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A ‘Sense of Pride’ as COVID-19 Lab Opens

From construction crews to technical designers, Kaiser Permanente employees who helped build a 7,700-square-foot COVID-19 test lab in Berkeley feel a deep sense of satisfaction. Pictured at right, Kaiser Permanente Research Scientist Mylene Volk operates a testing machine in the new lab.

Kaiser Permanente’s new COVID-19 test lab is opening in June — ahead of schedule and under budget. Lab scientists will help diagnose and track the virus that has changed life around the world. See comments and a slide show below of just a few who rallied to battle a public health emergency.

“I think everyone feels a sense of pride in the fact that you are going to see this lab contribute to the health of Kaiser Permanente members over the next few years and to help them get through the trying time we are all living through right now.” — Matt Davis, construction manager, Regional Capital Projects and Facilities Construction


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Kaiser Permanente research and development scientists and microbiology directors in the new COVID-19 testing lab in Berkeley. (Photo by Doug Oakley)

“I’ve been in this business 31 years, and I always felt we contribute, but this pandemic put a spotlight on all that we do. It’s been an awesome experience to help design a lab the way that it should be designed.” — LaRonda Frazier, microbiology technical director for Kaiser Permanente Northern California

“It’s very exciting. As an infectious disease doctor, it’s something we always prepare for but hope to never face. We are all very proud to contribute to this effort to get this lab designed and built. A medical laboratory usually operates in silence, but now that the spotlight is on us, everyone can see that we are doing an incredible job.” — Jeff Schapiro, MD, associate medical director of Kaiser Permanente Regional Laboratories and medical director of medical microbiology

“In my 25 years of being in construction, this project stands out by far as the most satisfying achievement. A lot of the things we do are behind the scenes, but it’s a nice feeling at the end of the day knowing you and your team had a part of it.” — Scott Tibbetts, executive director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Service Delivery.





This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. All of us who work in the lab are worthy to be called Heroes; without our lab results… they’re all guessing if someone is positive, or a super spreader with no symptoms…Kudos to all!!!

  2. Kaiser Permanente stands like a lighthouse shining brilliantly and bravely facing the sea of this pandemic head on ! Crucial projects like these truly show why we continue to lead the way in the healthcare field. Hearing news like this gives me hope.

  3. What an amazing feat! Especially in this day and age of massive red tape and feet dragging…and that you did it in Berkeley, a place known for not pushing projects through easily. Well done!

  4. Thanks for the awesome work you all do in keeping us safe! This is also a testament to our ability to lead in times of crisis. Very proud of the team and Kaiser Permanente at large! As a Program Manager, it gives me great satisfaction to also see such initiatives finish ahead of schedule and under budget! It’s an honor to be part of this organization.

  5. These words are not big enough, but THANK YOU.

    Awesome job – We are all proud of you and all who contributed during this pandemic!

  6. I don’t think there’s a health care organization today that has a lab with a testing capacity of 10K tests a day! This is just remarkable work! It truly shows how committed Kaiser is to serve and care about their communities. I’M SO PROUD to be an employee!!

  7. This is so incredible! One of the many reasons why I am so proud to work for Kaiser, really extraordinary, thank you to all involved!

  8. This is an example of what makes me so proud to work for KP! Congrats and a big thank you to everyone involved in creating and working in this lab!!

  9. This story makes me prouder to be part of the Kaiser Permanente team. It goes to show that hard work, teamwork, and dedication will allow anything to happen. Thank you to the construction team for putting this lab together in a short amount of time and also under budget. To the research and lab team, great job on your hard work. You deserve this spotlight!

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