DaVita Stories

The Perfect Storm Churns up the Perfect Tempest of Teamwork

We saw it looming on the horizon for months, lurching towards us with unflinching certainty. We’ve felt its wrath before and remained painfully aware of its unrelenting power. We battened down the hatches, prayed for mercy, and braced ourselves for the impact. When it came, we stared straight into the abyss with steadfast defiance as teammates across lanes united in solidarity to weather the “Perfect Storm”.

How does a Perfect Storm arise you might ask? This year, the 4th of July fell on the first Tuesday of the first week of a quarterly draw month during which we see increased tube volume compared to most months. Clinics did not draw on Monday or Tuesday of that week so five days-worth of samples had to be run in three days. Compounding the issue was the fact that this abbreviated week was also expected to be one of the busiest all year. Condensing the work week could have easily turned into three unending days if not for a herculean effort on the part of the Accessioning team and the many teammates who made time in their busy schedules to lend a hand.

As the Perfect Storm approached landfall, Nick Rachell, Accessioning Manager scheduled the “all hands on deck” call to all who might be brave and/or foolhardy enough to confront such a vile behemoth. He received many enthusiastic responses from teammates and leaders eager to help subdue the beast. When I arrived at work on July 6, I could not have adequately prepared myself for the incredible experience I would be a part of. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday willing and eager teammates arrived each morning from across lanes to join the Accessioning team. Everyone from new teammates to senior leadership worked tirelessly, side-by-side to do whatever it took to prepare the massive tube volume for analysis. Recruits unpacked boxes, sorted tubes, accessioned, and processed paper requisitions – relentlessly chipping away at the colossal workload.

Knowing full well, the days would be long and trying, Lab Leadership ensured that the team’s hard work would be punctuated by fun and food. We were fueled by a high octane cocktail of snow cones, watermelon, muffins, pizza, and Firehouse Subs. We wore pajamas on Friday and continued to push through the task at hand. When the dust cleared, we found that we had endured the two highest volume days the lab had ever seen with 107,036 tubes processed on July 6 and 105,980 tubes processed on July 7.

It is when a team is faced with adversity that its mettle is truly tested. Where others may have faltered or fled, the Accessioning Team found strength in each other’s determination and resolve in our shared purpose. Yet again at DaVita, teamwork led to triumph. Storms will swell and subside and hardships will wax and wane, but we will persevere because we are DaVita® Labs and we are definitely here!

Kathy Harris

Kathy Harris

My colorful background has made me a great fit at the unique and special place that is DaVita Labs. My grandfather was Max Fleisher, creator of the Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons. That may explain why my teammates describe me as being particularly animated, especially when I’m telling a story. I have a lot of stories to tell about the 13 years I spent travelling with the circus. My two children grew up alongside elephants, clowns, and acrobats. Now that I’m settled in Florida, I spend my spare time creating sculptures and decorative art, some of which has been featured in the news. Each year, I lend my skills to our Harvest Day pumpkin decorating contest and have racked up a number of wins during my time at DaVita Labs. I have had the pleasure of being a teammate at DaVita for 14 years. Working in the lab Accessioning department, over a million tubes have passed through my hands as I do my part to deliver the best care to our patients. Preparing sample tubes for analysis is a vital first step in diagnostics and I find a great deal of pride and fulfillment in serving both the lab and our patients.