Department of Pathology Celebrates National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

The Department of Pathology celebrated National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week April 20-26 in honor of its more than 300 laboratory professionals, whose contributions are pivotal in determining patient diagnoses.

Throughout the week, laboratory professionals enjoyed celebratory lunches and other activities leading up to an April 23 reception in University of Miami Hospital’s Seminar Center, where members of the department’s 11 laboratories throughout UHealth converged for a festive lab coat decorating contest, a special live performance and games.

Richard J. Cote, M.D., professor and the Joseph R. Coulter, Jr. Endowed Chair in Pathology, kicked off the reception by thanking staff for their dedication.

“Tonight the UHealth Pathology family honors each and every one of you for the work you do every day for our patients,” Cote said.

Because of the department’s substantial growth in the last year – the addition of 85 new employees since January 1, to be exact – a getting-to-know-your-colleagues game, which required participants to introduce themselves to three people they did not know, was not only fun and rewarding, but essential for the department’s increasingly abundant faculty and staff.

After securing the signatures of three people, the cards were turned in for a chance to win raffle prizes, including gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants.

“A lot of our staff can be very shy, so lab week can be reminiscent of a middle school dance, with each lab (instead of the boys and girls) sticking to their own corner of the room,” said Alexandra Faugeras, manager of business operations. “It was great for our team to have incentive to walk around and mingle with one another and create a greater sense of departmental camaraderie. For many, this is the one day all year they will see each other.”

Before lab members showcased their decorating skills in the lab coat contest, a group of lab directors and staff performed an entertaining rendition of Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy.” Dancing a comedic choreographed routine, the group evoked the spirit of the Grammy Award winning musician as they sang “Labby.” In their scientific version, it was all about teamwork in the laboratory:

It may seem crazy what I’m about to say….

So many IT conversions done today….

CoPath … Sunquest … no longer IRL

With this team … consolidation is our tale…

Because we’re labby…

The lyrics thoroughly entertained the crowd who got up and, as the song suggests, clapped along.

As the laughter died down, lab members showcased their hand-decorated lab coats adorned with various materials from their labs. Guest judge Sebastian the Ibis named the winner, the Pathology Informatics lab, whose winning coat depicted “IT nerds.”

“This was a great opportunity to celebrate everyone’s invaluable efforts with some well-deserved enjoyment during this week of recognition,” Cote said.

National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, under the auspices of The American Society for Clinical Pathology, is an annual celebration of the laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in every aspect of healthcare by performing and interpreting more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the United States every year.

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