Mayo Clinic Labs @ Work
Thousands of people in hundreds of different roles work at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Mayo Clinic Labs @Work offers a glimpse behind the scenes into this busy reference laboratory, featuring staff from throughout the organization talking about what they do and why they do it.
I started with Mayo Clinic Labs in 2016 as a regional service representative covering Illinois and Missouri. In November 2019, I accepted my current position as a field service manager for the west team of client-site specimen processors. We have a team of about 15 people right now.
I’m based out of Chicago, and I worked for several health care systems throughout the Chicago area before coming to Mayo Clinic Laboratories. I had a family member who received care at Mayo years ago, and through that experience I saw what Mayo Clinic was all about — especially the high-quality care and excellent customer service — never imagining I’d have the opportunity to someday work for Mayo Clinic.
I worked closely with one of the Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ field service sales team members when I was at another organization. When a position opened in my area, I interviewed and was able to fulfill a dream I never thought possible: to work for the best health care system in the country.
It’s extremely different every day. The days I’m working at my home office, I spend a lot of my time interviewing, recruiting, and hiring new employees throughout the country. When the sales team is able to include an on-site processor for one of our clients in a new contract, I recruit from that area to hire a high-quality individual who will work at their hospital, processing and preparing all the specimens that will be transported to Mayo Clinic Laboratories for testing.
If I’m not in my office, I’m traveling throughout the country, touching base with staff and building relationships with our clients. I cover Illinois, down south to Georgia, over to the West Coast of Oregon and Washington, and up north to Minnesota. It’s about three-quarters of the U.S. in terms of geography. It’s set up that way because my colleague who covers the east territory has a much higher concentration of clients in a smaller geographic area.
Mayo Clinic is known and respected throughout the world as a leader in high-quality health care. As manager to a work unit that’s employed by Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester, Minnesota, but who are placed individually around the country, it’s important for me to build and lead a team that can work independently and produce accurate, high-quality work, so health care providers can confidently care for their patients based on the test results they receive from Mayo Clinic Laboratories.
I think most people are unaware that our team even exists, and that we have people working remotely all over the country. It’s really important to have these people that work independently on a day-to-day basis at the client site. They have a demanding dual role with a lot of responsibility to be a Mayo Clinic employee who works seamlessly with an on-site laboratory that is not Mayo Clinic’s, but rather belongs to our clients. By having Mayo processors on-site, it improves the quality of the specimens coming from the client because we have a Mayo Clinic expert right there who has all the resources from Rochester easily available to them as questions arise and to ensure the quality of specimens that are delivered for testing.
Our team is spread all over the U.S., and we hire from throughout the country. With such a far-flung group, it can be hard to maintain a sense of team and belonging. Before COVID-19, we would bring new employees to Rochester for a week of orientation and training, and they would get a chance to experience the Mayo Clinic culture firsthand. That was very exciting for them and quite an eye-opener to see Mayo Clinic in person.
Since COVID, we haven’t been able to do those visits, so orientation has been more challenging. Now that we can travel again, I try to visit each employee several times a year in person. We have monthly national calls on Zoom, and we encourage everyone to join in and see their teammates because, more than likely, they will never meet in person. We also host local area team calls every other month.
It’s a continual work in process to come up with ways to keep everyone connected and invested in the Mayo Clinic culture. We hope that at some point the people who weren’t able to come to Mayo over the last year and a half will be able to do so, because I don’t think you can fully understand how remarkable Mayo Clinic really is until you see it for yourself. I never tire of making that trip to Rochester myself. It energizes you and reinforces what we’re all a part of in helping to care for patients.
My career has been dedicated to laboratory work with the goal of making a difference in the lives of patients. Now that I have the privilege to work for Mayo Clinic Laboratories, I’m grateful for the chance to make a difference in the care and treatment of patients throughout the country. I truly believe in the mission and goals of Mayo Clinic, and that makes it a pleasure to do this work. I feel honored each day to be part of this organization.
Outreach manager Jane Hermansen regards Mayo Clinic as the pinnacle of healthcare. Having spent her formative years in Minnesota, she was inspired by her uncle Roger to embark on a path as a laboratory scientist. Presently, she oversees the Mayo Clinic Laboratories outreach consulting and network programs. In addition, she spearheads the laboratory industry's only outreach conference, Leveraging the Laboratory.
In spring of 2022, Adam Stewart joined Mayo Clinic’s Blood Donor Program as a marketing and recruitment coordinator. He enjoys and finds great purpose in his work because he loves to see members of his local community donate blood and help patients in need.
Joune Twist has always embraced her natural interest for learning new information and improving processes. In 2019, her curiosity and previous work led her to join Mayo Clinic’s Neuroimmunology Lab. As a medical laboratory scientist, Joune tests patient samples and shares her findings with providers.