After several years working in a laboratory, Mary Kate transitioned to a career in public health informatics. As a laboratorian, she developed, verified and validated diverse methods and protocols and trained fellow scientists in new methods. She served as both a fellow and a mentor with APHL and CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Fellowship program and in 2012 received the Virginia Governor’s Award for Teamwork.
She has presented numerous research papers and posters at national meetings and conferences. She has applied her laboratory and science expertise to hands-on work with LIMS implementations and electronic messaging, including Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR), Electronic Laboratory Surveillance Messages (ELSM) and LIMS integration (LIMSi) with the Laboratory Response Network (LRN). She has extensive knowledge of various LIMS, including STARLiMS v. 9 and v.10 and OpenELIS, as well as of standard coding systems, such as HL7, LOINC and SNOMED-CT. She managed the Data and IT Support Group for the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services of the State of Virginia and oversaw the implementation of a web-based sample submission and reporting application. In addition to collaborating with the OpenELIS Foundation, she is working with the CDC Influenza Division on its STARLiMS implementation. She continues to draw on her experience as a bench scientist to ensure that LIMS configurations and data exchange protocols align with actual laboratory workflows.