Star Wars, Pathology and the NCB Expo

Only Pathology had Darth Vader in full regalia, the Star Wars soundtrack, hundreds of gold stars covering our table, and video presentations at the New Clinical Building (NCB) Expo on November 14, 2011. Among the 35 tables at the Expo held in the Turner Course, ours spotlighted the Core Lab’s changes in the NCB, the Roche Cobas® automated instrumentation platform for chemistry testing, and the Blood Bank’s novel HemoSafe® dispending machine.

Core Lab’s Darth Vader

Left to right, Georgina Pillainayagam, Gay Vergera, and Morinat Kukoyi.

Left to right, Vilma Saavedra, Bruce Clarete, and Joan Boyd

Our eye-catching poster

The NCB Expo gave employees throughout the Hospital an enjoyable opportunity to mingle with coworkers from other departments and learn about the move in a holistic way.

Our table was hosted in shifts by Georgina Pillainayagam, Morinat Kukoyi, Greg Gerhardt, Lois Tissue, Vilma Saavedra, Bruce Clarete, and Joan Boyd. Alissa Arellano was our Darth Vader (I can only disclose that now). Toni Strong was a Hopkins top model, posing the new purplish-fuchsia scrubs our phlebotomists will wear in the NCB.

Many questions at the table were from nurses concerned about the Core Lab’s turnaround time — would it be the same or longer or better? Vilma Saavedra told them we anticipate our turnaround time will actually improve because of the Lab’s proximity to the units and our new, specialized instrumentation. Other clinicians were surprised to learn that the Weinberg Blood Bank would be closing in early February. They were shown a schematic showing elevators and that the distance to the new Blood Bank was not much further. There were questions about who can utilize the Blood Bank’s Hemosafe® dispensing machine (the answer is the O.R.s only). Other questions related to phlebotomy, would JHOC Express Testing close when the new building is up (the answer is no, and Express Testing is not run by our Department). Many Hospital colleagues did not know much about the Pathology move and it was beneficial for them to stop by, introduce themselves and learn more about our changes.

At a nearby table, the new scrub colors were on display. Ours is shown at the bottom.

Johns Hopkins Medicine leaders, including Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of the medical faculty, Ronald R. Peterson, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, George Dover, M.D., Children’s Center director, and Clark Construction Company leaders with the ceremonial key to the new clinical buildings, the Sheikh Zayed Tower and the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center. The handing of the key represents the ending of the construction phase and the beginning of employee occupation of the new buildings. The buildings’ interiors will now be furnished, systems perfected, and employees trained in their new environment. (Photo courtesy of Jon Christofersen.)

The Core Lab will move approximately 60 instruments to the new building, and Transfusion Medicine will move two. There is still much work and validation to be done in the months ahead. Headed by Mike Huppenthal for the past three years, the Pathology NCB transition project is going well and remains a huge work-in-progress. The individual divisions are busy preparing the details of the final move activation plans. Offices will transition into the NCB four weeks in advance of the clinical areas. By May 1, 2012, everyone should be settled in their new clinical areas.

Renata Karlos
Staff Assistant
Department of Pathology