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Improving lab standards across the globe

Sheryl Thiessen was recently awarded by the Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute for her contributions to global lab standards.
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​Meet Sheryl Thiessen, an exceptional leader with a passion for health care. Sheryl has had a long history within the labs. She began her career as a medical technologist, eventually shifting into quality management, and now focusing on strategic priorities, working closely with clinical services. 

“Growing up, I was good at maths and science and this particular line of work provides a lot of opportunities for using those skills,” says Sheryl. 

Sheryl has been with PHSA for over seven years and currently is the lead for the Out-of-Province / Out-of-Country (OOP/OOC) program for Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services (PLMS). The OOP/OOC program provides funding for tests that are not available in B.C., including infrequently ordered tests and esoteric tests that require specialized equipment, technology, or expertise. This funding program processes over 500 applications every month, resulting in more than 6,000 annually. The data collected is used to identify strategic opportunities for lab partners when considering making a new test available, greatly improving health outcomes for British Columbians.

Going above and beyond

In addition to her work, Sheryl generously volunteers with the Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), a non-profit organization that develops laboratory standards worldwide. Her expertise and leadership led her to serve as chair of a committee responsible for formulating and publishing a standard for handling, transporting, processing, and storing blood specimens for routine laboratory examinations. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, CLSI recognized Sheryl with a service award.

“I’m very appreciative of the recognition,” says Sheryl. “This beautiful award was a pleasant surprise! I will be happy to display this in my home as a frequent reminder of where this profession can take you.”

Cheryl McCullough, director of laboratory services also added: “I’m so happy to see Sheryl recognized in this way. She is selfless and dedicated in her commitment to improve and better laboratory services, here in B.C. and beyond our borders. A model for all. I’m humbled to be working with her every day!”

Celebrate National Medical Laboratory Week!

As we celebrate National Medical Laboratory Week (April 14-20), we honour Sheryl and all medical laboratory professionals for their indispensable role in the health care ecosystem.

"Lab Week is an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of all lab professionals," says Sheryl. "Quality is the cornerstone of our service, and through our collective efforts, we can ensure patients and clinicians receive the most accurate results possible."
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