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.
While attending college at Winona State University, I interned at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. Seven years later, as I transitioned out of active duty with the Marine Corps, my family wanted to come back home to Minnesota. Even though my background didn’t fully align with the open jobs at Mayo Clinic at the time, I still managed to connect with people who recognized the value of my military experience and helped me find a role that fit my strengths. Almost 10 years ago, I was hired as a supervisor for Supply Chain Management, and I’ve held four different roles at Mayo Clinic.
As a senior product manager for Mayo Clinic Laboratories (MCL), each day is a little different. While my primary duties involve creating a vision and profitable strategy for neurology laboratory testing, there are many day-to-day responsibilities I perform. I communicate with our sales team daily, answer questions from our clients around the world, and work with the labs to discuss ways we can better differentiate our testing. Also, I support many other groups within MCL and the Mayo Clinic enterprise to bring our unique services to patients and physicians.
At Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and specifically within our neurology segment that I manage, testing was uniquely designed by physicians, for physicians. It should come as no surprise our physicians have access to world-renowned testing to diagnose and care for our patients. My job is to increase access to those same resources for providers and patients around the world. Not every patient can be seen at a Mayo Clinic facility, but we believe they should still have access to our testing. While I don’t interact with providers or patients often, it’s gratifying to know that I help improve their access to our unique services.
As I mentioned earlier, I served in the active-duty Marine Corps for almost eight years and have continued to serve in the reserves even during my employment at Mayo Clinic. I now have more than 20 years of service in the Marine Corps and have traveled all over the world for deployments and training exercises.
Regarding my job at Mayo Clinic, others might be surprised to know that the product manager role is still very new. Considering that Mayo Clinic is more than 150 years old, and Mayo Clinic Laboratories is over 50 years old, we’ve only had product managers manage testing for external clients for the last 10 years. In the grand scheme of things, product manager responsibilities are still new and being refined every day. That’s very exciting to me!
Initially, the biggest challenge of my job was the steep learning curve associated with laboratory testing since I didn’t have any background. It is still very challenging to develop messaging at the appropriate level for a trained neurologist, but we have an amazing team with diverse specialties that I can rely on to help develop content. The biggest challenge I face now is juggling many opportunities that may help grow my segment of testing. While I don’t have any direct reports, I work with a large, cross-functional team and keep them all abreast of the latest updates.
I sincerely appreciate being able to help solve patient needs and work with laboratory professionals and physicians within Mayo Clinic who are truly experts in their fields. I support an amazing team of field sales representatives who bring our testing to their local communities. Supporting these groups so they can do their job more efficiently brings meaning and purpose to my work.
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Robin Huiras-Carlson's connection with Mayo Clinic traces back to her early years, marked by a diagnosis of a rare genetic condition at the age of 10. Today, as a senior marketing specialist with Mayo Clinic Laboratories, she draws inspiration and purpose from this personal journey to illuminate Mayo’s positive impact on patients and ongoing evolution in diagnostics.
Becca Johnson, a dedicated project manager, joined Mayo Clinic in 2014, driven by a desire to contribute to an organization making a global impact. With BioPharma Diagnostics, Becca oversees large projects, ensuring efficient sample handling and timely client results. Committed to patient-centric care, she works on transitioning clients to electronic solutions for streamlined processes. Becca finds purpose in collaborative efforts that shape healthcare's future and positively impact patients' lives.
In her current role as senior manager for global logistics at Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Sarah Mason oversees the coordination of patient sample shipments by working with a network of stakeholders, couriers, carriers, and vendors. Sarah emphasizes the critical nature of safe and timely delivery of more than 38,000 samples each day, highlighting the dynamic challenges in healthcare logistics. Through her work, she finds meaning and purpose in collaborating with diverse teams to bring impactful change to Mayo Clinic operations and its patients.