I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology and minor in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and UTMB in Galveston with certification by the American Society of Clinical Pathologist, and an Associate’s Degree in Laser Electro Optics Technology from Texas State Technical College, and am certified by the NCLE as a CMLSO (Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer). I have over 20 years experience in the Operating Room establishing , building, and directing Minimally Invasive Surgical and Laser Programs involving all surgical specialties including Cardiovascular, Neurosurgery, ENT, Ob-GYN, Plastics/ Dermatology, Ophthalmology, General Surgery, Urology, Orthopedics & Gastroenterology for laser applications and a variety of Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures and associated technologies. As with most MLSOs, my education and experiential background offered me the opportunity to excel in areas of my own special interest. I have had many years of wonderful experiences associated with the development and management of laser programs, medical/ surgical laser and minimally invasive program implementation, staff and physician educational development, area hospital training programs, laser device maintenance/ repair training, and hospital sponsored community outreach programs. The role grew as more opportunities emerged. As soon as it was available, I saw the BLS CMLSO certification process as wonderful opportunity for validation of my chosen profession. The networking opportunity of this organization has been invaluable for me.
How long have you worked with lasers?
I have been working with Medical/ Surgical Lasers since 1984 when I was recruited to build one of the first medical/ surgical laser programs for a major medical center in the Southeastern US. I had the rare opportunity to learn about the Operating Room from the ground up. During that time, it was all about networking with others in similar situations, as we were the pioneers. Many things have changed, and the progress of laser safety management and the intricacies of the laser technology is amazing. However, many of those faces are still contributing to the medical laser arena, and that is grand to see.
Becoming an LSO
How did you become an LSO?
With a BLS CMLSO certification in hand, I now own and operate my own medical/ surgical laser consulting and education firm. Southwest Innovative Solutions, Inc. develops and provides laser educational programs for all levels of healthcare providers for on line, virtual, and on site educational platforms. We have the opportunity to work with facility medical staff office physician development, nursing staff development, surgical and medical support development with major health systems, hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices, medical spas, and a select group of responsible mobile laser service providers that are dedicated to providing the safest and most responsible services possible to their customers.
What do you feel are the challenges of today’s LSO?
The challenge today for MLSO professionals across the country and certainly for me, is keeping up the major advances that continue to emerge in laser biophotonics technology and applications in conjunction with the financial challenges and restrictions on healthcare today. Our company approach is to embrace the partnership of current healthcare facility laser educational needs with modern interactive communication technology. I believe that education is the key to any successful laser program, and the ability to provide training and educational opportunities in a time efficient and cost effective manner is the natural progression of laser education and training for the future.
I will always be honored to be a member of this group of individuals that continue to give so much to an area of medicine that represents the future. I encourage all members of the laser safety management community to maintain their CMLSO standing or consider taking the step of BLS certification for both their facility and career mobility.