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 at Mayo Clinic in June 1990 as a medical secretary following vocational education in Winona, Minnesota. After training as a float, I joined the Anatomic Pathology (AP) department in November 1990. In 2005, I accepted my first supervisory position with the AP department as an office manager. Later, my position transitioned to pathology reporting specialists (PRS) supervisor. After I obtained my bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2018, I became DLMP supervisor for the PRS team.
I am currently the supervisor of the Tissue Registry Archive within the Division of Anatomic Pathology. I started with Tissue Registry (TR) as the supervisor in February 2022. My team includes an assistant supervisor and 13 TR techs. Additionally, we receive assistance from participants within Mayo Clinic’s Return-To-Work program. I lead the staff and oversee operational workflows, policy education, compliance, and building needs. Each day, TR techs maintain the quality of material filing and handle the documentation and processing of checkouts and returns. I assist with troubleshooting discussions and attend daily huddles, which are great to learn the nuances of the TR tech role. This past year, we’ve also developed workflows for the digital scanning project.
The preservation of slides, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks, and residual tissue is critical for the three shields of Mayo Clinic (clinical practice, education, and research). Because the material is irreplaceable, it holds much value and allows testing to be completed for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. This may aid in a provider’s decision for their patient’s course of treatment. Due to the longevity of the materials at TR, many research studies with the proper approval could not be conducted without Tissue Registry Archive.
The Tissue Registry Archive is a fascinating place with a historical presence now merged with our digital world. We have slides and blocks dating back to the early 1900s.
With the high volume of material within the archive currently, and more material arriving daily, we focus on the overall organization of the archive and strive to maximize space. This needs to be balanced to keep our staff safe and workflows efficient when we process requests. Decisions made today directly affect the archive now and for years to come.
I am grateful for the opportunity to provide archived material for current patient testing and future education and research needs. This work ignites my internal desire to improve our processes related to turnaround time, quality, and customer service. Each day our patients, pathologists, providers, and researchers depend on us to deliver.
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Brie LaJoye began her career with Mayo Clinic in 2018 as an intern and has been with the organization for nearly six years. She currently works as a Laboratory information system (LIS) technical specialist, managing lab instrumentation, troubleshooting issues, and improving testing procedures. Her work ensures accurate and timely results for patients and providers, and she takes pride in being a crucial part of the lab's operations.
Eight years ago, Tamara Staley joined Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ Cardiovascular Sales team selling CV diagnostic testing to community hospitals. Now, she leads sales for Hematology and Oncology’s Central Region. Tamara is proud to help connect physicians and patients to a wide variety of oncology solid tumor testing that includes breast cancer testing.
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.