Lisa Wortman Raring

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.


What did you do before you came to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and what brought you here?

I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve always loved words. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to write and always be writing. Before coming to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, I took a trial-and-error approach to my career. I tried market research. I tried working in a sales-type role for a nonprofit organization. I tried working for a big insurance company. I took steps toward a career in academia. Ultimately, I was looking for a career where I could write and be creative.  

Lisa Wortman Raring

Along the way, I discovered proposal writing. If I think back to when I was an English major in college, I wish I had known proposals were a thing — because I didn’t then. I believe that’s the path I would have taken right away. But a lot of the other work I’ve done along the way prepared me well for this role. Once I discovered proposal writing, it was a good fit. Then, when I saw that Mayo Clinic Laboratories had an opening for a proposal writer, I knew it was for me, and it’s been the perfect fit. It took some time, but finally, I’ve landed where I really want to be.


What is your current role, and what does your day-to-day work involve?

My title is senior marketing specialist, and my focus is writing proposals and supporting our sales staff as they respond to requests for proposals, or RFPs. And a part of that is developing materials for presentations to clients.

I think of my role as supporting the field staff and working with them in a collaborative way to show clients everything we have to offer — and we do have a lot to offer. The goal of my work is to provide materials that make it clear to the client how we can best meet their needs.

A great part of my job is that, because Mayo Clinic Labs offers so much to clients, it’s really about narrowing down and choosing what to showcase in those client-facing pieces. My day-to-day goal is to make the field staff’s lives easier and help them make it clear all that sets Mayo Clinic Labs apart from other reference laboratories.


How does the work you do benefit providers and patients?

I certainly think of Mayo Clinic Laboratories as providing tremendous benefits to providers and patients. And I think of myself in my role as being helpful, in a small way, to make those benefits clearer to prospective and existing clients. When I’m writing proposals and I read back through all the value-adds we have, the high-quality testing services, the exceptional people we have in the labs and behind our testing, I think, “Why wouldn’t a client choose Mayo Clinic Labs? Of course they’re going to choose us.” I wholeheartedly believe in the work I’m doing, showing that Mayo Clinic Laboratories is the best. For me, it’s all about getting the word out about our offerings to those who might not be fully aware of what we can provide to them. It’s awesome to know that when a client does choose us, patients will benefit from our exceptional testing.


Is there anything about your role that people might find surprising or unexpected?

It might surprise people who aren’t part of our field staff or bid team to know how many hands are involved in a proposal. The bid team includes representatives from multiple departments. I am dedicated to proposals from the marketing side, and we have a member of the field staff team leading each proposal, but we also have people who cover areas such as pricing and legal, as well as lab analysts and designers, among many others who make it all happen. There are hours and hours involved, among many people, to successfully craft a solid proposal.


What part of your job is the most challenging?

Deadlines! RFPs and proposals are deadline-driven by nature, and of course we can’t control how large an RFP is, or how much time we are given to respond, or if it’s due the same day as three other RFPs. The good news is that the bid team has dozens of years of combined experience, and my supervisor always makes herself available to help me.


What gives you meaning and purpose in your work?

I applied for the role at Mayo Clinic Labs not just because it checked all the boxes for the work I wanted to do; I really was searching for more than that. I wanted to be at a place that the work I was doing, even if indirectly, would help people. That’s the reason I plan to stay here as long as they’ll have me. I’m really living my dream job. To invest my time and energy in this work, knowing that our services will result in the highest quality care for patients, I can’t imagine going any other way now. I’m grateful to be here.

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Tracy Will

Tracy Will is a senior marketing specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories where she covers innovation, specialty testing, and advances in laboratory medicine. Tracy has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2016.