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Recap: LMP Staff Appreciation BBQ

August 21, 2014


The threat of rain may have pushed the annual LMP Staff Appreciation BBQ indoors, but that didn’t stop our team from coming out, having a good time, and enjoying some delicious BBQ. Staff from across our entire laboratory queued up for some great food and many of the managers and supervisors were on hand to volunteer their time to help organize the flow, and assist in serving the food.

Although we were in a conference room, rather than the RFE patio, it seemed like we still had a record number of attendees from across LMP, which is great news – more food! More mingling!  More food!  More catching up with colleagues! And more food!

Traditionally, we also announce our Lab Leadership Award winners at the BBQ, but we’ll save that for another time. Thank you to everyone who came out to the BBQ, the entire lunch is designed to give thanks to our hard working, dedicated lab staff! And thank you to all the volunteers who helped organize the day and make sure it ran smoothly.

Take a look at more pictures below of the day:
















Justine Jackson tours Laboratory Medicine

August 8, 2014


Recently, UHN’s Interim President and CEO Justine Jackson got an in-depth tour of the clinical laboratory space of the Laboratory Medicine Program at the University Health Network.

Led by members of the Laboratory Medicine senior team, including Dr. Sylvia Asa, Brad Davis, Tom Clancy, Laurie Mason, Sally Balmer, Jacquie Beal, Maria Amenta and Chris Cursio, Justine visited some of our lab spaces on the 11th, 3rd, 2nd and Ground floor of Toronto General Hospital. Read more…

Movember visits Dr. Bharati Bapat

July 25, 2014
Dr. Bapat (centre) and members of Movember Canada

Dr. Bapat (centre) and members of Movember Canada

Recently, members of Movember Canada visited Dr. Bharati Bapat  in her research laboratory at Mount Sinai to see some of the work  being funded through a grant provided through their own organization and Prostate Cancer Canada.

The group received the “million dollar tour” and was able to meet the members of Dr. Bapat’s lab and see the variety of work that they do, including the work supported by the recently granted Movember Translational Acceleration Grant (TAG), “Validation of an integrated biomarker panel for detection of aggressive prostate cancer,” along with LMP’s Dr. Theo van der Kwast and other researchers.  Read more…

Congratulations to Dr. Avila-Casado

July 25, 2014

Avila_Casado_LGCongratulations to LMP’s Dr. Carmen Avila-Casado who has been elected to serve as the next Renal Pathology Society Secretary for a three year term.

The Renal Pathology Society (RPS) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve and disseminate knowledge regarding the pathology, and patient impact, of renal disease.  The RPS looks to encourage excellence in diagnosis, develop clinical and translational research, develop education and training opportunities in renal disease and provide sponsorship to local, national and international conferences. The society also serves to provide information, news and updates in the world of renal pathology to their members.

Congratulations to Dr. Avila-Casado on this new opportunity.




Sunnybrook’s Blood Transfusion Lab and AABB

July 25, 2014

aaBB logoRecently the Blood Transfusion laboratory at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre underwent their American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) assessment to review the laboratory’s transfusion standards and quality systems.

The team was well-prepared, but was thrilled when they received a score of 100 per cent, indicating a perfect compliance.

The blood transfusion lab at Sunnybrook had one lead/sole assessor, Keith Hoerth, Manager of the Transfusion Services at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals, who spent a period of one and half days looking over the laboratory.

Leading this assessment for Sunnybrook was Sneha Patel, MLT, Quality Assurance Officer.  Read more…

Congratulations to Dr. Emina Torlakovic

July 18, 2014

TorlakovicRecently LMP’s Dr. Emina Torlakovic was awarded the Patient Safety and Quality Assurance Award (PSQA) from the Canadian Association of Pathologists at their 65th Annual Meeting.

The award recognizes Dr. Torlakovic’s leadership in quality assurance through her work in several areas around quality improvement and diagnostic testing. She is co-founder of the Canadian Immunohistochemistry Quality Control (cIQc), the first national external quality assurance (EQA) program that offers proficiency testing in immunohistochemistry (IHC) to all Canadian IHC laboratories. This is a unique academic EQA program that specializes in cancer biomarkers testing.

She is the Chair of the National Standards Committee for High Complexity Testing which published the first Canadian guidelines for standardization of immunohistochemistry testing in Pathology. This committee also developed and published other recommendations and guidelines including: CAP-ACP Clinical Immunohistochemistry Checklists: Part I and Part II, Guidelines for the Preparation, Release, and Storage of Unstained Archived Diagnostic Tissue Sections for Immunohistochemistry, and Class II IHC Checklist for MMR IHC Testing.

“I thought it was very important that we develop standards because today we are called upon for much higher accuracy in IHC, mainly driven by the development of personalized medicine,” said Dr. Torlakovic.  “We try to respond and develop highly reproducible, sensitive and specific testing relevant to the stratification of patients for targeted therapies.”

Dr. Torlakovic received the award on Tuesday July 15 at the Gala Banquet and Awards reception, during the CAP-ACP conference in Toronto.

Pathologists’ Assistants Lead Educational Seminars

July 11, 2014

As part of the Canadian Association of Pathologist Annual Meeting in July, several members of LMP and our partner hospitals will be leading education sessions for visiting laboratory professionals from across North American that will be attending the conference. More information can be found online HERE.

Jessica Swain, Lakeridge Health

Jessica Swain, Lakeridge Health

We sat down with a few of our Pathologists’ Assistants, Sarah James from UHN, Andrea Axente from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Jessica Swain from Lakeridge Health, who have been working together on several different educational sessions for the Annual Meeting.

We asked them about their individual sessions, their commitment to continuing education and why this type of cross-partnership collaboration is so important to laboratory medicine. Read more…


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