Laboratory Leadership

Storytelling for Public Health Laboratories

Storytelling has been used for millennia to pass wisdom from elders to the younger generation on the how-to of life and survival. In the past decade, leaders in business and other western organizations have developed narrative skills to spark action, encourage shared values, get people to work together or to open to new ideas. When the narrative focus was on problems, how they occurred, how they were solved and why the solutions worked, it was called “sharing knowledge.” Thus, storytelling became a growing skill in the field of managing knowledge in organizations.

Why “Stories” About Public Health Laboratories?
APHL proposes to collect stories for public health laboratories to:

*  Pass on the wisdom of older generation laboratory leaders
*  Share information on how to deal with laboratory challenges among contemporaries
*  Recruit new scientists into the field of public health laboratories
*  Help the public to better understand the public health laboratory’s role in the public health system
The stories posted were collected over a 9 month span prior to APHL’s 2008 Annual Meeting. They represent a small sample of the diversity housed within public health laboratories as well as voices from the next generation of public health laboratorians.

David Carpenter, PhD
Research Associate Professor
So. Illinois University School of Medicine

     *An Epidemic Finds Dave Carpenter
     *Going to the Feeding Trough
     *Woman Questions HIV


Norm Crouch, PhD
Assistant Commissioner, Health Protection Bureau
Minnesota Public Health Laboratory

     *Knee Surgery Deaths
     *Lab Leadership


David Mills, PhD
New Mexico Scientific Laboratory Division 

     *Solving E. Coli
     *International Work, Focus on Big Picture


Natalie Mills
Student and Disease Detective
University of Texas-Austin

     *Loves Streaking out Plates
     *Natalie Finds MRSA


Max Salfinger, MD
Chief, Bureau of Laboratories
Florida Bureau of Laboratories

     *Grueling Training Pays Off
     *Staff Positions at Risk


Maureen Sullivan, MPH
Bioterrorism Preparedness Coordinator
Minnesota State Public Health Laboratory

     *Anthrax Challenges Lab
     *Lab Tour Yields New Lab


Courtney Zych
Student and Disease Detective
University of Texas-Austin   

     *Found in Football Socks
     *Sci-Fi Thrillers Leads to the Lab