BEAVERCREEK — Laboratory supervisor Kim Zunker sees her recent award as recognition for all of the staff at Soin Medical Center’s lab.
She was honored to be named to represent Soin Medical Center’s in the Ohio Healthcare Worker of the Year Awards for 2018.
Zunker became a lab technician after serving in the military. She works weekends and nights in the lab at Soin, supervises the department and has worked on the leadership team since 2016. Prior to Soin she worked nights at a nearby hospital lab. She also spent time in Texas and Tennessee where she ran a laboratory within the Air Force.
“It was a really rewarding experience,” she said about her time with the military. “I learned so much in a short period of time. I had great mentors and that accelerated the learning process for me.”
She received her bachelor’s degree in clinical labratory science from Texas Midwestern University in 2008. She received her certification after joining the Air Force. Then Zunker obtained her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Dayton in 2017.
Zunker helped Soin’s lab receive its accreditations and managed the proficiency of testing and technical instrumentation.
“My goal is always to improve processes between the lab, nursing and the patients.”
Zunker was nominated for the award by her manager, “She appreciated my efforts for efficiency. I had been tracking the Emergency Room turnaround times. The goal was to get results turned around quickly for diagnosis and best care practices.”
To accomplish this goal, Zunker pulled numbers and looked for ways to make that time 25 minutes for basic metabolic testing. Her diligence resulted in the largest one month improvement of turnaround time in the network.
“I was very surprised about my nomination,” said Zunker. “It’s not in my nature to get attention. I thought it was very special. However it wasn’t only me, but my team as well.”
Zunker stressed that this kind of attention for a lab was rare, “For me it says so much about the whole hospital of amazing people. It says a lot about Soin.”
As a supervisor she sees the lab as a key role in treatment of patients, “Supporting employees play a key role in healthcare, it’s important we do.”
Zunker and her husband, Carl, met in the military. He still works in the military with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. They live in Yellow Springs with their 2-year-old and enjoy cycling. When not working Zunker reads, does cross stitch and plays golf. They are both active in the Yellow Springs United Methodist Church.