Minerva talks poetry and microbiology
Welcome to all, to my show “Meet Minerva, the Microbiologist”.
My name is Minerva A. Garcia also known as “Minerva A. Frias- Garcia”
I am currently the Associate Director Microbiology at Jacobi Med. CTR @ NYC Health & Hospitals Corp. and I am your Microbiologist!
Now again, Microbiology with the microbes welcomes you in and so does poetry, with creative lines.
Analogy of a poem:
Since Covid pandemic we all been to some level depress, but there’s always a light to reach at the end of the tunnel… from a hidden cloud, there comes a rainbow to be seen, appreciated and color our world. Its important to try to move on, despite the many difficulties and challenges we faced.
It important these challenges don’t drown us. We must all face it, and meet it, head on!
This poem was written during a crisis. I do hope, it can reach you as it has reached me…
This poem, I would like to share with you all.
We all know that poetry, drives and stares at the human eyes with intense feelings, because
is the love from the hearts that speaks the truth, as music being universal to all homo sapiens…
so is poetry. A poem can speak to you from one’s heart and experiences… It can touch to all
levels as is presented to be heard… everyone will have a different prospective of its interpretation.
With poetry, I like to color your world. With this in mind, I want to bring to you this
POEM- DEPRESSION, written many years ago and reads like this …that could be current today
Is Not madness
An episode of a conflict?
It is, just an earthly desire?
To let all else go
Trying to reach a perfect state of the soul
Feelings, of no returneth
With your mind entering a state of total darkness…
What can one do to escape?
Should you search for a light?
Reach for a hand
Find comfort under some arms?
Commune with your soul! If you search for it… It’s worth more than gold
Keep digging you’ll strike not silver
I guarantee–You’ll find your lost gold
Your mind may seem heaven
But, know it’s the oceans that are heavier
Enlighten your mind (s), Do you mind?
Enter onto the bluest of skies and take a ride…
Discover to like it … You can exit at fresh
You just learned to take a deep breath… and breathes
So ….soooo Lets get started!
In today’s show, I’ll be talking about
- LAB WEEK and Laboratory Sections
- CoVid-19/Variant Strains
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is held annually during the last week of April, this was Apr 18-24, 2021
Is an annual celebration of the medical laboratory professionals and Pathologists who play a vital role in every aspect of health care. We should show our support and gratitude for the hard work laboratory professionals t/o the year.
Agencies that laboratory have an affiliation all working closely together at many levels…
Is worth mentioning that Labs’ are highly regulated with inspection yearly by to ensure competency/up-to-date standards are met.
All laboratory Certified Medical Professionals must demonstrate yearly competency yearly by successfully fulfilling 12 continuing Education credits know as (CEU’s). They must also show honesty, courtesy, respect, integrity, most of all compassion to the work and meet HIPPA regulations with an emphasis of professionalism or licensed renewal. They have proven themselves to be essentials and emergency health care workers. All laboratorians are expected to work during all snow storms, hurricanes, pandemic and outbreak… many, many hours beyond their shift sacrificing their own lives. That’s why, we termed labs workers as “unsung Lab heroes”. You never seen them, buy they are working behind the scenes with a microscope, taking your bloods, sending reports via LIS to physician, answering calls from physicians, guiding then and working closely with Infectious disease physicians, infection control, etc… They have earned our respect.
Labs are inspected yearly by NYSDOH, CAP, JACHO, EPA, Fire Dept. and In-House Quality Control Administrator (QA), Hospital’s Safety Officer, and mock inspection.
Other agencies worth mentioning, lab have an affiliations are for examples,
-CAP (College American Pathologist), where lab proficiencies are responsible for distribution and graded to laboratories
-ASCP (American Society Clinical Pathologist) Offers exams to all incoming Technologist to sit and take the boards exam in order to become certified by NYS Dept. of Education
- New York Sate Dept. of Health (NYSDOH ) performs critical & analytical testing for verification and analysis to laboratories
- New York City Dept. of Health (NYCDOH MH ) works closely during an epidemic, pandemic and any crisis faced regarding diseases involving the public and the community at large, example it’s a very challenge few years with CoVid Dec 2019 in Wuhan, China that evolved than seen in the USA by early on 2020 .
- The NYC DOH, NYS DOH, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organizations (WHO) and along with many in the medical community stepped forward to work tireless with many hours to face the many challenges.
- We as a society, and as a global community should all give an applause and hug mental to these heroes.
