Judy O'Rourke

Judy O’Rourke

“Although rudimentary examinations of human body fluids date back to the time of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates around 300 BC, it was not until 1896 that the first clinical laboratory was opened, a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot room equipped at a cost of $50 at Johns Hopkins Hospital,” writes Frances A. Delwiche, MLIS, MT (ASCP), in a 2003 paper titled “Mapping the Literature of Clinical Laboratory Science.” “At that time,” he writes, “most ‘laboratories’ consisted of little more than a corner in physicians’ homes, offices, or hospital wards, with physicians performing the procedures themselves. The diagnostic and therapeutic value of laboratory testing was not yet appreciated, and many physicians viewed clinical laboratories simply as an expensive luxury that consumed both valuable space and time.”

Clinical labs today are an essential expensive necessity, staffed with consummate professionals and equipped with cutting-edge technology. The sheer volume of information, technology, and regulations lab professionals must manage is mind-boggling. Their prestige has grown since olden times, too—with U.S. News & World Report’s “Best 50 Careers of 2011” naming medical technologists and clinical laboratory scientists as top, in-demand careers, and calling these individuals “the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry.”

Clinical Lab Products salutes these individuals with our Best of 2011 Clinical Lab Professionals.

We invited readers from labs nationwide to tell us how they strive for excellence and achieve it. The following pages tell their stories.

David Tacha, HTL (ASCP), PhD, vice president of R&D, chief scientific officer, Biocare Medical, Concord, Calif, is one of the founders of the company, which has become known as an innovator in immunohistochemistry (IHC) technology.

Rochelle P. Stewart, MBA, CLS, MLS(ASCP)CM, QLC(ASCP), CLC/MT(AMT), founder, president, and CEO, RPL Laboratory Solutions Inc, a laboratory consulting firm, helps clients navigate convoluted state and federal regulatory and accreditation requirements for waived and nonwaived lab testing.

Their stories resonate with their commitment to excellence.

Judy O’Rourke
Editor, CLP

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