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2016 urEssential Finalists

Ms. Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson, MHA, LSSBB, CPHQ, DLM(ASCP)CMSLS, QLCCM, QIHCCM

Jennifer Dawson, MHA, LSSBB, CPHQ, DLM(ASCP)CMSLS, QLCCM, QIHCCM, is vice president of quality and regulatory affairs at Sonic Reference Laboratory in Austin, Texas. Ms. Dawson is passionate about quality and believes that clinical laboratory professionals must approach their work with a patient-centric mindset. To that end, Ms. Dawson frequently presents posters, speaks and authors articles in trade magazines and peer reviewed journals, actively advocating for laboratory quality and patient safety. She specializes in designing best practice Quality Management Systems from the ground up and revamping existing quality programs to meet ISO 15189 conformance and best practice guidelines. She has achieved executive buy-in with her current employer to deploy innovative practices, such as a quality onboarding program, Hippocratic Pledge for all lab staff, aggressive internal audit processes, and employee recognition programs focused on quality. Jennifer serves on the CLMA Board of Directors, the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee, the CLSI Expert Panel on Quality Management and General Practices, and the National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Board of Examiners, leveraging these platforms to further advocate for quality in the laboratory.

Dr. Anthony Carter, President of Sonic Laboratory wrote in her nomination, “Jenni has been decisive and effective in all roles in which she serves. She engages laboratory directors and staff, convincing them of the importance of their role in lab quality and patient safety. Her efforts have been measurable from a metric standpoint as the cost of poor quality dropped precipitously from $1.3 million to $200,000 in just over a year at a former organization. As you can probably tell from her CV, she is highly accomplished and is ahead of even those that have 20-years’ experience on her. She is exceptional, passionate and will continue to impact awareness of the importance of quality and patient safety in the clinical laboratory. Her leadership and presence are irreplaceable.”

Talking about the rewards of her career Ms. Dawson told us that “every day my job allows me to affect my community by impacting patient lives in a positive way. I cannot think of a more rewarding job than keeping people safe from harm…no matter what aspect of my job I am performing, I know that every one of these activities increases the level of quality and safety for our patients. No one can ask for anything more from their chosen career. I am thankful every day that this is my calling.”

Dr. Susan J. Beck

Susan J. Beck, PhD, MLS(ASCP) CM

Susan J. Beck, PhD, MLS(ASCP) CM, is professor and director of the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Beck has served as faculty to UNC since 1980 and teaches classes ranging from immunohematology, clinical laboratory analysis, transfusion medicine services, and transplantation medicine.

As Dorothy Bergeron, professor emerita and director for the clinical laboratory science program at UMass Dartmouth told us, “Dr. Beck has devoted her entire professional career to the preparation and training of qualified clinical laboratory scientists. The health care community and, by extension, the clients they serve depends on the results of laboratory tests when diagnosing and treating patient's diseases or ascertaining an individual's risk for future illnesses. Their decisions can only be as good as the results provided and the accuracy and reliability of those results depends, in large part, on the individual performing these tests. Dr. Beck is instrumental in producing those professionals capable of producing accurate and reliable testing.”

Ms. Lisa Cremeans, a colleague of Dr. Beck’s and one of her nominators, wrote “The community at UNC is very lucky to have Sue Beck as the CLS Division Director and as the Associate Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Allied Health Sciences. She has served on numerous committees, both campus-wide and within the UNC School of Medicine. She is respected by the entire faculty. Sue is essential to the broader community in that she participates in opportunities to reach out to laboratory professionals working in small communities by giving North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) presentations for continuing education. Over the years she has also given numerous presentations at local and national meetings, written books and book chapters, and authored or co-authored over 25 journal articles that related to education, immunohematology practices, and the laboratory profession. Her contributions to the profession have both directly and indirectly made a positive impact on the lives of patients in the community.”