Annual VIA: Jini Danis
The early days of the COVID pandemic were a whirl of preparations, from redesigning workflows on the fly to scrambling for PPE. All Asante departments were caught up in the cyclone, but perhaps none so much as Laboratory Services. It had to develop testing capacity to serve thousands of patients and employees while facing critical shortages of reagents — the ingredients needed to develop an accurate in-house test.
Driving all this was Jini Danis, the soft-spoken lab director who has been with Asante for more than 40 years. Working quietly and around the clock, she steadily guided Asante’s in-house testing and mobile testing sites from ideas to fruition in a matter of weeks.
It was this, plus her grace under pressure, that earned Danis a 2020 annual Values in Action Award, the highest honor given by Asante.
“Jini simply embodies each and every one of our Asante Values,” wrote Kristi Blackhurst, vice president of Operations for ARRMC and AACH, and Courtney Wilson, MD, vice president of Medical Affairs at ARRMC, in their joint nomination.
“She consistently goes above and beyond to ensure we provide the best care to our community, often working at all hours of the day and night and knowing no difference between a workday and a weekend,” they continued. “She is tireless in her pursuit of excellence and in service to our organization, and she is never without a respectful can-do attitude. Jini sees no boundaries defined by entity, but instead teams with her peers across the system to ensure a unified, Asante approach to care. She always acts with integrity and honesty, and champions tirelessly for changes that will meet both organizational and community needs. She truly is an Asante treasure.”
To gauge Danis’s contribution to Asante’s COVID-19 efforts, it helps to understand how much she and her team accomplished:
- Helped establish the first drive-through, off-campus COVID-19 collection site in Jackson County, which helped keep symptomatic patients out of urgent care clinics and emergency departments.
- Validated an in-house testing platform under FDA emergency use approval, which dramatically improved result turnaround times for faster diagnoses and pre-procedure screening tests.
- Brought in three other cartridge-based testing platforms, which gave Asante a variety of tests to help meet demands.
“I will never forget the morning we discussed pulling up the mobile testing site,” one leader wrote. “The group pitched crazy, ambitious thoughts and tight timelines — all of which would require an immense amount of work from Jini’s team. Jini was so calm, professional and solution-oriented. A little less than 24 hours later, Asante’s lab team saw the first patient at our new mobile collection site! Jini embodies every one of our Asante behavioral standards. Jini has a true servant’s heart, and I am grateful to work with such a service-minded leader.”
Danis accepted her VIA award at an online ceremony held on Nov. 3 attended by her husband, daughter and daughter-in-law as well as two of her co-workers. Well-wishers congratulated her through the forum’s chat function.
“This past year has been the most sustained intense year in my very long career in laboratory science,” she said. “Between coronavirus and the fires, it’s certainly going to be one I will always remember. This award goes to the entire laboratory staff. They have worked so hard to manage the onslaught of COVID testing amid changing priorities, changing order codes and supply shortages. I have been blessed with an excellent team to work with. Asante truly is a great place to work, led by an outstanding team of leaders.”
READ ABOUT ALL 2020 ANNUAL VIA WINNERS
Current role: Director of Laboratory Services
With Asante: 41 years
COMMENTS FROM THE CHAT SECTION
Congratulations, Jini! Such a wonderful human to get to work with every day!
Jini, it is an honor. Thank you for all you do!
Thank you so much, Jini!!!!
You’re incredible, Mom!
Amazing, Jini! What a beautiful testament to you. We are so grateful for you and the work and approach you take each day.
Can I also add that she is the most amazing mother any person could have? So proud of you, Mom!
Well-deserved, Jini! So grateful for you.
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