Jane Hermansen

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 brought you to Mayo Clinic, and how long have you worked here?

Growing up in Minnesota, Mayo Clinic was the state’s healthcare mecca. The company has been an important part of my family’s health history for as long as I can remember. I chose medical laboratory science as my future career when I was 8 years old, and I’m still living that dream! After I graduated from college, I worked in a small hospital for several years, and we were a reference laboratory client of Mayo Clinic Laboratories (MCL). When I got married in 1988, we moved to Rochester for my husband’s graduate school training. I was fortunate to be hired to work in one of the clinical laboratories at Mayo Clinic, which makes it 35 years! 

Jane Hermansen


What’s your current role and what does a typical workday look like for you?

I direct the outreach consulting and network development programs for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. In my role, I lead initiatives that help hospital-based laboratories become as effective as possible in serving their outpatients. Some of those initiatives include developing strategies around operations, managing physician relationships, reducing leakage, expanding into new markets, establishing payor contracts, and managing the patient experience. I manage a team of outreach solutions strategists, who work with our clients to achieve their in-reach and outreach goals. I am also the president of the Great Lakes Laboratory Network, a group of over 40 hospitals in Michigan who work together to secure health plan contracts across the state. Through this networking activity, hospital laboratories are not carved out of insurance plans and can serve all the patients in their markets.

A typical workday always includes touching base with my team. We are remote employees and need personal contact. From there, every day is different. I communicate with our sales team daily and work with other internal departments at MCL and in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology to find or develop solutions for our clients. Some days you may find me at the airport, traveling to a client location to meet with leadership from a hospital or health system to help them understand the value that the laboratory brings to the organization. Other days, you may find me recording our podcast series, “Leveraging the Laboratory,” writing an accompanying blog post, or planning our educational programming, which includes our webinars and the Leveraging the Lab Conference. I also spend time every day keeping up with the latest developments in the laboratory industry.


Why is the Leveraging the Lab conference important? What can those who attend expect?

Leveraging the Laboratory is the industry’s only outreach conference. This is our 34th conference, with an agenda full of inspiring speakers, practical and applicable breakout workshops, and networking opportunities galore. Healthcare has always been challenging. Today, a strong laboratory outreach program brings tremendous patient care benefits to the organization, uses existing capacity, and delivers a financial contribution margin through additional revenue. Attendees will leave the conference with the confidence they need to deliver on these promises.


What are you looking forward to most during this year’s conference?

To me, this conference is the highlight of my professional year. I am looking forward to celebrating our clients’ successes when they share their stories from the podium on the first day. I can’t wait to hear what Robert Michel is seeing on the horizon, and I look forward to Mary Jo Williamson’s perspective as a Mayo Clinic leader. I speak from experience that Henry Givray will touch hearts and inspire the audience. I can’t wait to hear his message! The second day is full of breakout sessions with such a broad range of topics, it’s hard to choose just one. That’s why we offer them twice, to give people more options. And our industry partners (vendors) always have great stuff to show. But mostly, I’m looking forward to meeting our conference attendees and helping them leverage their laboratory. For us all, the needs of the patients come first.


How do you think your work benefits providers and patients?

I know that my work benefits patients and providers alike. Healthcare is delivered locally and requires laboratory testing to support patient care. Through our work with our clients, they are able to deliver a patient-focused laboratory experience. Providers benefit from having local turnaround time and access to an integrated medical record that provides consistency in results and allows them to look at trends over time. And of course, when specialized testing is needed, MCL is there to help with the complex diagnosis.


Is there anything about you or your job that others may find surprising?

I was influenced at a young age to become a laboratory scientist by my uncle, Roger Lofgren. We even worked side by side in the lab at Mayo Clinic for six years. Because our last names were different, most people didn’t know we were related. I’ve spent much of my career trying to “pay it forward” by encouraging others to join our profession. I’ve done this mostly through volunteering with professional associations. Also, I was fortunate to serve as the national president of the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (now a division of ASCP), from 2017 to 2019.  


Which part(s) of your job is the most challenging, and why?

I am so passionate about the potential of the hospital or health system-based laboratory. It’s challenging when our clients have competing objectives and don’t prioritize the work of the laboratory. As an external consultant, I can only bring data and insights to our clients, with a hope to inspire and influence them to take action and capture the opportunities that are available to them.  


What gives you meaning and purpose in your work?

Jane enjoys the outdoors with her Outreach colleagues Brianne and Ellen.

Ultimately, it all comes back to the patient. The reason I chose the medical laboratory profession was to make an impact on patient care. Working for Mayo Clinic is a privilege, knowing that my daily work is guided by our core value, “The needs of the patient come first.” It doesn’t get any better than that!

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