Dr Dianne Webster wins international award

Dr Dianne Webster’s excellence in international standards leadership has been recognised.
Dr Dianne Webster’s excellence in international standards leadership has been recognised.
Dr Dianne Webster, Clinical Scientist at LabPLUS, Auckland District Health Board with responsibilities for newborn metabolic screening, has won an international award for excellence in global leadership in standards development.

The award is from the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), a not-for-profit membership organisation that brings together the global laboratory community to foster excellence in laboratory medicine. It aims to improve health care outcomes through standards and guidelines that raise levels of quality, safety and efficiency in laboratory testing and reporting.

The annual award is presented to the volunteer who is ‘extraordinarily committed to CLSI’s mission to reach out to and involve the global health care community in the development of projects and best practices’.

CLSI CEO Glen Fine says the award is even more special because there was a sizable pool of excellent candidates this year.

Dr Webster has been active for many years in the establishment of both written and physical standards and initiated the International Society for Neonatal Screening (ISNS) lexicon and minimum data set some 20 years ago. She is a past chair of ISNS Standard Committee for Quality Assurance, and was involved in the development of the ISNS Dried Blood Spot Reference Preparation.

More recently she was appointed co-chair of a new ISNS Committee on Guidelines and Quality Assurance and co-chair of the CLSI-ISNS working group on terminology in newborn screening to undertake a project that will lead to a concise list of terms that should be used in newborn screening publications.

Dianne says she was surprised and feels very honoured that her contributions to newborn screening documents have been recognised in this way.

‘It’s a privilege to work with CLSI on best practice guidelines because it has such a collaborative and collegial process of document development.

‘The international membership of CLSI and the transparent consultative process which draft documents receive ensure wide applicability. So, although this is a North American organisation, the guidelines are relevant to our screening in New Zealand.

‘I look forward to receiving the award at a future meeting of my international newborn screening colleagues.’

Dr Webster also received the Queen’s Service Order in 2007 for services to public health, in particular paediatrics.

NSU Clinical Director Dr Jane O'Hallahan says Dr Webster’s international award is well deserved.

‘I and Antenatal and Newborn Screening Manager Kathy Bendikson and her team have the pleasure of working with Dianne on some really complex issues regarding New Zealand’s metabolic programme and antenatal Down syndrome and other conditions screening.

‘She is extremely professional and knowledgeable, very astute and able to articulate her experience and skills in screening. Dianne is always willing to share not only her expertise but also her fun loving, creative and caring side with us all. It is an absolute pleasure to work with her.’

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Page last updated: 30 April 2015