- We all have to keep in mind, this CoVid crisis came with many challenge. Progress came about, with an effort by many in the health care industry. These professionals put their own lives frozen in hours to give their patients their precious own time instead. Because of their unselfish acts and willingly giving so much time of themselves, they sacrifice all to benefits society. We all own them so much of our gratitude, because if we’re today moving forward positively and with optimism, we all must give credit where it deserves to be mentioned.
- These includes all Laboratory Professional, who have worked two shifts … and extra time to perform testing for CoVid, including validations studies and additional testing required. Laboratorians, Infection controls/Prevention, Infectious Disease, Pathologist, Nurses, physicians, Respiratory Therapist, Radiologist, housekeeping Dept., ER trauma physicians, EMT bringing patients to the many hospitals with symptoms of Covid cases presented with hypoxia, difficult breathing… also the scientist working many hours to ensure a vaccine reach all people sooner than expected. We all owe them a life of appreciation to allow the continuation of the human race.
These professionals are heroes to me, angels in disguise. They gave much to save our lives. If this is not heroic, than what is?
Despite, they all believe they were just doing their job. Without their heroic efforts, we ll know otherwise.
We all give them the credit they all deserve. I can tip my hat to all those who have put others first and their families… and friends last.
This year 2021 ➔ lab Week LOGO ➔Laboratory Professionals Get RESULTS
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, an annual celebration of
- medical laboratory professionals and pathologists
- Who play a vital role in health care and patient advocacy, takes place April 18–24, 2021?
- Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI) is one of 17 laboratory medicine organizations responsible for coordinating this
- High-profile celebration of your profession. Meet the professional organizations
- Celebrating your contributions and join us in celebrating below!
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (Lab Week) gives us an opportunity to generate new awareness and excitement about the laboratory medicine profession. By getting the word out— to your networks, your local communities, and your healthcare colleagues—you can help everyone understand and appreciate the importance of the work you do. ASCP is one of 17 laboratory medicine organizations responsible for coordinating this high-profile celebration of your profession.
American Association of Blood Banks (AABB)
American Association (AACC)
American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants (AAPA)
Association of Genetic Technologies (AST)
American Medical Technologists (AMT)
Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP)
American Society of Cytopathology (ASC)
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
American Society for Cytotechnology (ASCP)
American Society for Histocompatibility and immunogenetics (ASHI)
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA)
Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)
College of American Pathologist (CAP)
National Society for Histotechnology (NSH)
Different laboratories all in one umbrella for the Pathology Dept
The study of bacteria is known as a branch of microbiology.
Molecular Microbiology, Cellular Microbiology, Immunology, Parasitology, Mycology, Virology,and Infectious Diseases, where specialized physicians trained in this field works closely with the Microbiology Dept.
Diagnosis babesiosis, malaria, and ehrlichiosis and is supplemented by a “double screen” using fluorescence testing to rule out blood parasitemia.
- Blood Bank lab
For example is where we perform test like Antibodies Screen
(To see which Ab’s patient has in their blood, most common Ab are: KELL, Bld typing (A, B, AB, O), Rhesus (Rh), which is an Antibody known as Rh inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells. Let’s say, your blood has the protein, you’re Rh positive and if your blood doesn’t the protein, you’re Rh negative. Most people have Rh positive. Cord blood, we take baby’s blood from umbilical type, and we can also perform Rh.
The laboratory performs routine processing, storage, and infusion of cellular products including peripheral blood-derived stem cells, bone marrow-derived stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and other cellular products in Blood Bank laboratory. For the purpose of cellular therapy/bone marrow transplant this department is very important.
- Pharmacology & Toxicology lab
Performs for monitoring therapy with various antiepileptic, cardiac chemotherapeutic, and immunosuppressive drug, and for evaluating suspected poisonings. Immunosuppressive drugs, such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus and sirolimus are analyzed using state of the art tandem mass spectrometry. It is important that toxic drugs including, drugs of abuse, and are currently performs with specific identification and quantitation of methanol and toxic glycols.
Most tests of thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pituitary and gonadal function are available on site and are performed using highly specific immunoassays. Tests for the evaluation of adrenal medullary tumors (urinary free catechol amines and VMA), and neural crest tumors (urinary dopamine and HVA) are performed using state of the art HPLC procedures.
Performs, meeting, with short turnaround time, on automated, high volume rapid analyzers. These include, but are not limited to glucose, BUN, electrolytes, Ca, P, liver function tests, cardiac markers, CSF glucose and protein, and measurement of drugs frequently involved in poisonings as well as commonly monitored therapeutic drugs.
