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Annual VIA: Jini Danis

Working quietly and around the clock, Jini Danis steadily guided Asante’s COVID-19 testing from ideas to fruition in a matter of weeks, days and even hours.

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

Zoe Abel, RN, AACH

Jini Danis, ARRMC lab

Megan Frost, MD, APP

Amalia Kieley, RN, AACH

Kristi Lambert, RN, ARRMC

JINI DANIS

Current role: Director of Laboratory Services

Location: ARRMC

With Asante: 41 years

COMMENTS FROM THE CHAT SECTION

Jennifer Susi:
Congratulations, Jini! Such a wonderful human to get to work with every day!

Amanda Kotler:
Jini, it is an honor. Thank you for all you do!

Lee Shapley:
Thank you so much, Jini!!!!

Jill:
You’re incredible, Mom!

Amalia Kieley:
Amazing, Jini! What a beautiful testament to you. We are so grateful for you and the work and approach you take each day.

Lindsay Gates:
Can I also add that she is the most amazing mother any person could have? So proud of you, Mom!

Courtney Wilson:
Well-deserved, Jini! So grateful for you.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Chris Schumacher
    November 17, 2020 11:56 am

    Congratulations Jini! I was so thankful have worked with you for 30 years. Your positive energy and dedication to always do the right action in the best way possible made a deep impression. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Congratulations to a total Rock Star!!!

    Reply
  • Jini is the embodiment of excellence, a true pleasure to work with!

    Reply
  • Our courageous leader!!! Thank you supporting all us every day and making RRMC Lab a great place to work…. WE are all so proud of you …

    Reply
  • Indeed she truly is an Asante treasure.

    Reply
  • Jini, you always do an exceptional job, however, during this pandemic you have reached new levels! Always a smile on your face and a willingness to attack any situation with the most professionalism, gusto and kindness of anyone I know. Congratulations! Well deserved!

    Reply
  • Congratulations, Jini! Thank you for being such a wonderful leader and a great support for all your lab staff. We really appreciate all the work you do here.

    Reply
  • I cannot imagine a better person than Jini Danis to face the COVID 19 pandemic and lead our laboratory into the fight right from the beginning. She was able to rally her leadership team to get the information and begin the hands on tasks needed to start on site testing within a month. She is available truly 24/7 for all staff, making sure we have daily info on multiple testing platforms, supplies, sorting out priorities and generally inspiring all of the laboratory staff to stay safe as we continue forward during this ongoing crisis. Her dedication, availability and leadership skills are beyond belief. All this and she still continues to be a genuinely warm and wonderful person who puts our patients, community and staff above her own needs.
    She will defer the praise to her team, because in addition to all of her leadership skills, she is a very humble person.
    Congratulations, Jini!

    Reply
  • Congratulations, Jini. Your dedication, availability and leadership skills,especially during the pandemic, are beyond belief. You have been available 24/7 to lead us through these challenging times. You are a genuinely warm and wonderful person who puts our patients, community and staff above your own needs. Thank you.

    Reply
  • This recognition is long overdue. The covid pandemic just brought You to the forefront to get the praise you well deserve. Your leadership of the lab makes the difference in our everyday decisions as well as our long term plans. Our focus always returns to “what is best for our patients”, to resolve any questions about how to move forward in any situation. How many times have we sent e-mails to you and other leaders, only to have you respond WHILE ON VACATION before any one else. Truly amazing.

    Reply

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