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Lab tech earns national honor

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Meleta Hand, a medical laboratory technician with the 81st Medical Operations Squadron, was named the Laboratorian of the Year by the ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals magazine. 

Nominees were judged on leadership abilities, making a difference in the workplace, excellent job performance, commitment to ongoing professional development, contributing to the profession and demonstrating genuine passion for the profession. 

"Ms. Hand is the backbone of our core laboratory department," said Master Sgt. Kelly Vernon, non-commissioned officer in charge of laboratory operations. "Although her specialty is hematology, she serves as a consultant to lab supervisors and medical staff who rely on her vast knowledge and expertise of cell morphology. 

"She performs real-time repair on instrumentation valued at more than $2 million and efficiently diverts workflow to back-up analyzers to allow efficient, accurate and timely delivery of patient results," Sergeant Vernon continued. "She's instrumental in the lab's quality control program and displays exceptional leadership abilities." 

She's worked in the lab since 1992.