Sten Westgard, MS
In Swedish there is a phrase, tusen tak!, which literally means, a thousand thanks. Usually, this is hyperbole. In the case of the AACC/ASCLS conference in Los Angeles, it's probably the rough estimate of the number of people we presented in front of, met, conversed and shared stories with. Between three industry workshops, appearances at three different booths, including our own, it's safe to say we saw about 1,000 people.
Here are a few of our favorites:
From left to right: forget this man's name (apologies), then Carl Garber, Joan Westgard, James Westgard, Dr. Harry Harrison, and Dr. Jay Jones. These latter two are from Geisinger Health System. Among their many accomplishments, this year Dr. Jones and Dr. Harrison presented a poster on the application of Sigma-metrics at Geisinger. This helped them reduce the number of outliers, repeats, and interruptions to their autoverification. Carl Garber is from Quest Diagnostics and is a former grad student of Dr. Westgard's. Once Carl worked with Dr. Westgard at the University of Wisconsin, but then Carl went on to bigger, much bigger, and better things at Quest.
Joan Westgard, James Westgard, and Rob Kerekes, MLT, ART(c).
Rob is a Charge Technologist for Uron-Perth Healthcare Alliance. He co-authored a study on Sigma-metrics a few years ago and has been implementing those metrics for several years. He's one of those people who has the energy to do 2-3 jobs all at once - a great asset for any laboratory.
Sharon Cox, MT(ASCP)SC and James Westgard. Sharon is the Core Lab Supervisor of Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She's a dynamo who's been implementing all the new automation and informatics advances that a laboratory could wish for. Sten Westgard had the pleasure of presenting with her in India as well as San Francisco this year. Having presented with "a" Westgard, she decided she also wanted to meet "the" Westgard.
James O. Westgard and Mark Colby, holding an issue of his magazine, which contains one of Dr. Westgard's articles translated into Japanese. We've been working with Mark Colby for months, communicating by phone, skype, and email. It was a great chance to meet face-to-face, finally.
Mark tells us that Japan, for all its quality management mystique, still has room for improvement when it comes to the quality of laboratory testing.
Sten Westgard, Stacy Walz, MS, Joely Streseski, PhD, and James Westgard.
Stacy Walz is the Chair of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program at Arkansas State University.
Joely Straseki is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Medical Director of Endocrinology for ARUP laboratories.
Stacy and Joely are Badger alumni, former students of Dr. Westgard's. The AACC/ASCLS conference is a great chance to see old friends again - and in this case, future co-authors in an upcoming 2013 journal issue...
There were many more people, and many more thanks we should offer, if only we had the time.
Thanks to all who visited, attended and listened. We hope to see you all again next year in Houston for the 2013 AACC/ASCLS conference.