Patient Safety Advocate Earned Cardinal Health urEssential Laboratory Professional of the Year Award


Cardinal Health named Jennifer Dawson the 2017 recipient of its urEssential Award, which recognizes the essential contributions medical laboratory professionals make to patient care.

DUBLIN, Ohio, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardinal Health named Jennifer Dawson, MHA, LSSBB, CPHQ, DLM (ASCP) SLS, QLC, QIHC, the 2017 recipient of the Cardinal Health™ urEssential Award, which recognizes the essential contributions medical laboratory professionals make to patient care.

"Laboratory professionals work behind the scenes and away from the patients they serve, so their important contributions often go unrecognized; this is why the urEssential Award program aims to shine a spotlight on exceptional laboratory professionals," said Chris Kerski, senior vice president and general manager of Laboratory Products at Cardinal Health. "As an advocate for quality and patient safety, Jennifer helps ensure laboratories in the U.S. and abroad achieve the standards necessary to provide exceptional patient care, and we're proud to honor her outstanding achievements."

In addition to national recognition for her contributions to quality programs in the clinical lab and beyond, Cardinal Health will provide a $25,000 educational grant to the institution of higher learning of Dawson's choice. Dawson's grant will go to Texas State University to support students pursuing careers in clinical laboratory science.

"As a passionate advocate of the laboratory and its role in providing quality care and the highest level of patient safety, I'm humbled and honored to be recognized with this prestigious laboratory award," said Dawson. "I hope this spreads awareness of the impactful work being done by medical laboratory professionals and inspires others to pursue a career in this rewarding field."

Dawson is currently the senior director of Quality for Human Longevity, Inc. in San Diego and affiliate faculty at Regis University in Denver. Over the course of her career, she has developed or revamped quality programs for many laboratories, including building multiple labs and lab quality programs and providing consulting services. She previously served as vice president of Quality and Regulatory Affairs for Sonic Healthcare USA (SHUSA), one of the largest lab networks in the U.S. During her tenure, she was one of four executives to build SHUSA's national esoteric reference lab from the ground up. The non-conforming event management programs Dawson has developed and implemented allow laboratories to identify non-conforming events, eliminate root causes, and proactively correct issues before patients are affected. In addition, Dawson is heavily involved in calculating the Cost of Poor Quality, which allows laboratories to demonstrate the financial benefits of quality programs. She frequently publishes articles, presents posters and aims to spread awareness and further knowledge about lab quality.

Showcasing the impact Dawson has already had on the laboratory industry, she's been recognized with several accolades, including:

  • 2015 American Society for Clinical Pathology Top 5 Under Forty award
  • 2015 Advance Lab Professional of the Year
  • 2016 American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Voices Under 40 award
  • 2017 Austin Under 40 award

This marks the fourth year for the Cardinal Health™ urEssential Award program. Individuals working in the clinical laboratory profession may be nominated by their managers, colleagues, peers and students, or they may self-nominate. The award seeks to recognize clinical laboratory professionals who have improved their current (or former) laboratory, enhanced patient care through their work, and increased the awareness of the importance of the profession.

For more information on the Cardinal Health™ urEssential Award program, and to learn more about Dawson and the five distinguished professionals selected as 2017 finalists, visit

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