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 grew up in Michigan surrounded by the automotive industry, where the “Big Three” – General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler – are headquartered. My dad was an engineer at General Motors for more than 40 years, and naturally this led me to begin an advertising career for automotive accounts. For over 20 years, I strategically created advertising and design solutions for Ford Motor Company, Audi, Lincoln, and Kia. Around 2019, something began to stir inside of me. The workdays began to resemble “Groundhog Day,” replaying the same day repeatedly, and I started to feel burnt out and creatively stagnate. That’s when I began to think about moving on to something new. But what?
One morning as I awoke, I grabbed my phone and opened LinkedIn. After a few swipes, I came across a repost from a colleague for the creative director position for Mayo Clinic Laboratories (MCL). I had an overwhelming feeling about this opportunity that inspired me to apply that day. I am happy to say I celebrated my second year with Mayo Clinic on May 24, 2023.
As the creative director for Mayo Clinic Laboratories, each day brings unique creative opportunities and projects. Working alongside the marketing team, I funnel creative requests for design solutions for a variety of marketing support materials. For example, some projects I work on could be social media posts, product flyers, brochures, e-books, presentations, website graphics and designs, trade show booth designs, video graphics, proposal designs, conference and seminar designs, photoshoots, campaign conceptualizations, and creative ideation. I am fortunate to have the support of two very talented senior art directors, Tom Gallus and Adam Bowlin, who help strategically tackle all requests that come our way. Our creative solutions always align and continue to define MCL branding initiatives and our visual identity.
Our marketing materials curate testing awareness and provide insightful information to physicians, lab partners, and patients. When we center the needs of the patient first and administer the right test to the right patient at the right time, we can help find answers for proper diagnosis and treatment for patients. There is no greater benefit than knowing that through testing, a patient received the answers they were searching for that improved their health or even saved their life.
As a remote worker, my daily “coworkers” are my three dogs, two cats, and a parrotlet. They are my passions, however, sometimes they misbehave the moment I get on a Zoom call. Another passion of mine is fitness. I’ve taught a variety of group fitness classes, but now I focus on personal training after hours. It is so rewarding to see my clients get stronger and more confident.
After many years of reporting to an office, I love being a remote worker and I appreciate the new mode of work life. Also, I embrace Zoom, Teams, email, texting, and chat communication technologies. However, each day’s schedule does fill up with a lot of meetings and chimes, which can take away from the creative ideation process. The challenge can be finding balance.
There is an incredible sense of camaraderie and support among leadership, my team, and the marketing group. Their support, recognition, and encouragement drive me to continue improving professionally and personally. It is such a pleasure to work with individuals that share similar goals and strive for creative solutions that will help patients in the long run.
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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.