Holley Ernst, diagnostic services assistant section head at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory’s (TVMDL) College Station facility, is the 2019 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Diagnostic Services recipient.
Ernst is an excellent example of a dedicated and committed employee. She began her career at TVMDL in 2005 as a student worker in the diagnostic services section. Quickly, she assumed the responsibility of lead office assistant and was charged with sample processing, sample distribution, and client communications. After graduating from Sam Houston State University in 2014, Ernst worked in TVMDL’s virology section, again leading sample receipt and performing various testing procedures.
In 2015, Ernst was promoted to a supervisory position in the diagnostic services section. For three years, she led and trained a team of individuals responsible for arguably the most crucial part of diagnostic testing; sample receiving, processing, and distribution.
During her tenure at supervisor, Ernst improved and implemented several new processes. For example, in 2016 TVMDL transitioned to an electronic accessing system. Previously, the agency used a paper-based method that generated approximately 800 pieces of paper, depending on the workload, each day. This transition to an electronic method required a lengthy process of validation and planning before it was implemented. Ernst served as a leader within this transition, quickly adopting the new electronic system and conducting several trials to ensure its accuracy. When problems arose, she promptly studied them and provided feedback to TVMDL’s IT team that ultimately led to a successful transition to the new system.
Ernst also provided an invaluable level of commitment and dedication during TVMDL’s move to a new facility in 2016. To ensure testing would not stop, Ernst reevaluated and created several new sample accessioning processes that allowed for a seamless move into the new facility. During a time that could have easily been stressful, Ernst confidently took on this challenge. Because of this, testing remained constant, accurate, and efficient while staff moved into the new facility.
Due to her countless successes as supervisor in diagnostic services, Ernst was promoted to assistant section head in 2018. She continues to oversee daily operations in specimen receiving and client services while continually looking for ways to improve her section. She is admired not only by her staff members, but by employees throughout the laboratory and agency for her hard work and positive attitude.
“Few individuals can have such a profound impact on a diagnostic lab than the leader of a receiving team. This group’s accuracy and timeliness can set up testing sections for success or failure,” Stacy Morris, assistant agency directory, said. “Service-minded, thoughtful, collaborative, and open to change, Holley Ernst is the ideal person to sit in this power seat. She’s shown a commitment to herself, her employees, and the agency.”
Please join TVMDL in congratulating Holley Ernst in receiving the 2019 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence.