Late last month Penn Med observed Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, a time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the 600-plus lab professionals in more than 30 laboratories across the health system, and the US. And in that effort, they have given back to the community at a record level – they raised more than $5,500, with their annual Lab Week gift basket raffle, for the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance and the Peoples Emergency Center, two Philadelphia charities that provide nutrition for people with life-threatening illnesses and that nurture and support families in local neighborhood communities.
At Penn Medicine, close to 1,200 faculty and staff in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine work around the clock to perform critical patient care functions such as running blood banks and conducting tests that provide essential data to make diagnoses of all kinds and keep patients safe throughout their hospital stays.
This year, the department expanded its offerings to include a few new activities during the celebration week, including a Rock Your Pride: Lab Week Door Decorating Contest. Fourteen labs decorated their doors in very creative ways, which made it hard for the judge, Chair David Roth, to select a winner.
First place, a pizza lunch for all lab shifts, went to the Microbiology Lab, whose door featured the insect "Mike Roach" presenting the "savory side of microbiology" for those people who are usually "grossed out when they think of bacteria or fungus." Tied for second place (soft pretzels for the lab) were Transfusion Medicine with "superheroes saving patients one apheresis at a time" and Special Coagulation, rocking their pride as KOAG "Detroit Clot City."
The second annual dessert competition had some nerdy winners among other sweets, including “lab” cupcakes complete with double-helices, atoms, and Erlenmeyer flasks, as well as “Perfect Streak Technique” cookies.