Thursday, January 12, 2012

My newsletter: Cantaloupe, laboratory improvements, and son as model

I am excited to announce that I just published the January issue of my newsletter. I always have so much fun working on it; the days just fly by as I compile articles, information, and photos and edit them in order to build the web page for online publication. Pardon me while I do a happy dance. Here's my my editorial to keep you busy meanwhile.

My son’s favorite fruit is cantaloupe. I have often grabbed bites for myself as I washed, seeded, skinned, and diced. Perhaps, like me, the sweet, earthy scent evokes summer, bringing back memories of swim-enhanced appetite slaked by devouring the orange flesh straight from the rind, juice dripping toward your elbows. The recent food outbreak linked to cantaloupe stole some of my heedless joy in cantaloupe consumption. What if my son had been exposed to the bacteria that caused such wide-spread illness and even death? Fortunately, his window of danger is long past, along with cantaloupe season, but I know that I’m not the only one who will scrub next summer’s cantaloupes with added vigor.  Read the article on “Investigating Listeriosis” to learn about the important work of public health laboratories as we work to solve food outbreaks.

As we begin the New Year, our Newborn Screening (NBS) and Blood Lead Screening programs continue their contributions to our on-going resolution: improve health and wellbeing in Texas. NBS is working to enhance the processes used in screening each baby born in Texas, and the Clinical Chemistry Group is working on internal and external improvements. You can read more about their progress in “Presenting NBS and Clinical Chemistry Process Improvements.”

Delve deeper into one of our improvement methodologies in the article on “Improving Laboratory Efficiency: Implementing Lean Six Sigma Principles.” This tool helps us overcome challenges in order to maintain high quality laboratory testing and improve customer and employee satisfaction.

A safety article on Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls was also included in the employee edition. We used a photo of my son as an illustration on how we learn to walk. I just have to be the proud mom for a moment (see photo below). He was exploring one of his favorite places, aka outside, and in this case our back yard.

Son, hubby, and I also explored a nearby playscape. I challenge you not to smile at this photo:

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