February 2005 Mentor of the Month Q&A Session: Susan Evans
Welcome to SYCL's Mentor of the Month.  Questions and Answers will be displayed below...

I read a bit of the interview and was in advance convinced that Dr. Evans is really a mentor to admire. I want Dr. Evans to direct me, an up and coming Clincal Chemist to fully attain my goal in this field of study. I also would like to know whether Dr. Evans' Private organization is interested in working with international student on intenship. Thank you. George.
kumasi, ashanti, Ghana

Sue Evans
George, I would recommend that you first look for opportunities of support from associations like AACC, IFCC and your local professional societies. AACC has an excellent Student Fellowship program that provides funding for travel grants to the AACC Annual meeting. We are also looking for additionhal ways to support young clinical scientists from around the world and will be discussing this topic further in 2005. I'm afraid my consulting practice does not have the resources to support internships but I will continue to work through AACC to help identify ways we can support students.

Consultants steeped in a life science background are rare. What factors and aspiritations led you to creating an independent consulting firm? What type of consulting services does your company offer? What are the biggest challenges and gaps in transitioning from an R&D role for a large corporation to an independent consulting role? How did you address these challenges and gaps? What are your thoughts on the various quality management trends over the past 20-25 years, in the clinical lab specifically?
Chicago, IL

Sue Evans
So many questions! My consulting practice is focused on two primary areas, technology assessment and R&D organization, leadership and processes. I have always been interested in the role of technology in the development of strategic direction. I enjoy working with companies that are looking at new technologies or products and helping them better understand the nature of the technology or product and how it might fit in their product portfolio. Starting a consulting practice gave me the opportunity to but my experience and expertise to work in a different way. The first challenge is defining your area of expertise, articulating how you add value, and establishing a network of reference clients. It helps to prepare a short but concise summary of your services and expertise. The rest is marketing and doing a great job so your network will grow. Your question about quality management trends is challenging to answer in this space so I will take a very high level approach. I am a strong believer in Quality Systems. During my years in the IVD Industry I have participated in the development, implementation and monitoring of Quality Systems. I have seem the quality and robustness of the products we developed and the services we provided improve significantly as the processes improve. The value of good Quality System goes far beyond the technical aspects of the product. They apply to all the business processes as well and the interface with customers and a better understanding of customer needs. Processes today help you focus on evidence and data and they support your analysis and decision making using a systematic approach to problem solving. Thes processes add value when applied to any situation and will add great value to the clinical laboratory.

Dear Dr. Evans Congratulations on your very fruitful career! I am curious about your role as past president of AACC. When you began your role as president, did you have a particular vision for AACC that you wanted to achieve as president? How did you try to achieve that vision? Thank you for your response!
Rochester, MN

Sue Evans
It is important to all involved with AACC governance that we increase the public awareness of our profession and the understanding of the role of the clinical laboratory scientist. It is also important that we continue to have a vibrant organization that provides excellent programs to support member needs, and an association that has a steady influx of new and active members. I had the opportunity to bring together groups of volunteer members who were focused on four key areas of discussion, communication, especially with the AACC membership, membership issues, the Annual Meeting and philanthropy (Van Slyke Foundation). There were a number of key recommendations that have been implemented including the creation of SYCL, the reestablishment of a membership committee, and the addition of Strategies articles to AACC eNews as a new member service. The AACC presidency has always benefited from a continuum of leadership. Much of the work I began was completed and implemented by Dr. Moyer and some will carry into the work of Dr. Scott. Each of us have been able to initiate new projects that are important to us while continuing to work with the board of directors to support and complete ongoing projects. This allows programs and initiatives that would take more than one year to continue and to come to fruition while enabling each AACC President the opportunity to focus on issues that are important to them.

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