Expansions coming to Pekin’s Reditus Laboratories

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PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Microbiology testing and some new hires are coming to Pekin’s Reditus Laboratories.

EXPANSION ONE: Microbiology Testing

Microbiology Lead April Robley sets up a urine culture using a standardized inoculum to give quantitative results.

The laboratories are expanding into microbiology testing to support doctors’ selection of appropriate antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections and wound infections.

Reditus has built its own microbiology lab where experts will test urine and wound samples for bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause disease.

While some tests look for specific pathogens, Reditus Technical Supervisor of Microbiology Hillary Cerven and Microbiology Lead April Robley explained tests in the microbiology lab will seek any pathogens and flora.

“It’s a generalized picture of what’s growing in that area,” Robley said. “It gives you a broader clinical picture.”

They said Reditus is evolving into a full-service lab through the development of the microbiology lab.

“Physicians coming here for other testing no longer need to send these specimens elsewhere for testing,” Robley said.

Technical Supervisor of Microbiology Hillary Cerven is reading the cultures to identify any pathogens.

Microbiology is the study of the biology of microscopic organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, slime molds, and protozoa. Cerven and Robley will be analyzing patients’ urine and wound specimens for physicians, including urologists, to identify infection.

“After we grow the pathogens, we test against antimicrobial agents and, by those results, we can determine the appropriate antibiotic therapy that the clinician can use for the infection,” Robley said. “UTIs are among the most predominant infections in the world and are common among women.”

“A wound infection usually can be related to diabetes, surgical wounds or bedsores, boils or abscesses,” Cerven said. “It can happen in healthy individuals.”

Cerven and Robley said a complete urine culture process takes 48 hours, while a complete wound culture process takes 48 to 72 hours.

Doctors interested in sending samples to the Reditus microbiology lab can contact Bryan Zowin, Reditus director of business development, at (309)-340-3731.

EXPANSION TWO: New hematopathologist to direct hematopathology services

Dr. John Antoine, M.D.

A new hematopathologist and general pathologist has joined Reditus Laboratories.

Dr. John Antoine, M.D., will direct the hematopathology services at Reditus, providing up-to-date bone marrow and hematopathology testing and all needed ancillary testing such as immunostains, flow cytometry, FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization), and other molecular testing using state-of-the-art equipment.

“I am excited to help build a hematopathology service in an area where it is greatly needed,” Antoine said.

Antoine is certified in both hematopathology and in anatomic/clinical pathology.

Reditus is expanding to hematopathology, which encompasses testing of bone marrow, blood, and lymphoid tissue to diagnose lymphomas, leukemia, plasma cell diseases, anemias, myelodysplasia, and other hematology diseases.

Antoine was previously the chief of hematopathology and coagulation at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, IL, and an assistant professor of pathology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL, for 14 years.

He was also an associate pathologist at Indiana University Health Goshen Hospital and Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, from 2004 to 2008. Antoine completed his hematology fellowship at Wayne State University in Michigan and his residency at the University of Illinois Metro Group Hospitals in Chicago. In 1991, he graduated from Tishreen University Medical School.

EXPANSION THREE: New general supervisor for cytogenetics

Karen Simpson

Reditus Laboratories also has a new cytogenetics general supervisor.

Karen Simpson oversees the labs’ use of the bladder cancer screening test, UroVysion, which is known as a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay developed for the detection of genetic mutations associated with bladder cancer in urine specimens.

“We process the patient urine specimens and apply FISH probes and analyze them with the microscope, looking for any chromosomal abnormalities associated with bladder cancer,” Simpson said. Reditus is using UroVysion to help to monitor patients with a history of bladder cancer and to detect new cases.

Reditus plans to use FISH to test for chromosomal abnormalities seen in lymphomas, leukemia, plasma cell diseases, anemias, myelodysplasia, and other hematology diseases.

“Reditus is giving me the opportunity to grow the testing that Reditus wants to be able to offer present and future clients,” Simpson said.

Simpson has at least 30 years of experience as a medical technologist, serving eight in microbiology and 22 in cytogenetics. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Blackburn College in Carlinville and completed the program at the OSF Saint Francis School of Clinical Laboratory Science.

She became a clinical laboratory scientist after passing the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification exam. For the next eight years, she worked in microbiology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Once she passed the ASCP specialty certification exam for cytogenetics, she became a clinical lab scientist with a specialist in cytogenetics. She worked for 22 years in the cytogenetic laboratory at Saint Francis, working her way up to lead technologist in the cytogenetics department.

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