Ed Hale

Chemistry supervisor seen as ‘brain of the lab' at Oswego Hospital

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2008 Healthcare Hero
Ed Hale
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Hale, 47, hails from Fayetteville. He is married to Terese. Hale graduated in 1985 from Utica College of Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in medical technology. He had interned at Oswego Hospital prior to graduation. "They liked my abilities, so I was hired right after graduation," he said.

In 1992, he graduated with an MPS in healthcare administration and was promoted to chemistry supervisor. In 1999, he took over the position of Laboratory Information System administrator.
"I have selected various instrumentation over the last 15 years and attended advanced training to learn repair and programming," he said."I try to stay on top of my field by being a member of the Clinical Laboratory Managers Association, American Association of Clinical Chemistry and American Society of Clinical Pathologists," he said. "I read their periodicals and attend conferences when possible."

Hale always makes himself available at work, home and cell phone to his associates to help with problems or answer questions. "My notebook computer is generally not far from me no matter where I go, just in case I need to connect into the LIS to correct or look at a problem," he said.
"When instrumentation has had major problems, I have spent 16 to 24 hours at a time with service engineers over the phone and on site to repair instrumentation," he said.

"Ed is the brains of the lab," said Tracy Seeber, a fellow lab employee who nominated Hale for the award. "He comes in at 2 in the morning to fix important analyzers so that physicians can promptly treat their patients. This happens more often than one would suspect."

Nora Donovan, also an employee at Oswego Hospital, shed praise on the new Healthcare Hero. "When I think of Ed Hale and consider his character, words such as selfless, accommodating, kind and compassionate come to mind," Donovan said. "Although Ed's job is performed mostly behind the scenes and outside the spotlight, if it were not for him, our department would not be able to supply much needed diagnostic information that our physicians need to give their patients the best care possible," Donovan added.

Lynda Barry also nominated Hale for the award. "A hero has been defined as a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, a person revered," she said. "If we accept this definition as true, then Ed Hale is truly a ‘Healthcare Hero.' There is no one more dedicated to his job or revered by his co-workers in our hospital," she said. "Each person in the lab knows they can call Ed anytime of day or night with any question or emergency they have."

For co-worker Melissa Maciejko, Hale "is the go-to man for nearly everything in the laboratory," she said. "His title reads chemistry supervisor, but it should read laboratory genius," she added.
"An ongoing joke in the lab is that when Ed Leaves or retires, we all will be following him," Maciejko said. "Without Ed's expertise, patients' laboratory results would be delayed and patient care would be compromised," she added.

Pat Main, microbiology supervisor and infection control practitioner, salutes Hale for his undying dedication to his profession. "Even when Ed is not at work, he routinely works from home, frequently dialing in to the lab to address any issues, or potential problems, before they become problems," she noted. "His expertise and thorough knowledge of his laboratory equipment is legendary," Main said. In fact, it has been known for equipment manufacturers to contact him for troubleshooting ideas and thoughts on future versions of analyzers/equipment.
"All this being said, it must be noted that another of the great things about Ed is that all the while, he never loses his great attitude, and does his best to lift the spirits of all around him," she added.
(By Lou Sorendo)