Three medical laboratory sciences faculty members honored for outstanding service

The Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science recently recognized three faculty members in the Southwestern Allied Health Sciences School's Medical Laboratory Sciences Department for their outstanding service to the association and the field.

The honorees are Dr. Joan Aldrich, associate professor; and Carol Creech and John Wentz, assistant professors.

"For three of our senior faculty members to be honored by TACLS in the same year for outstanding service and dedication provides tangible proof of their dedication to the clinical laboratory science profession," said Dr. Lynn Little, chairman of medical laboratory sciences. "I am very proud of these three faculty members."

Dr. Aldrich received a national level Omicron Sigma Award for her work with the society's consumer information team. On Mondays, she answers chemistry-related questions online, helping the general public to interpret laboratory results. This award recognizes members' outstanding service at three levels: state, regional and national.

Dr. Aldrich also received the Presidential Merit Award for her dedication and continuous support in her roles as secretary and bylaws chair.

"When things need to be done, Joan is there to help," said Becky See, TACLS immediate past president, who gave the award. "She makes sure that we, as an organization, stay on track."

Ms. Creech received a state level Omicron Sigma Award recognizing her work as the association's public relations chair.

"I was very grateful to have the chance to be public relations chair person for TACLS this past year," she said. "It gave me the opportunity to bring some additional attention to those who work 'at the bench' in clinical laboratory science."

Last month the organization celebrated National Medical Laboratory Week, an effort to bring public attention to the importance of medical diagnostic tests and medical laboratory technologists.

"Our public recognition factor as an important allied health field is really low, and this is tragic when you consider that an estimated 70 percent of the information that most doctors use to make their diagnoses comes directly from the clinical laboratory," Ms. Creech said.

Mr. Wentz, a past president of the association, received the H.A. Bard well Award, a state level Omicron Sigma Award and the Member of the Year Award for dedication and leadership to Texas clinical laboratory scientists. Mr. Wentz will also be a contender for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Member of the Year Award in 2005.

"I am just trying to promote a profession that I enjoy and appreciate," Mr. Wentz said. "This is a career that has a real positive influence on patients, even though it's behind the scenes work. Plus there is a shortage of personnel so there are a lot of job opportunities and a lot of job security for our graduates."

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Staishy Bostick Siem
214-648-3404
staishy.siem@utsouthwestern.edu

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