Maria Rizzo

#IamMGH – Meet Maria Rizzo

#IamMGH tells the stories of our people. Meet Maria Rizzo, Senior Medical Laboratory Technologist at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).

“I’ve been working at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), formerly known as Toronto East General Hospital, since 1987. Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to have held many different positions within the laboratory (lab). My current areas of focus are on chemistry and point-of-care testing (POCT).

Testing at the point-of-care has really expanded at MGH over the years. POCT allows clinicians to accurately achieve real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes, instead of hours. Implementing testing at the bedside has helped to streamline the diagnostic process and ensure that our patients are receiving the most effective and efficient care when and where it is needed.

I’m part of the team that rolls out testing devices at the bedside, which includes the training and recertification of nursing staff on the devices and ensuring that the POCT program continues to function as it should.

Recently, I helped to implement a very vital test at the frontlines – the ID NOW COVID-19 rapid test. Results from the ID NOW COVID-19 device are available within 15 minutes which is a game changer in certain situations. ID Now is currently being used within MGH’s emergency department prior to a patient being admitted to an inpatient unit, in the hospital’s Occupational Health and Safety department and as part of early outbreak investigations.

I’m so honoured to have helped in the roll out of this very important program, as it helps give my colleagues rapid results when they need them and ensures our patients can continue to receive safe, effective and efficient care.

Maria Rizzo holding ID NOW Rapid COVID-19 Test

Everything we do is for the patients

Within my role I am not on the frontlines; I do not see patients. But, everything we do in the lab is for our patients. Every sample we work with, we know there is a patient on the other end. When I look back on my day I feel a sense of pride knowing the importance of our work and what my team and I have accomplished.

Prior to the pandemic it was very rare to hear about the work of labs. But now, our work is being recognized on a daily basis within the media, from the amount of COVID tests being processed and to daily positivity rates. The pandemic has helped to elevate our profession and has helped our community to see the valuable role medical laboratory professionals play within the healthcare system.

The demand for our services has never been greater. My team and I will continue to work around the clock to provide timely, quality results for the East Toronto community throughout this pandemic and beyond. ”

National Medical Laboratory Week is celebrated from April 11-17. Michael Garron Hospital would like to express its sincere appreciation and thanks to all its medical laboratory professionals and recognize the important role the team plays within the hospital, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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