- Flow Cytometry
Standard consultative diagnostics in the Hematology Laboratory include:
Rapid detection of abnormal hemoglobins & thalassemia. Quantitation of abnormal hemoglobin’s, e.g. Hgb S in sickle cell disease, guide urgent therapy or red blood cell.
Standard consultative diagnostics inthe Hematology Laboratory include Rapid detection of abnormal hemoglobins & thalassemia.
Quantitation of abnormal hemoglobin’s, e.g. Hgb S in sickle cell disease,,. guide urgent therapy or red blood cell.
Rule out diagnosis in tissue cells, including malignant cells
Lab responsible for laboratory testing, e.g. the evaluation of autoimmune disease, immunodeficiency’s, immunoproliferative disorders, example detects disease as HIV, hepatitis, lupus with ANA test, Syphilis etc… Viral & syphilis antibody tests by ELISA, CIA, latex agglutination, immunochromatography and immunoblot, Rapid bacterial antigen, toxin immunoassay and cytotoxin neutralization for Clostridium difficile,
- Immunochemistry/Immunopathology/ Cytochemistry Analysis of blood smears and cytopathologic examination of body fluids directed blood screening for parasitesidentification of abnormal hemoglobins/thalassemia,Cytochemistries on blood and bone marrow,Specialty testing for hematologic and related diseases such as chronic granulomatous disease; hereditary spherocytosis; chronic lead poisoning; and sickle cell disease.
- Coagulopathy, Lab evaluation of coagulopathies and hypercoagulability
- Virology lab under Microbiology Dept.
SARS CoV-2 RNA amplification tests are available in many laboratories Performs molecular methods, rapid antigen testing, culture and serology.
COVID-19 real-time PCR testing was offered for patient care on March 2020.
- Lab informatics known as LIS, lab information System:
The Informatics section of the Department of Laboratory Pathology “Laboratory Instrumentation” known as “LIS” automated clinical laboratory devices. It is critical lab Technologist enters results via this LIS for physician to receive their patients’ lab reports.
I like to discuss few main points relating to my lab profession
- How I became fascinating in the laboratory profession
1st and most important is that I am a very driven individual and I don’t accept no for an answer. If you tell me no, is than that I become more persistent to achieve my goals.
I will strive in making sure I succeed and make it fruitful.
I recall at 10 years old, where there’s a hospital in my block at Sunset, Brooklyn.
I would occasionally accompany my dad to the ER and as his Medical Interpreter, and witnessing physicians, nurses involved with my dad care… and my drive to ensure my dad health improve, I became fascinated how they were able to bring my dad to health again. I also witness same with my mom and other siblings. We were 10 and I being #9, I learned the iniatives required to succeed at an early age.
I recalled going many times to the Volunteers Office with my desired to become a Candy Striper. If you don’t what is a Candy Striper, is a volunteer who workings in the hospitals brings specimens to lab, feeding patients, making beds in all levels in the hospital setting. Because, I was only 10, I was not able to become one at this age. I would go to the Volunteer Office, every months til I was 12 that I was told bring your mom. I did, and I was accepted.
I demonstrated so much persistence and maturity that instead of 14 years requirement, I was able to reach this goal of mine without the working papers required. My mom signing permission. This experience allowed to thrill at such a young age and carry responsibility that was not seen on such a young person, which I didn’t realized then, but now.
In JHS I gather students to join a Pre-professional medical club, where they would join and becomes futuristic involved in the medical profession, allowing them a tool for growth. I often speak to the student the important of self-giving and taking care of others.
- How I became heavily involved with profession
In college, I majored in Biology and I excelled in the laboratories assignments, where I would worked independent excelling also tutored other students. I worked with my Invertebrate Zoology Professor Dr.James Corrigan, Chairman of the Biology Dept. Here, he allowed me to work on his research PhD project and my own research project. I excelled at both helping him and triumphed in my own research. I developed confidence and a love for research and the laboratories. I was given a position by the Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry professor Dr. Burke. This gave me another opportunity to succeed.
Looking back, also I was noticed by an OB/GYN in the hospital as I volunteered. I was 12 years when this physician named Dr.Baldo Bertocchi said to me “I will give you a job, when you become 14 years”. His promised became true and at 14, I became his Medical Assistance, where my experience there allow me to witness child birth, surgeries like tubal ligation, hysterectomies, D & C, etc. It was such an honor to be among the greatest in the heath profession as a mentor having at such young age.
I also able to work for 7 years supporting myself thru college and also helped my parents.
I won various awards/recognition for outstanding achievements and community wares for services to my community. I recall for graduation ceremonies receiving 13 wares… and also for graduation “NYC honor citation award”, I was given honors in City Hall and Newspaper recognition.
