Meet The Cardinal Health™ Laboratory Excellence List 2020 Honorees


Jacque Barnes, MT(ASCP) worked at the Cedar County Hospital from 1975-1991 as the lab supervisor. In 1992, she received her teaching certificate in Science and taught at Dadeville for nineteen years. She returned to the laboratory at Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) in 2011 as a Point of Care Coordinator, serving as a technical consultant over clinics labs and training of new hires and nursing orientation on point of care analyzers to include the EMS system and Long-Term Care facilities in the CMH organization. Many of Jacque's previous students are now in the medical field ranging from physician to nurses. Five of her previous students are now employed with CMH. Jacque is truly an asset to the laboratory profession!


Jessye pulls quality improvement reports each month for each test her lab manages. These reports have a wealth of information for the Nurse Managers on how they compare to other locations performing the same tests. She provides information to them on how to correct trends she is seeing, and she will schedule additional training if needed. She reviews the data and will ask if she can add another quality improvement measure if she sees a new trend. She has received numerous positive comments from those receiving the records about the information she is providing.  Her extra effort has led to improvements across the board!


A true expert and lover of chemistry, Sharon Denard is an outstanding core lab chemistry supervisor. Sharon mentors new employees and is willing to help at any time of day. She has been instrumental in building and teaching Middleware so that it cues the staff for potential errors or specimen. She has also built in auto-verification into the Middleware and has reduced the number of specimens that her lab looks at to a 92% auto-verified. Sharon's tools that she uses to document all the items of compliance with the CAP standards makes it easy for an inspector to see that her chemistry area runs flawlessly, and results are excellent.


Theresa has a passion for laboratory medicine which is evident in her work at St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY and her teaching as an adjunct professor at SUNY Orange in Middletown, NY.
Theresa lives by the mantra "work smarter, not harder." She has worked diligently to procure capital to update equipment, replace out-of-date technologies, and bring the laboratories fully into the 21st century! She has examined workflow applying LEAN principals, six sigma elements to eliminate non-value-added steps and allows technologists to focus on the critical work at hand.  Automation, investment in software/middle-ware to assist in rules based decision making on reflexive testing, re-evaluating critical thresholds and paring down critical call lists, overhauling her chemistry quality control program, and driving the laboratory into a "paperless" culture have all been huge changes that Theresa has made over her relatively short tenure at St. John’s. The resulting improvement in quality and decrease in turnaround time is evident in all areas of her laboratory. She is an outstanding asset to the hospital and to the Medical Technology community.


Lisa is a Laboratory Director who leads by example. She strives to make a difference to ensure Corona Regional Medical Center patients are safe. Over the past year she has worked together with nursing to ensure everyone collected the "right patient, right time and the right way." The compliance numbers ranged in the low 50% in January 2019, and by the end of the year, the hospital compliance was 95%. Lisa’s responsibility is to ensure her team will result the patient's test as quickly and as accurately as possible. She has been observed drawing patients, pushing beds and working the bench. By doing this she has created a positive work culture.  
The CRMC team helped to decrease the C.Diff number from 28 to 13 from 2018 to 2019. The lab played an integral role in a new process improvement plan by decreasing the C.Diff number and ultimately decreasing hospital infections. Lisa is always looking to elevate the ability to identify patient diseases earlier. Lisa demonstrates patient safety by how committed she is to providing quality care for everyone.  



Efficiency Category Winner

Brandy Gunsolus, DCLS, MLS(ASCP) is the Pathology Utilization Manager, Director of Specimen Referral, Special Testing Laboratory Manager, Toxicology Laboratory Manager, and Physician/Laboratory Liaison at Augusta University Medical Center (AUMC). Brandy was the first DCLS to graduate in the US. She leads teams toward quality improvement within laboratory service delivery. Her endeavors resulted in a positive impact on quality utilization of laboratory services, increased efficiency, improved the quality of patient care, and optimized test offerings, restructured billing for all pathology services increasing both revenues and savings by a combined $12 million.
Highlights of Brandy’s quality projects include: the development of a system-wide pathology utilization improvement program, the development of DCLS consultative service providing 24/7 phone, email, and secure messaging clinical laboratory consultation to all health system clinicians, and collaboration with a multi-disciplinary Clinical Review Team to conduct root cause analysis of unexpected patient deaths and severe patient safety issues.


Ashley Henry is a role model in the clinical blood bank laboratory. She trained team members in the blood bank of a level 1 trauma center, always following protocols and keeping patient safety at the forefront. She continues to make a difference overseeing the daily operations of molecular and microbiology laboratories, ensuring that quality control is performed and adequately documented. Ashley remains educated on the requirements set forth by accrediting agencies to ensure the lab is performing testing to the highest quality in order to provide the best patient care.
Outside of her role as a departmental supervisor, Ashley is invested in the development of future laboratory scientists. She has served as an interviewer during mock interviews with the students in the UAMS Department of Laboratory Sciences (DLS) and volunteered to serve as a judge for senior student research project presentations.


