Feb 05, 2020 | Health Sciences , Academics

MLT Program Hosts Successful Be the Match Event Under New Director

MLT students in lab
Photo Caption: Columbia State students volunteered to help with the Be The Match donor drive. Back row (left to right): Amy Bridges, Columbia State adjunct medical laboratory technology instructor; Jillissa Vargas, Maury County resident; Jasmine Pollock, Maury County resident; Allison Gilliam, Giles County resident; and Taylor Ingram, Marshall County resident. Front row (left to right): Jennifer Adams, Lawrence County resident; Julie Ann Supang, Lewis County resident; Lisa Harmon, Columbia State program director and instructor of medical laboratory technology; and Amy Moore, Davidson County resident.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn.  Feb. 5, 2020) - - -Columbia State Community College’s medical laboratory technology program hosted a Be the Match donor drive in January and registered 109 potential donors.

Be The Match is a non-profit organization serving patients and families by helping overcome financial barriers to transplant. Be The Match maintains a registry of potential marrow and umbilical cord blood donors and funds life-saving research to improve transplant outcomes. 

“Our MLT students gained more knowledge about life-saving treatments for diseases,” said Lisa Harmon, Columbia State program director and instructor of medical laboratory technology. “I enjoy seeing students grow in confidence and knowledge as well as getting out into the community to volunteer.”

Through the donor drive, coordinated by Harmon and Amy Bridges, Columbia State adjunct MLT instructor, MLT students helped collect donor swabs, created event flyers, distributed donor information, walked potential donors through the donation process and also signed up as potential donors themselves.

“Working this event was very fulfilling,” said Jake Elizondo, Hickman resident and Columbia State MLT student. “I was delighted by the amount of generosity that came from my fellow student body and their interest to help others in need.”

The MLT program provides students with the technical skills necessary to perform routine testing in the areas of hematology, serology, coagulation, clinical microbiology, clinical chemistry, blood banking and urinalysis in clinical laboratories of hospitals, clinics and physician offices under the supervision of a physician and/or medical technologist.

“Columbia State’s reopening of the medical laboratory program is immediately addressing a need in area medical communities,” said. Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division. “Several area healthcare facilities are committing time and resources into the success of the program.”

The program is now under the direction of Harmon, who started her position at Columbia State in fall of 2019. Harmon brings a wealth of clinical laboratory experience to Columbia State. Harmon has an extensive work history in applied microbiology, blood banking and medical technology. She has worked in manufacturing facilities, reference labs and hospital transfusion services.

Harmon earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Alabama, a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, a master’s degree in biology from Memphis State University and a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition, she is certified as a general technologist and specialist in blood banking by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. 

The MLT Associate of Applied Science degree can be attained through an intensive 11-month program designed for immediate career entry. The program is structured to provide competency-based classroom and clinical experience that provides students with the tools necessary for licensure examination success and gainful employment. Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to sit for the American Society for Clinical Pathologists or the American Medical Technologist national credentialing and state licensure examinations.

For additional information about the MLT program, contact the Health Sciences Division at HealthSciences@ColumbiaState.eduor visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/MLT.

To learn more about Be The Match, visit www.bethematch.org

Lisa-Harmon headshot.jpg
Photo Caption:
Lisa Harmon, Columbia State program director and instructor of medical laboratory technology.