A Job Well Done

 On January 17, I attended the annual meeting of the California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA). The meeting was well attended, with representatives from all seven chapters.

The meeting began with a social hour, followed by dinner. Although I was not a scheduled speaker, association secretary Dave Ogren prevailed upon me to come forward, introduce myself, and talk a bit about biomedical associations. I was completely unprepared, but I was greeted warmly.

Several awards and plaques were presented at the meeting, among them the 2004 CMIA Professional of the Year award, sponsored by Welch Allyn, to Neil “Nick” H. Lewis.
Since 1996 Lewis has been director of biomedical engineering at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, Calif, where his responsibilities, in addition to the hospital, include 25 satellite facilities. Previously, he developed the role of asset manager for the CE department at the 1,200-bed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and saved that facility more than $200,000 by analyzing and eliminating unnecessary service contracts. He has taken on this same role at Henry Mayo.

During his tenure at Cedars-Sinai, Lewis worked his way from entry-level biomedical technician I to biomedical technician II to installation coordinator to department coordinator. He ultimately became the director of clinical engineering with a staff of 15 biomedical technicians overseeing 6,800 devices.

As the 2004 CMIA professional of the year, Lewis received a $1,000 award from Welch Allyn and an engraved plaque. Also, he will be nominated for one of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s annual awards.

Also presented at the meeting was the Frank Yip Memorial Scholarship award, which was established to encourage individuals to pursue a course in biomedical studies.

This year’s winners were Joan E. Vergara and Xaymountry Khamphanae.

Vergara holds a 3.8 GPA at Los Angeles Valley College and is a second-time winner of the scholarship. She is an intern at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys and attends CMIA meetings as often as possible.

Khamphanae is also a student at Los Angeles Valley College where he holds a 4.0 GPA. Khamphanae is an intern applicant at Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

CMIA was founded on the principle that there was a need for improved communication and contact among biomeds. Although national organizations provide journals, newsletters, and annual conventions, they do not fulfill the need for frequent personal contact or a guide to solving everyday problems. Local associations owe their success to participation of their members. Support of your state or regional associations is so important to ensure that biomeds receive the recognition they deserve.

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mbenjamin@medpubs.com