Celebrating International Pathology Day

Image: The pathology team (Reception and Microbiology) at Monash Health

On Wednesday 8 November, we celebrate International Pathology Day. A day to highlight the pivotal role pathology plays in healthcare. It is also an opportunity to reflect, recognise and celebrate the many ways in which our pathology teams work to improve the health of patients and the community.  

As the colour red is often associated with blood and its connection to pathology, we encourage everyone to wear red this International Pathology Day, in recognition and celebration of our pathology teams. 

From prevention and early detection to diagnosis and treatment, pathology is a part of all clinical pathways. Across the Alfred/Monash Shared Pathology Service, we have approximately 560 full time staff that ensure our essential services operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day. This team is comprised of pathologists, scientists, technicians, collectors and laboratory staff and supported by operations, quality, clinical trials, IT billing and courier teams. 

With 70% of all medical diagnoses relying on pathology and public hospital work being the greatest driver of demand for pathology services, Caroline Langston, Chief Executive Officer of the Shared Pathology Service said our pathology teams are indispensable to our healthcare services.

“The expertise, commitment and dedication that the pathology teams bring everyday not only allows for the delivery of high quality, timely care but also in improving and optimising the health outcomes for our patients.”

Image: The pathology team (Haematology, Biochemistry and Specimen Reception) at Alfred Health

Spotlight on our pathology teams 

As we celebrate International Pathology Day, we want to shine the spotlight on some of our pathology teams, to celebrate their integral contributions across Alfred Health and Monash Health.  

Associate Professor Maryza Graham, pathologist at Monash Health’s microbiology department 

I am Associate Professor Maryza Graham and I am a Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases Physician at Monash Health and also at The Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory at The Doherty Institute. I am also chair of the National RCPA Committee for The Selective Reporting of Antimicrobials Guidelines. 

My day-to-day work at Monash Pathology involves communicating between clinicians and laboratory staff to ensure meaningful, rapid and quality results for optimising patient care. Communication to the treating team may be by phone, via Baret or via comments on laboratory reports. I feel lucky to have a job that allows me to combine scientific endeavour in the laboratory (as part of a great team) with clinical impact and research. Microbiology is a dynamic and exciting Pathology specialty that requires broad and global knowledge across many disciplines including pathogen biology, human immunity and a truly wholistic knowledge of the patient (including their travel, pets and hobbies just to name a few) which is what makes my work so interesting. 

Dr Ravikiran Vedururu, lead technical scientist at Monash Health’s diagnostic genomics laboratory  

I am Ravikiran Vedururu and I am the lead technical Scientist in Diagnostic Genomics. Originally from India, I moved to Australia in 2007 to pursue a Masters degree in Biotechnology. I also completed my PhD between 2016 and 2019. I have nearly 15 years of experience in the areas of Cancer genomics and Molecular Pathology.

My primary duties include providing scientific expertise to the Diagnostic Genomics department, development of novel genomic assays, integration of newly approved services, standard-of-care testing, and expanding our capabilities through the adoption of advanced technologies.  

I also engage in active collaboration with clinicians and clinician-researchers, offering technical inputs and supporting the facilitation of clinical trials and research projects. Additionally, I am responsible for devising and executing strategies to drive innovation and improve service delivery within the department, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of diagnostic genomics. My love for working in pathology stems from the sense of purpose it provides, the continuous learning opportunities, the vital role it plays in healthcare, and the gratification that comes from contributing to patient care in a unique and meaningful way. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that my work directly impacts people’s lives, helping to guide medical decisions and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Pathology is a field that constantly challenges me to expand my knowledge and skills. Every case is unique, and the variety of specimens and conditions I encounter keeps me intellectually engaged. The attention to detail and precision required in pathology aligns with my personality and professional interests. I derive great satisfaction from the meticulous nature of the work, knowing that even the smallest detail can have a significant impact on a diagnosis. 

Teodora Veljanovski, haematology medical scientist at Alfred Health 

I am Teodora Veljanovski and I am a medical scientist in haematology and second in charge of the Blood Bank at The Alfred for the past 8 years.

My day-to-day work at the blood bank can vary. It can be a fast-paced area where a high volume of blood products can be administered in a given time but it is also an area which requires critical thinking and precision in ensuring correct identification of antibodies. What’s exciting about International Pathology Day is the opportunity for us to put a spotlight on the huge impact which pathology has on patient outcomes, as it is an area that is often seen behind the scenes within healthcare.

Working in pathology presents you with something new everyday. Knowing that behind every blood tube, there is a patient awaiting a diagnosis or lifesaving blood product is what makes pathology special and I am proud to be working in this field.

Aiden Hilcher, supervisor, central specimen processing at Alfred Health 

I am Aiden Hilcher and I am a supervisor for central specimen processing at Alfred Health. As a former Queenslander, I would describe myself as a connoisseur of sunshine and being outdoors.  

As a team member of Alfred Health’s Pathology department, I would describe myself as an energetic collaborator and patient-focused administrator with a lateral approach to problem solving.  

My role as a supervisor is to represent, organise and manage the operations of Specimen Processing while having an assistive presence and performing the duties of the team. The routine duties of my amazing team are mostly performed 24/7 across multiple locations. A general overview of these tasks include patient-facing administrative roles, triaging incoming work, manual registration of pathology requests, preparing specimens for analysis, initialising and monitoring the function of automated laboratory machinery and engaging/providing courier services for referred/inter-laboratory testing.  

What I love most about working in pathology is the team-work dynamic in a rapid-paced environment which requires a high level of attention to detail. We play a vital role in the management of patient health, and we are always adapting to the burgeoning challenges of our population’s healthcare needs. We are currently developing an exciting shared service partnership with Monash Pathology in order to better manage these needs. 

Approved by Louise Kanis, Executive Director, Communication & Engagement



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