded with so many residents over our shared love for Fran — not just because she makes the best food, but because seeing her is often the brightest spot in the day. The energy and care she invests in us is far beyond what I have ever experienced in my work life, and truly a highlight of coming to work on the main campus every day. It is for her care and love, which is truly evident in every angle of her personality and work, that we offer our gratitude with the Robin award.

The Robin Tarter Award is given annually to someone who positively impacts the lives of House Officers — especially advocating for or advancing House Officer rights or wellness.

When deciding the award, the Board pays close attention to unrewarded or invisible work of Michigan Medicine staff that improves the lives of House Officers.