Kuakini is special to Janelle Hubbard for a number of reasons – this is where she got her first job after college and this is where she met her husband, Jim.
“I’ve been here at Kuakini so long, I think I could drive here in my sleep. I am very comfortable here and am surrounded by a great bunch of people,” she said.
Janelle joined Kuakini in 1984 right after she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology. She started as a temporary Medical Technologist and soon became a permanent full-time employee.
Janelle’s job as a Medical Technologist is challenging and highly analytical. Her work includes cross-matching blood for transfusions. “When a patient needs blood products, I make sure that they are compatible with the patient’s blood so there are no adverse reactions,” she said.
The biggest challenge is when patients have antibodies, said Janelle. Antibodies are formed when a patient receives blood cells with traits (antigens) that do not match their own. This can cause a transfusion reaction. To prevent a reaction, it is crucial to identify the antibodies in the person receiving blood and find donor units which lack the antigens to which antibodies have formed.
“Janelle Hubbard is very dedicated to her Blood Bank duties,” said nominator Dianne Downie, Kuakini’s Blood Bank Senior Medical Technologist. “In addition to the routine Blood Bank testing that she performs daily, she loves to be able to apply her skills and knowledge (which are exceptional!) to solve the more complex crossmatch testing problems that occur with some patients.”
“I like the challenge, I love figuring out the puzzle and identifying the antibodies,” Janelle said.
According to Dianne, Janelle also assists the Laboratory Manager by reconciling Laboratory and Pathology charges, following up on reports, reviewing and providing information for accounts, and helping to build new laboratory tests.
When she found out that she was the Employee of the Month, Janelle said she was “shocked and embarrassed.” “I don’t know if I deserve it. I am just doing my job. I didn’t expect this at all,” she said. Dianne describes her as “always conducting herself in a cheerful, professional manner and well-liked by her co-workers.”
When not at work in the lab, Janelle enjoys listening to her husband’s music. She is an avid supporter of the four-member “The Jim Hubbard Band.” She also enjoys relaxing in front of the TV, playing computer games and just having good family time with her husband and their two sons in the evening.