Canadian Hemophilia Society Award for lab technologist
By Sharon Gray
Dr. Mary-Frances Scully, a hematologist and faculty member at Memorial University, is very proud of one of her team members. Michelle Hendry, a laboratory technologist for the genetic bleeding disorders program with Eastern Health, has received one of the 2004 Awards of Appreciation from the Canadian Hemophilia Society. It was presented Nov. 26 in Montreal.
“This is the first time in Canada that this award has gone to a laboratory technologist,” said Dr. Scully. “Laboratory technologists work extremely hard and are rarely appreciated by patients’ organizations as laboratory work is somewhat invisible in our system.”
Ms. Hendry was nominated for this award specifically for her role in saving a child’s life. This child presented at the Janeway Children’s Hospital with a rare bleeding problem during a NAPE strike. Ms. Hendry was called in from the picket line to perform appropriate coagulation screening assays. She took the extra time to review the child’s history and to note that the child came from a region of the province where a hereditary bleeding disorder program had already identified the presence of a rare, treatable, but potentially dangerous coagulation disorder which does not show up on routine blood work.
In nominating Ms. Hendry for this Award of Appreciation, the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society described her as a “consummate professional” who took it upon herself to perform the additional tests necessary to diagnose the child’s problem. “Thanks to Michelle’s work, it was correctly identified and the child is receiving appropriate treatment and is thriving,” wrote Norman Locke, then-president of the local chapter, in submitting the application. “If not for Michelle’s insightful work, the child would have been discharged as her preliminary blood work was normal. It is quite possible that if the child was allowed to return home without a proper diagnosis, the outcome would have been tragic.”
Dr. Scully said the award was given not just for this one event but for a life-time of service. “Michelle is the longest serving member of the Hemophilia Team as she has been with the program since the late ‘70s. I am inspired by her consistent interest and commitment to excellence.”