Meet The Cardinal Health™ Laboratory Excellence List 2019 Honorees

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LaTia Adams recently worked with Washington County Ambulance District (WCAD) to develop protocols for sepsis patients. Tia is working with WCAD to trend data that confirms EMS has the ability to draw cultures with a contamination rate equal to or less than that of the ER. This data has helped other hospitals in the region establish code sepsis protocols with local EMS agencies.

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Nancy Brunzel is a valuable resource for new professionals just starting their careers by providing them with a solid foundation. She makes suggestions for improvements to procedures and processes and has been instrumental in onboarding new testing within her facility to offer the best possible care to patients.

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Patient Care Achievement

Harry Bush works in the field with different labs to help them to incorporate new technology and instruments, manage inventory and aid in budgetary and administrative responsibilities. He dedicates his time to ensuring that staff are fully equipped to operate anything in the lab as well as quality patient care for those who need lab services. Harry also spends his free time advocating for and informing the public of the profession.

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Diane Davis has been an educator in addition to working in the laboratory at Peninsula Regional Medical Center for over 30 years. She sets a high standard of excellence for her students. She serves as a mentor, and many of her graduates continue coming to her for career advice long after they have graduated.

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Jennifer Dawson specializes in building and revamping quality programs for clinical labs, including Quality Management System development, and fostering a culture of quality. Recently, she has led ISO 15189 initiatives, has been a major supporter of and mentor for medical laboratory science students and was a key member of the team that built a national reference laboratory for Sonic Healthcare USA, one of the nation’s largest reference lab networks.

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Cost Savings Achievement

Rodil Delos Reyes is a LEAN specialist and focuses daily on hospital improvement in quality, service, people and cost. He built auto-verification for general lab and is in the process of validating a new ROM test that will incur savings of $10,000 annually. In addition, he streamlined the lab assistant training & competency program for 22 phlebotomists ensuring 100% compliance.

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Ken Donohoo worked with the pharmaceutical team to improve its antimicrobial stewardship program. As a result, from 2017 to 2018, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center was able to save over $22,000 in antibiotic costs alone; and eliminated the use of over 1,500 doses of unnecessary antibiotics by properly de-escalating and escalating antibiotic treatment on patients.

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Active in the state of Texas and at the national level, David Falleur contributes to the profession through continuing efforts to establish licensure in the state of Texas. His leadership and mentoring has helped build and nurture future leaders in the College of Health Professions, both across the state and throughout the medical laboratory profession.

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Advocacy Achievement

Rex F. Famitangco advocates for his profession and the patients that he serves in his community, both on a national level and across the globe. Rex played an instrumental role in the landmark agreements between ASCP and PAMET-Philippines. With his guidance and support, a memorandum of agreements has been signed to further enhance the membership benefits, reduce cost of membership and increase the educational opportunities of Filipino medical laboratory professionals.

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As the Hematology Teaching Specialist at UC Davis, Leslie Freeman saw a need for undergraduate Hematology courses and took on the task to create an undergraduate Hematology class with the UC Davis Extension online program. The monetary proceeds from this class are used for education within the Pathology Department at UC Davis Health.

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Brandy Greenhill has represented the profession as Chair of the Membership Committee at both the national and state level. Her program has achieved excellence in academic teaching, professional contributions and institutional service. Program success is evident in the 90% eight-year pass rate, 99% graduation rate and 92% job placement rate.

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Cindy Johnson has consistently advocated for the laboratory nationally through ASCLS and locally in Minnesota. She has advocated for workforce and reimbursement issues and has worked closely with her congressional representatives. She is active at the state and national level of ASCLS.

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Technology Achievement

Jeff Kulhavy keeps the UIHC Core Laboratory on the cutting edge of automation. His efforts have allowed UIHC to keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of sample volume and testing innovations while facing staffing challenges and financial pressures. Jeff is constantly on the lookout for ways to free up staff from doing the mundane, automatable tasks so they can perform the work the MLS staff are uniquely qualified to perform.

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Glen McDaniel has written extensively advocating for recognition of the MLS profession. He has spoken at national, state and local conferences on recognition for medical lab scientists. He also speaks frequently to students and public groups regarding leadership, ethics, resilience and MLS.

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Shirlyn McKenzie has taken the Department of Clinical Laboratory Science at UTHSC San Antonio from a small, single-focus Baccalaureate program to one that offers multiple undergraduate and graduate options and flexible degree plans for a variety of students who wish to enter medical laboratory disciplines. She is the former president of ASCLS and editor of four editions of the textbook Clinical Laboratory Hematology. In her roles as an educator, writer and professional leader, she has had an impact on thousands of students in the medical laboratory sciences.

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Quality Achievement

As Supervisor in Point of Care Testing at Duke, Christiane is a strong advocate of excellence in point of care testing for the safety of patients. She worked to standardize the PDC POC testing just before reaccreditation. She is a true advocate for the field, often returning to the program she graduated from to speak to students and encourage them in their journey.

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Kali Noreen works hard to find resolutions to problems and make improvement efforts. One such example was the receipt of specimens for which nurses or physicians had not released orders within the EMR. Her efforts helped reduce the error rate from 35% to 3% or less over recent months.

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Kristin Rathmann directs, coordinates, monitors and facilitates quality assurance activities and management in accordance with cellular therapy laboratory accreditation requirements and the FDA good tissue and manufacturing practices. She is dedicated to the continuous improvement of all issues related to quality and compliance.

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Rodney Rohde demonstrates excellence in teaching, scholarly and professional activities, and contributions in service. Under his leadership as Chair with the Texas State CLS Program, the program has grown. In this role, he also facilitated leading a faculty learning community in the globalization of curriculum, thereby impacting students’ understanding of these important issues.

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As the Laboratory Educator for the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Geraldine Shikora has made tangible improvements to improve Customer Survey scores. Through her efforts, positive scores in telephone courtesy improved over 20% and scores in several other areas improved dramatically as well. She also helps promote and achieve laboratory, hospital and health system initiatives.

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As liaison between Lab Leadership in the BJC Health System and the different Medical Director's Groups within that system, Cathy Storey stays focused and advocates for best laboratory practices. She mentors other laboratory leaders and gives valuable advice from her many years of service.

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Workflow Achievement

Since founding Toledo Clinical Laboratory (TCL) in Arecibo, Ilia Toledo has had a strong influence in shaping the healthcare landscape in Puerto Rico. In preparation for Hurricane Maria, the biggest hurricane in Puerto Rico's modern era, Ilia developed a successful strategic plan for business continuity by implementing a four-point sample collection system in order to maintain the healthcare service in hospitals, primary health centers and independent clinical laboratories. 

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In her service to the VA, Adele Warner works to put the needs of veterans first. In FY18, Adele performed 220 therapeutic phlebotomies within standard operating procedure that significantly improved the quality of life of our Veterans.

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Eugenio Zabaleta has been involved with multiple hospital quality initiatives, helping coordinate laboratory efforts with the medical staff and administration to achieve overall success. He implemented a clinical algorithm for Clostridium difficile infection which, in addition to improving patient care, has saved his hospital $1.5 million a year.