Cardinal Health honors top clinical laboratory professionals

April 28, 2022

Cardinal Health announced the winners and honorees of its annual Lab Excellence List, which names top clinical laboratory professionals making significant contributions to healthcare and patient outcomes through their research, diagnosis, innovation, or advocacy, according to a news release.

The list is part of celebrations surrounding the industry's annual Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, a more than 40-year-long tradition that celebrates lab professionals across all of healthcare.

"The honorees of this year's Lab Excellence List have made substantial impacts in patient safety, workflow optimization and laboratory awareness. Their efforts, passion and commitment to patient care is something we are proud to celebrate," said Chris Kerski, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cardinal Health Laboratory Products. "On behalf of Cardinal Health, I want to say thank you to lab professionals everywhere for their essential contributions to laboratory medicine."

Lab professionals were nominated by their peers, managers, students, or colleagues (or were self-nominated) for three award categories: advocacy, patient safety and efficiency. An external panel composed of health sciences faculty at various universities rated the nominees based on contributions to and impact on the nominee's institution, leadership and innovation, awareness to the work performed by the nominee, service, and mentorship and more. Based on the judges' assessment, one winner per category is selected:

Advocacy: Winner Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, MS, SM(ASCP)CM, SVCM, MBCM, FACSc, has played a central role in increasing awareness of the value clinical labs bring to improving patient care. Rohde is a Regents' Professor and Chair for the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program in the College of Health Professions of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He's written numerous articles spotlighting medical laboratory professionals' behind-the-scenes work and has helped educate the public about the profession on podcasts, national and international television like CNBC and through high-visibility interviews in TIME, National Geographic, and Forbes. (In 2015, Rohde was honored as the Cardinal Health urEssential Laboratory Professional of the Year, a now-retired award program that recognized the vital contributions medical laboratory professionals made to patient care.)

Patient Safety: Winner Stacey Paryag-Stevens, MPA, AHI(AMT), MLS(ASCP)CM, is known for introducing programs and best practices that directly improve patient outcomes. Paryag-Stevens is program director of the School of Medical Technology and laboratory education coordinator at Comanche County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) in Lawton, Oklahoma. Paryag-Stevens is a chief architect of streamlining workflow processes, safety and training manuals, and the driving force in the retention of graduates. Her dedication to patient safety has resulted in new laboratory document control policies and forms to track reviews, an attestation forms system to document signoffs for CCMH departments' competency assessments, training material for laboratory information system upgrades, laboratory general and safety policies and more.

Efficiency: Winner Michele Peddicord, MHA, MT(ASCP), is being honored for excellence in automating, developing and streamlining processes that improve workflow or reduce operational costs. As the manager of the Martha Morehouse and Stefanie Spielman Clinical Labs and Mohs Dermatology Lab at The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, Peddicord fosters a culture that embodies transparency, trust and Relationship-Based Care® (RBC) values – a formalized model that puts the patient and family at the center of care – while promoting innovation, mentorship and quality excellence. Peddicord assisted in establishing RBC at OSU's Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center and at Martha Morehouse, an OSU outpatient care facility. She has collaborated on research protocols including Total Cancer Care Protocol (TCCP), The COVID-19 Vaccine Study of Infections and Immune Response (SIIREN) and Leukemia Tissue Bank donor blood draws. Using her expertise, Peddicord worked with a multidisciplinary team to establish a lab for COVID-19 testing, in which she was instrumental in developing policies and protocols and establishing systems for monitoring regulatory elements, inventory management and the lab's communication plans. Additionally, she authored an American Association for Clinical Chemistry abstract and poster titled "Management tools for analyzer implementation across a multi-site medical center," and headed a Kronos timekeeping upgrade.

Honoree Rohde said, "Whenever I am fortunate and blessed to be recognized by my peers in the medical laboratory profession, I am humbled and full of gratitude because I have the utmost respect for these professionals. Our colleagues in the profession conduct roughly 13 billion laboratory medicine tests each year, which supports about two-thirds of all medical decisions from cradle to grave. Our work is the single highest-volume medical activity affecting Americans; it forms the backbone of the public health and healthcare system. This award is not just about me; it represents every single one of my students, alumni, colleagues and others who advocate for this amazing, lifesaving career."

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