MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – As the importance of testing continues to grow in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, has named board-certified clinical laboratory scientist Lisa McFarlane, PhD, MLS, as its new director of laboratory services.
Dr. McFarlane takes the reins of Atlantic Health System’s laboratory services, which serves the organization’s seven hospitals, multiple ancillary sites, and physician network of nearly 1,000 providers, all linked by a team of laboratory couriers, as well as phlebotomists who provide outreach services. The laboratory services include the Atlantic Consolidated Laboratory which provides a robust array of services, processing more than 16,000 tests each day for a variety of conditions.
Dr. McFarlane is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathology and comes to Atlantic Health System with 15 years of experience in both pathology and laboratory operations, most recently from Hackensack University Medical Center, where she served as the technical and operations director of the laboratory. Dr. McFarlane received her bachelor and master’s degrees in biomedical science from London Metropolitan University and her doctorate in biomedical science from the UWE, Bristol in the United Kingdom.
“Atlantic Health System has demonstrated a true understanding of how laboratory science supports a health system’s ability to provide exceptional care,” Dr. McFarlane said. “I’m proud and humbled for the opportunity to lead these services at such a historic and crucial time.”
From the earliest days of the emergence of COVID-19 in New Jersey, and throughout the rise of the worldwide pandemic, Atlantic Health System recognized the importance of testing as a way to identify, isolate and treat infected patients, while keeping other patients as well as Atlantic Health team members safe.
“Now more than ever, testing has become the lynchpin in the strategy to combating disease,” said Amy Perry, CEO, hospital division, senior vice president, integrated care delivery. “We are extremely glad to have a leader with Dr. McFarlane’s acumen in pathology and laboratory science overseeing our lab services as we work to move forward from the height of COVID-19.”
As soon as state and federal officials approved testing to be conducted by health care providers, Atlantic Health System immediately implemented rapidly-evolving testing and processing technologies and practices.
“In a matter of a few months, we’ve gone from having limited tests to having a range of options for testing and processing,” said Lauren Yedvab, chief operating officer for Overlook Medical Center, to whom Dr. McFarlane will report. “As each new iteration came available, our team vetted and implemented the resources that could most quickly and accurately tell us whether a patient had COVID-19, and we continue to look for ways to enhance our abilities.”
By the first week of June, Atlantic Health System had ordered more than 32,000 tests, with a daily demand of between 500-1,000 tests per day, which were processed by both the Atlantic Consolidated Laboratory, as well as two reference laboratories contracted by Atlantic Health.
These efforts greatly aided Atlantic Health System’s efforts to expand access to testing, including the opening of a drive-through testing structure at its corporate site in Morris Township for health care workers, first responders and their immediate family members, one of the first of its kind in New Jersey. The health system also supported testing sites opened by authorities in several local counties.