Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Under the Scope: December 2023

Nominee: Hannah Frost

Hannah FrostNominator: Laura Collins

Hannah is a Student Phlebotomist in the DeGowin Blood Donor Center, and we are lucky to have her on our team. She has shown exemplary critical thinking skills during blood donor screening. She recently worked through a couple of challenging eligibility issues to ensure the appropriate processes were completed. It is really impressive how she notices the smallest details!

How long have you been working in Pathology?
I have been here for one year.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I really like working with the other students. We know each other so well because DeGowin is smaller. Also, while it can get busy, I do like the pacing of the work.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
I am a nursing student, so I wanted experience in a hospital setting. I have heard from other nurses that phlebotomy can be difficult, so I wanted to get trained on it.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I like visiting friends and family, working out, and reading.

What is your dream vacation?
I would like to go to Greece. It’s so pretty there, and I have always wanted to see it. Mamma Mia might have inspired me to want to go.

What is your favorite movie?
Probably How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I would want to be a teacher because I love working with kids. I worked at a daycare before and really enjoyed it. It’s fun to work with kids at that developmental stage.


Nominee: Jennie Kingery

Jennie KingeryNominator: Alex Ehlers

At the end of her shift at 1630 on October 9th, Jennie alerted the assistant lab manager that one of our chemistry analyzers had significant QC failures affecting many tests and our 2nd shift would have limited staff to troubleshoot the issue. Jennie could have left, but instead offered to come back to work to assist with the troubleshooting and ended up staying until after 10pm. Her assistance was crucial to get the instrument back in operation and immediately determine the impact to any patient samples tested that day. Jennie really went above and beyond to prevent an extended downtime in testing and to ensure that we could continue to put out high-quality results.

How long have you been working in Pathology?
I have been working here for about 17 years.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I like that I get to do validation work. It gives me something different to do. There is also a nice balance of individual work versus teamwork. The team is great to work with and interesting.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
I needed a job. I found the MLS program and thought, why not.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
My friends and I do escape rooms sometimes and I do Taekwondo. I also enjoy spending time with my crazy cat and dog.

What is your dream vacation?
I can’t think of one currently, but my friends and I went to Puerto Rico last February. We went boating, walking in the rain forest walk, and zip lining. The food was awesome, too.

What is your favorite movie?
It really depends on my mood. One of my favorite movies is Tombstone.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I would be independently wealthy.


Nominee: Phlebotomy/Runner Team
(Drew Thayer, Maggie Bilot, Pam Lee, ShaLynn Parks, Nicole Jordan)

Phlebotomy/Runner TeamNominator: Ceasura Hedlund

The team is participating in a 1500 squat challenge in the month of October in support of breast cancer awareness! This has been such a great initiative, not only for moral but it has also worked as an awesome tool for reducing the daily stress during some staffing challenges.

What do you enjoy about working in Pathology?
Maggie: The team. I love the people I work with.
Drew: Lab events are really fun. Lab Week especially.
Pam: I like being able to see everyone on my runs around the labs.
Nicole: I have worked in two different departments within Pathology, and I have really enjoyed my coworkers in both areas. Those connections make work enjoyable.
ShaLynn: Within our lab, Ceasura makes fun activities for us to do. It makes work exciting and reduces our stress.

What made you decide to participate in the squat challenge?
Maggie: I was looking for more exercise and a mutual acquaintance of ours has had breast cancer, so I wanted to support the cause. We are going to keep doing these challenges and will be doing a Santa Squat challenge in December.
ShaLynn: Knowing someone close to us has been impacted by breast cancer made me decide to join. It was also a good chance to help make patients aware of breast cancer month. Being able to talk with patients about it was nice. Also, we got to work as a team and encourage each other to keep going.
Nicole: I have had people in my family, friends, and coworkers who have been impacted by breast cancer. Doing this made it feel like I was helping the cause. It was great to see that patients were inspired by our work as well. It was really meaningful.

What was the hardest part about participating in this challenge?
Nicole: Probably adding more on as you go.
Maggie: The first week because we all had noodle legs after sessions.
Shalynn: Having to do catch up for sure. I had a wedding and got behind, but I caught up.

What was the most exciting part about participating in the challenge?
Drew: I think it was not only getting us together as a team, but also seeing patients’ reactions. It was encouraging.
Shalynn: I also felt it was nice to see patients’ reactions.
Pam: The patients always seemed to enjoy our breast cancer ribbon drawings and seeing how our progress was going. It pushed us to stick with it.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
ShaLynn: Social worker.
Nicole: I would want to go to med school. I want to have a positive impact on patients.
Maggie: I would like to get my nursing degree (BSN) and become a nurse.
Pam: I would just retire.
Drew: I think something EMS related. I do it on the side now and really enjoy it.

Picture: (From right to left) Drew Thayer, Maggie Bilot, Pam Lee, Shalynn Parks, Nicole Jordan


Nominee: Julie Schmidt

Julie SchmidtNominator: Julie Kruger

Julie has made huge improvements in our coagulation processes. She has implemented new assays and works well with providers, outside hospitals, and various manufacturers. She is smart and organized and an all-around great person.

How long have you been working in Pathology?
I have been working in the Core Lab for 23 years.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I love the people. I also love that everyday looks different.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
I enjoyed working in science. I kind of stumbled across this job and found out I really liked it.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I love to travel. Most recently I went to Curaçao. I also enjoy reading and baking.

What is your dream vacation?
It’s hard to pick just one place. I think right now would love to go to Iceland or Machu Pichu.

What is your favorite movie?
I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but my favorite book is Pride and Prejudice.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I would be a professional traveler.