Meet two members of the labs team!

10 Questions for Dr. Rita Selby

 

What is your position?

I am the Medical Director of the Coagulation Laboratory, both here at UHN and at Sunnybrook, dividing my time each week between the two hospitals. I am a clinical hematologist by training specializing in disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis and also have a small inpatient and outpatient practice in this area.

What do you do here?

UHN has a large, academic, regional coagulation laboratory that provides services and medical directorship to many areas of Ontario. We do the specialized coagulation testing – Factor assays and Von Willebrand screening, testing for congenital and acquired thrombophilias, HIT testing and other routine and esoteric coagulation assays – for Lifelabs and several large regional hospitals. We also provide medical directorship and technical assistance in coagulation to our partner hospitals in Northern Ontario. I oversee this operation and provide interpretive reporting for all abnormal coagulation test results for all of UHN and its partners.

Why did you get into lab medicine?

 While some in lab medicine are passionate about engaging in new discoveries, I am passionate about trying to implement what we already know works well. Running two regional coagulation laboratories that through their partnerships service such a large swath of Ontario provides me many opportunities for working towards standardization of laboratory practices, implementing best practices and guidelines that improve coagulation quality and defining sensible future priorities for our area.

How did you get started at UHN?

 I was recruited to UHN as the Medical Director of the coagulation laboratory by Dr. Marciano Reis and Dr. Sylvia Asa in 2008. Their goal was to build inter-hospital collaboration in coagulation in Toronto (similar to what has been done in Transfusion Medicine). I have been the Medical Director of the Sunnybrook regional coagulation laboratory since 2001.

How long have you worked here?

Although I have been on faculty at UHN since September of 2008, I feel like I have “worked” at UHN for most of my professional life. I was an internal medicine and hematology resident at UHN from 1993 to1998 and so UHN already felt like home to me when I returned as staff.

What is the favorite part of your job?

Seeing and reporting interesting cases, discussing coagulation quandaries with my medical and technical colleagues, being a resource to colleagues across Ontario on thrombosis and hemostasis disorders and anticoagulant drugs – these are the favourite parts of my job.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

 The most challenging part of my job is the lack of senior technical expertise in coagulation across the country and the inappropriate utilization of specialized coagulation testing.

What value would you say you add to patient care?

I try to do my best everyday to ensure best practices and quality in my labs.

The overall mission of LMP is to advance lab medicine in its three functional pillars: research, education and clinical service. How would you say you support this mission?

I am currently the co-principal investigator on a multi-centre, cross-Canada study looking at the resource utilization associated with warfarin therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation and have previously been principal investigator or site investigator on several clinical trials in thrombosis. I have also supervised several lab-based trainee projects. Our coagulation laboratory has been a training site for 6 to 8 hematology and hematopathology residents each year since 2009. Our 4 week rotation is part of the core curriculum for these trainees and the only coagulation lab training they get during their residency. The UHN coagulation laboratory through its several partnerships with Lifelabs and many hospitals has an integral clinical service role.

In LMP, we often talk about serving as “global leaders” – what do you do to serve as a “global leader”?

I am a member of the QMP-LS Hematology committee that oversees external proficiency testing and develops guidelines for the province of Ontario’s hematology labs. I am also serving on a CLSI committee (with international representation) that is developing guidelines for lupus anticoagulant testing. In 2010 I was asked to chair a Meet-the-Expert session on “The laboratory and venous thromboembolism” at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting. I am an expert advisor to OLIS (E-Health) on coagulation test nomenclature. I, along with several colleagues, have received a grant from the Ontario Regional Blood Coordinating Network (ORBCON) to develop a basic Coagulation handbook for health professionals in Ontario which we hope will in some part help address the knowledge gap.

 

10 Questions for Kwabena Boateng

 

 

What is your position?

Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT)

What do you do here?

I am part of the front line staff in Hematology that deals with Complete Blood Counts (CBC), Morphology, Coagulation test, Manual Testing (including Spinal Fluids, ascetic fluids, synovial fluids, Malaria Parasite Identification etc….)

Why did you get into lab medicine?

Laboratory medicine currently ranks as the third largest sector in the Healthcare in Canada even though we remain anonymous. Presently, there is no career rewarding than this as the passion for science has always being in my DNA. My journey begun around 1994 when I was delayed coming to Canada due certain laboratory results that needed to be confirmed. That incident caught my attention and my passion for Laboratory work has not waned since.

How did you get started at UHN?

This is personal story I am hoping to publish one day. The journey was a long process but thanks to Marni Lollo and Fatima Cardoso, our lab manager and supervisor for hematology, for bringing me on-board. The good news is, I have managed to bring two impactful people currently helping advance Laboratory Medicine Program’s vision.

How long have you worked here?

About three years.

What is the favorite part of your job?

There are many elements associated with this field ranging from quality assurance programs, troubleshooting instruments, teaching students/new employees, conducting mini-projects etc. The above mentioned add to the excitement this job brings. It is always a delight to see some of the students we groomed don the LMP uniform and become flag bearers for our mission/vision.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Laboratory work share certain roots with management. You never know what you might walk into when you come to work or open your first email. You can start your day with STAT Malaria test with a strict one hour turn-around time (TAT). Operating at the Lean SIX SIGMA level always adds value to customer satisfaction, but delivering the highest quality lab result is always key.

What value would you say you add to patient care?

Statistics clearly shows that up-to 85% of patient Diagnosis solely depends on Laboratory work. Nevertheless, being the third largest profession in healthcare in Canada implies that our contribution to patient care is crucial. Princess Margaret ranks among the top 5 Cancer Hospitals in the world. Being able to deliver highest quality laboratory results to meet patient needs is something I take pride in.

How would you say you support the LMP mission to advance lab medicine in its three foundational pillars: research, education and clinical service?

To meet these challenges, LMP is building a strong foundation in research methodologies, clinical practice and continuing education. I believe we are on the right track.

In LMP, we often talk about serving as “global leaders” – what do you do to serve as a “global leader”?

I am currently working on a project that will help advance Laboratory Medicine in places like Africa (Ghana). The foundation is in place and hoping to get support from LMP leadership when it fully launches. We are currently affiliated with KORLE-BU Teaching Hospital in Ghana (the biggest teaching Hospital in Ghana) and few small Clinics in Ashanti Region (Ghana). The project is still in its infancy, but one of my philosophies has always being: “Every Big Dream Starts with a Small Vision; Every small Vision Starts with a Big Dream.” There is no better place to find that Vision and Big dream than in the Laboratory Medicine Program at UHN.

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4 thoughts on “Meet two members of the labs team!

Add yours

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  2. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blo that’s both educative and engaging,
    annd without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is aan issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my search for something relating to this.

  3. Am impressed with you Kwabene for how far you have gone with your career…gradually you going beyond the sky… all the best

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