- How I started celebrating the Lab Profession
As I working as a Technologist being the young and the only educated one fresh out of college with a BS in Biology and license by NYCDOH, at that time. Now we’re licensed by NYS Dept. of Education. I noticed low pay for staff working many years as they complaint about their salary. I quickly gathered a petition, where I made it my business to schedule an appointment with the hospitals CEO demanding steps increase for all lab workers. These steps were 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years…on would also receive an extra week of pay. This was a triumph for early on, but it came with a political price, facing oppositions. This never stopped and as I endured triumphantly.
How lab week came to be celebrated, when I started this field in 1986?
Because I love my profession so much and knowing that the public at large have little to none understanding of the laboratory roles we play, I wanted to make a mark education the public… patients coming to our hospital. This hospital was Beth Israel Medical Center now known as Mt. Sinai.
I again, schedule an appointment with our hospital CEO, laying down all the plan to celebrate Lab profession. Back, them there was no such thing as “Lab Professional Week”.
I recalled going to many Health Society to get pamphlets for distributions for patients and hospital staff in order to educate everyone.
I also gathered a committee from each lab department… where a designated staff would be responsible to handle my request and demonstrate their duties via a DEMO with a table their lab performance, e.g. Microbiology would have Mac agar, BAP agar, Hektoen, agar CNA, Thioglycollate, Lim Broth, etc… Agars are like food for the bacteria to live, just like we need food to eat and keep us alive. Chemistry Dept. would have different test tubes blood withdrawals, Histology department would also have kidneys stones that served as demonstrations on what we all do in the different abs, etc..
What Have I learn as a lab Professional, as leader in the field and what can I teach future incoming students in this profession?
- Never to give up on what you’re passion about
- Seek a mentor early on your path
- Always demand respect for yourself and others
- Shows respect in order to received it
- Be truthful and honestly
- Help your fellowman
- Be kind, be giving, never be Selfish
- There’s no better feeling, than giving of yourself for your fellowman
- Try hard, and if you fail try til you succeed if you really love what you’re doing
- Make your passion if is your hobby
- When is a hobby, you will be so great at and successful
Now , Changing topic
Let’s get into CoVid-19/Variant Strains Variant Strains
What this means?
What we know
Viruses re-arrange through mutations
What we know
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear.
- Other times, new variants emerge showing
- Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in USA& globally during this pandemic.
- Example we’re seeing that in India, this virus is getting out control in the USA we’re seeing the virus leveling off
- In Dubai and Israel, the CoVid is widening down➔ Excellent news
- We have to show that we as a society have a global responsibility to slow down this curve
How you many ask?
We can all contribute coefficiently: Bu getting vaccinated, encourage others and follow social distance, wearing masks, etc. We are all in it together… We’re all 1 human race= No one is any different than the man/woman next to you here and another country and/or race. We’re the human race
What type is Corona virus?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus, a large family of viruses.
Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces.
Scientists monitor changes in the virus, including changes to the spikes on the surface of the virus. Where genetic analyse virus, are helping scientists know changes to the virus
- How it affect humans
- how it spreads
- What is reaction affect to those exposed
- Who are infected with it, e.g. patient vulnerable with certain diseases of immunosuppress and compromised, the elderly, certain diseases (Botox treatment candidate), cardiac patients, patients with respiratory diseases, like COPD, etc.
- When & How year round, no dormant phase, virus doesn’t discriminate. It loves all, especially the vulnerable with autoimmune diseases
Multiple variants of the virus causing COVID-19
Spreads globally & within USA
Are involved with the collaboration with a SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG)
CDC established 3 classifications for the SARS-CoV-2 variants being monitored:
- Variant of Interest (VOI)
- Variant of Concern (VOC) and
- Variant of High Consequence (VOHC).
Currently five Strains VOCs (Variant of Concern) in the USA:
B.1.1.7: This variant was first identified in the US in December 2020.
It was initially detected in the UK.
B.1.351: This variant was first identified in the US at the end of January 2021.
It was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020.
P.1: This variant was first detected in the US in January 2021.
P.1 was initially identified in travelers from Brazil,
who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.
B.1.427 & B.1.429:
a) These 2 variants were first identified in California in Feb 2021 &
- Were classified as VOCs (Variant of Concern ) in March 2021.ough mutation
- New variants of a virus are expected to occur over time.
- Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear.
- Other times, new variants emerge and persist.
The views and opinions expressed in this radio podcast are solely my own and my guests, and not of any institutions or corporation