Sherri Hawkins

Mayo Clinic Labs @Work

With nearly 30 years at Mayo Clinic, Sherri Hawkins has served in a wide range of laboratory-related roles. Beginning as a laboratorian on the bench and now serving as Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) manager, Sherri has been able to unite her two career passions — laboratory testing and business.


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

Sherri Hawkins, Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) manager for Mayo Clinic Laboratories

My husband and I met in Virginia when he was in the Marine Corps. When his service was complete, we decided to settle in his hometown, which is Rochester, Minnesota. When I arrived here in 1994, I started researching where I might be able to use my skills as a chemist and discovered these two large buildings (Hilton and Guggenheim) which were filled with laboratorians and scientists. I knew Mayo Clinic was where I wanted to build a career.

I began as a laboratorian on the bench, performing routine testing for the Thyroid Immunoassay Laboratory and the Lipid Laboratory. Then one day I discovered this department called Mayo Medical Laboratories (now Mayo Clinic Laboratories), which brought together two of my loves — laboratory testing and business. I had the opportunity to experience several amazing roles within the department, including lab resource coordinator, lab bid analyst, pricing analyst, manager of the Bid Team, and now Group Purchasing Organization manager. It’s been 29 lovely years with Mayo Clinic.


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

Sherri with Mayo Clinic Laboratories colleagues Viviane Robinson and Nicole Folken

I am the Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) manager for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. I facilitate relationships and negotiate services with GPOs. When we become an awarded supplier for a GPO, we have preferred access to their hospital membership and can educate the members on the advantages of using Mayo Clinic Laboratories for their reference laboratory testing needs. My days are always interesting and can vary from contract negotiations to attending conferences to working with my colleagues to operationalize, strategize, and provide education for all things related to our contracted GPOs.


How do you think your work benefits providers and patients?

The relationships we build with GPOs and their hospital members allow us to bring Mayo Clinic quality and expertise to their local patients. We are able to assist patients with their care journey by providing access to answers via our expansive test menu and our compassionate consultants, pathologists, laboratorians, and genetic counselors.


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

Prior to coming to work for Mayo Clinic, I was an analytical chemist at a power plant. I traded in my hard hat, tools, and work boots for suits and heels. It was a good trade.


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

There is an element of perseverance and patience needed to secure a contract with a GPO, as the process can take a year or more to complete.


What gives you meaning and purpose in your work?  

It is really the people that I work with. When you are surrounded by colleagues who are all striving to do their very best for Mayo Clinic Laboratories and Mayo Clinic every day, you become part of an amazing community.

Know someone who has a good Mayo Clinic Labs @Work story? Nominate them here.

More from Mayo Clinic Labs @Work

Luci Gens

Luci Gens is a marketing manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She joined Mayo Clinic in 2022 and has over ten years of experience in hospital-based marketing and communications.