Lynn started at the Lab in urinalysis, then moved into the Lab Information
System Supervisor role, took on the Blood Bank Supervisor and then became
an Assistant Supervisor to the Lab Manager. In 1998, she stepped into
the Lab Manager/Director position and hasn’t looked back.
“I have never met anyone more excited and passionate about the automation
of various lab tests and what it means for patient care,” says Deb
Tonn, CCH Vice President of Patient Care Services. “Lynn gives the
best Laboratory tours for anyone who wants to learn about the department.
And, you can tell she truly cares about her staff and the services that
they provide our community.”
Within the Laboratory, and even throughout the organization, Lynn is known
to be passionate about her department and about providing the best possible
care for her patients. Lynn has also kept a pulse on the nationwide shortage
of lab technicians, and even health care workers, so she’s always
looking for ways to get more people interested in the fields. She was
instrumental in helping CCH Professional Development create the
Phlebotomy Classes offered yearly, and soon to be offered more frequently. She has also partnered
with area community colleges to allow students to do their clinical rotations
at the CCMH Lab.
“Lynn really goes to bat for her employees—she always wants
us to be paid for our abilities and works very hard to make sure that
the Lab is adequately staffed,” says Julia Reagan, CCMH Lab Phlebotomy
Supervisor, who has known Lynn for 15 years.
“Lynn has been instrumental in enabling the lab to have the most
current equipment and technology to provide the best care for our patient,”
adds Donna Hallcroft, Lab Supervisor, who has worked with Lynn for 29
years. “She’s always looking for ideas to improve processes,
and welcomes new ideas from staff.”
In 2004, the Lab began performing the health fair testing instead of sending
the samples out of town/state to be processed. Then, in 2006 the Lab began
providing the community with healthCHECK testing every Tuesday. That led
the way for our on-demand health screening testing now known as
healthCHECK+ that is offered by Wellness Services Monday-Friday from 6-11 am; and the
testing is still performed by our Laboratory.
Jump 10 years down the road, Lynn saw that demands for chemistry testing
increased from 140,000 tests per year in 2000 to more than 770,000 tests
in 2009. Lynn led the charge for
a Lab remodel to include a Roche automation line, which was also the first full chemistry
automation line in Wyoming. Before automation, a Medical Lab Scientist
entered blood specimen information into the computer, waited for the blood
to clot, walked the sample to a centrifuge machine for preparation, uncapped
the tube and poured samples for testing, walked the sample to the analyzer
machine, and finally, verified the results and released the test information
to the physician requesting the test. Automation performs all those tasks,
so the specimen enters the automation line and doesn't have to be
touched again until analysis is complete—removing multiple manual
tasks in the testing process, decreasing the chances of human error and
exposure to pathogens, while improving quality and efficiency.
Lynn was also instrumental in implementing the PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
testing, which is a very accurate way to test for some diseases and get
results quick—and that helps a doctor treat a patient fast and accurately
to make them feel better, faster. For example, tests for meningitis used
to be sent to Mayo and it would take a week to get results. Now, the Lab
can test and get the results in a little more than an hour.
Lynn has also shown that she can be innovative in making sure patients
have a great experience in the Lab. A negative experience having her blood
drawn as a child has haunted Lynn for years, and every time a child came
in for blood work she would relive that experience. To help make the experience
better for children who were scared of needles, to have blood work drawn
or get a vaccination, the department tried everything from stickers to
suckers and stuffed animals to festive artwork. But, it wasn’t until
Lynn met a local black light artist that she figured out how to transform
the patient experience with her “Wow” Rooms. Now when children come to the hospital, instead of a choice between a
Sponge Bob or Strawberry Shortcake Band-Aid, they get to choose between
the ocean room or the jungle room under the black light.
"It's amazing how much it helps the kids," Lynn said. "With
just a flip of a switch, the tears are instantly gone as they gaze around
and look at the walls. It's so much more than I had ever thought it
CCH has even added more of these wow rooms in the
surgery department. In 2014, Lynn spoke about the "Wow" rooms at
Mayo Clinic and has since presented at other medical professional conferences. Lynn
has also started her own business to help other medical facilities transform
their patient areas as well—From Ow to Wow. And, if Lynn notices an employee who may be down in the dumps, she encourages
them to sit in one of the rooms to cheer up—and it usually works.
“I’m honored to be recognized as a Legend at CCH,” Lynn
says. “To me, I’m just doing my job, to the best of my ability.
I’m humbled that my colleagues have seen something legendary in
In her spare time, Lynn and her husband, Jerry run
Excalibur Entertainment, which provides a DJ and emcee (and even some Karaoke) for any special
event. The duo has raised three boys together – her son Kyle, who
recently graduated with a degree in Chemistry from
Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD; Jerry’s son Derrick, who is attending
Gillette College; and her sister’s son William, who is also attending Gillette College.
They enjoy spending time together with their three pug-zus (pug and shih
Thank you, Lynn for WOWing us all with your innovative ideas and approaches
to patient care. You have left a permanent impression in this organization
and in our community. Congratulations.