Debra Hoskins improved the microbiology ordering system to decrease supply, time, and expenses. She analyzed previous storage methods and created organization and structure so that supplies are kept in the correct areas and near the bench that uses them. Additionally, she created Kanban cards to identify each product item, the minimum and maximum quantities and quantities needed on hand.   
Microbiology is better organized since Deb began this process. Her great work has inspired our clinical laboratory department and we now have a lean team, on which Deb has an important role.


In 2016, Nejra began as a histotechnologist and laboratory assistant working with specimens infected with high-consequence viral pathogens.  
Some of her significant accomplishments include: implementing safer procedures to reduce potential hazardous chemical exposure associated with a specific method for treatment of bone specimen samples, and learning to develop the proper techniques for performing complex in situ hybridization assays for detection and quantification of viral RNA in tissue samples. Additionally, she has become exceptional at colorizing transmission electron photomicrograph images of viruses.
Nejra’s remarkable growth during her time at her research facility are impressive and have earned her well-deserved praise for her consistently fantastic execution of her job duties and exceptional work ethic. She has the drive and commitment required to take on new and more complex duties, and consistently goes above and beyond performing her responsibilities each day.


As the Point-of-Care Manager at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, Sylvia Lowery has vastly improved the proficiency testing and training programs. She strives for excellence every day and does her utmost to preserve patient safety. Sylvia is constantly updating procedures, leading trainings, and advocating for best practices.


Tammy has been tasked with lowering contamination of blood culture specimens. She trains phlebotomists and assists with nursing education on the appropriate way to collect specimens. She monitors the contamination rates for the lab, as well as the entire hospital. She rewards her co-workers with sweet treats and recognizes improvements. She re-trains all that seem to be lagging. Blood culture contamination is very expensive, time consuming and bad for patient care. Her lab's goal is less than 2% and with Tammy it often hits its goal. Her lab recently won its internal "Quality Cup" award for progress last quarter.


Gladys (Hap) Morrissey is continually using evidence-based medicine to move the Trauma 1 level Laboratory into future projects. Hap has moved at a rapid pace in the last few years to accommodate exponential growth, while maintaining excellent quality standards. Her leadership and hard work ethic are well recognized and respected by her colleagues. She is a LIS wizard and always steps up for many laboratorians to deliver patient care.


Patient Safety Category Winner

The staff was two people and he was the all-round technician. Today the staff directly comprises of sixty people with highly qualified personnel heading each section of the lab. The lab received ISO 15189 accreditation 2008, in all disciplines except microbiology from IQMH in Canada.
He introduced some low volume tests, knowing that there would be no profit, like procalcitonin, allergy panels, hepcidin, fecal calprotectin, phospholipase A2 receptor and cyclosporine and tacrolimus for the benefit of the national renal transplant unit in Trinidad. He continued and established PCR testing Lab which attained ISO 15189 accreditation for all the tests offered. His lab maintains the highest possible standard and he still insists that the patient is the most important person in his organization.


Advocacy Category Winner

Annette is a seasoned Medical Technologist, who leads with a servant’s heart and empowers each team member to feel ownership of the lab. Over this year, she created a Wednesday huddle used for team building games, discussion topics, and individual spotlights in which the staff learns about each team member's lab journey that brought them here. She broke the concept of shift against shift and made her lab a team. Her efforts resulted in deeper connections and relationships centered on teamwork and respect.
She has been recognized as the Labortorian of the Year for her hospital system and deserves to be recognized as the category winner for advocacy because of how she advocates for team members to feel confident, lab results to be of the highest quality, and for patients to receive the best care.


A Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Commissioned Corp, Ryan has served years as a bench tech, and was recently promoted to supervisor overseeing all operations of a highly successful JACHO-accredited day medical facility. In addition to supervisor duties, he also serves as the infection control officer utilizing his degree in microbiology. His dedication and expertise have proven to be the gold standard for the entire operation of the medical facility, earning the respect and confidence of all who he oversees and from colleagues alike.


Rose is the clinical lab scientist department leader for the blood bank and hematology/hemostasis departments at her facility. She modernized these departments by reflecting several best-practice recommendations resulting in improved quality, safety, efficiency and cost savings.
Highlights of her achievements include: reducing manual microscope review rates by 600 man-hours annually, implementing automation and streamlining blood bank typing, screening, crossmatch (reducing unnecessary and redundant work by 80 man-hours annually), and improving blood utilization initiatives. Between 2018 and 2019, her hospital ranked #5 overall in Tenet Health for blood utilization cost per case; and #3 for all trauma-qualifying hospitals.
Rose is retiring this year after 40+ years of service, and is going out with a bang!  She revolutionized outdated blood bank and hematology departments. Her legacy will live on and her blood bank and hematology departments will be in a good position for many more years!