Renew Sinai Champion Maria Mendes

How does one pull off the seemingly impossible task of relocating over 100 complex and precise pieces of equipment over four months while continuing lab operations to deliver nearly 10,000 tests per day? “Equal measures of teamwork, creativity, taking a methodical approach and of course spreadsheets,” says Maria Mendes, Renew Sinai Program Champion for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Maria has been seconded to this role from her regular position as Senior Manager of Pathology and Lab Medicine. Maria has been a Mount Sinai employee for 30 years and enjoys the opportunities and challenges involved in construction projects.

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – where our patients’ blood, tissue, amniotic fluids and other samples are sent for testing – will be moving from Mount Sinai’s sixth floor to the 11th floor to enable the redevelopment of our surgical suites. Relocation is necessary because construction of the 19 state-of-the-art operating rooms on the seventh floor would impact lab operations. This relocation is slated to begin in late 2018, with intricate planning and sequencing of activity already well underway to ensure a seamless transition.

“It’s not just a matter of moving equipment from points A to B,” explains Maria. “The major automated equipment systems need to be taken apart, relocated, re-assembled, re-calibrated and tested before they are put back for patient testing.”

During the four-month move, lab testing and patient services must be maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Aside from equipment, over 200 lab staff will be involved in preparation for the move.

“My role as a Champion is to take a systematic and organized approach to harness the strength of all lab staff,” adds Maria. “What this means for me is hearing my colleagues perspectives and creative ideas to figure out how, together, we will make this work.”

Maria also works closely with the Capital Development and Operational Readiness teams. These two teams collaborate to ensure our overall redevelopment project is successful before, during and after the various construction phases.

Learn more about Renew Sinai Phase 3A here.