This award honors a laboratorian with 10 to 15 years of service in a Governmental public health laboratory (either public health or environmental/agricultural laboratory).  The honoree:

  • Will be recognized as a leader in public health laboratory science
  • May have been instrumental in providing technical and public presentations and publications on laboratory science/policy
  • May have developed/advocated for best practices in laboratory science
  • Worked with APHL by serving on committees and or representing APHL at other meetings to advance public and environmental health
  • Served in a leadership role on state agency or national committees or workgroups
  • May have conducted or promoted research leading to advancements in laboratory science or public policy

The above are examples to help the nominators frame their response and are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of potential attributes that describe the successful nominee for this category.

Candidates may or may not be a member of APHL. However, they must be employed at an APHL member institutional laboratory. Candidates may hold any rank or title within their respective institutions. Managerial or formal leadership experience is not required.

Formal recognition for this award will take place during the awards breakfast at the APHL Annual Meeting.

Past Winners

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Kathryn Wangsness

Ms. Wangsness is the Chief, Office of Laboratory Services, leading the QA Unit, Laboratory Receiving, and Analytical Preparation Services, and is the Chemical Hygiene Officer and Co-Chair of the Safety Committee. She works with the section supervisors on budgets, purchasing, outbreaks support, training and personnel items, along with receiving and applying for grant opportunities. As a member of the APHL Emerging Leader Cohort II, and now a member of the Network of Laboratory Leaders Alumni, she is currently a lead on the “Basic Skills Videos” project related to PHL competencies and is one of the coaches for the Cohort 8 class. Kathryn was a member of the APHL L-SIP Mentoring Workgroup and Values Taskgroup, both of which assisted others in preparing for and performing the L-SIP assessment.

Currently, Kathryn is co-chairing the APHL Data Acceptance workgroup, developing a white paper and checklist to assist PHLs that are not ISO/IEC 17025 accredited in developing a minimum quality system to meet the basic needs of a variety of clients, including food testing for data submission/acceptance by FDA. In 2015, Kathryn led her laboratory to obtain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation in under 2 years; one of the few laboratories working towards accreditation of their food testing that’s not specifically funded. Kathryn also worked with the purchasing section to revamp their system and become compliant with the ISO standard. She is a member of the Environmental Laboratory Science Committee and past Chair of the Governmental Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Subcommittee.

Katherine Heddaeus

Ms. Heddaeus has been instrumental in the implementation and success of the counterterrorism testing efforts of the Bureau of Food Laboratories since the events of 2001.  Because of her efforts, a team she participated on was awarded the Davis Productivity Award to the Food Laboratory Anthrax Response Team in 2002.  Due to the Food Laboratory being located in the capitol city of Florida, this team was required to work on samples being submitted to the Governor's Office.  She participated in training at the Florida Department of Health during the peak of the testing at that laboratory, and worked surely and steadily to ensure rapid testing was provided to ensure the safety of the staff working at the Capitol Building, helping to calm anthrax fears in the community. Additionally, she worked to ensure that a fully-certified Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory was completed in 2003, and has, throughout the years, maintained meticulous records. Her impeccable record keeping allows more comprehensive troubleshooting and, in some cases, gives the basis to justify funding requests for repairs, which has greatly improved the laboratory work area.

expand Year: 2015
expand Year: 2014

​Sanwat Chaudhuri, PhD
Scientific Advisor, Chemical and Environmental Services
Utah Public Health Laboratory

​An active APHL member, Sanwat is the Chair of the Environmental Health Committee, a member of the Environmental Laboratory Science Committee and Environmental Laboratory Subcommittee, and the APHL representative to the ASTHO Environmental Health Policy Committee. She has participated in the development of EPA’s Standardized Analytical Methods and peer-reviewed publications on utilizing dried blood spots for screening of lead, mercury and cadmium in newborns, to cite a few examples. Sanwat also participated on APHL’s 2008 Annual Meeting Planning Committee and the 2009 and 2015 Laboratory Response Network National Meeting Planning Committees.
expand Year: 2013