Episode 34: Supporting Grief in the Lab: Creating a Culture of Compassion and Care- Dana Powell Baker

Episode 34: Supporting Grief in the Lab: Creating a Culture of Compassion and Care- Dana Powell Baker

In today's episode, we have a thought-provoking roundtable discussion on a topic that is often overlooked in the workplace - grief. We are joined by our guest, Dana Powell Baker, who is the manager for academic partnerships with the Association of Public Health Laboratories. Dana brings a wealth of expertise in higher education, relationship building, laboratory operations, and healthcare simulation.

Together, we delve into the importance of having tools and resources to manage grief in the workplace, sharing personal experiences, and exploring how to support colleagues in their own grieving processes. We discuss the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding grief, particularly for minority women. We also highlight the need for proactive support and discuss ways in which managers and colleagues can create a compassionate and caring environment.

Key takeaways from this episode:
  1.  Educate and Familiarize: Become familiar with bereavement policies and resources within your work setting. Regular communication with HR will help you better understand the available support. Advocate for interactive presentations and modules on grief leadership to bridge the training gap.
  2.  Create Spaces for Dialogue: Foster open and compassionate communication by creating safe spaces for professionals to share their experiences with grief. Incorporate bereavement education and training into leadership conferences and online learning packages.
  3. Normalize the Conversation: Address grief in the workplace and break down stigmas and biases. Provide support and resources, even for colleagues who may choose not to disclose their situation. Have resources readily available, such as bereavement policies, leave procedures, and community resources for financial assistance.

Remember, supporting grief and loss is an essential part of building a compassionate and inclusive workplace culture. Let's come together to create a space where everyone feels seen, heard, and supported. It's time to eLABorate on this important topic. Let's get started!

"We all experienced grief in some form or fashion. And so why isn't it a topic that is commonly discussed, openly discussed, especially in the workplace?... It's almost as if it's taboo... we need to do more of that because simply it's the right thing to do. We are caring people that are caring for other people. So why are we not being more intentional and caring for each other, especially in times of difficulty and grief?"
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Guest Bio:
Dana Powell Baker is the Manager for Academic Partnerships with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). An ASCP-certified Medical Laboratory Scientist, her areas of expertise include higher education, learning and development, relationship building, laboratory operations, interprofessional education and healthcare simulation. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she is a champion for STEM as well as an advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Furthermore, she serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Mrs. Baker has been recognized with various awards for her contributions and service to the laboratory profession most recently being named as a co-recipient of the 2022 ASCP President’s Award. She serves in leadership roles across professional organizations including the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). She is actively engaged mentorship of emerging laboratory professionals.

Connect with Mrs. Powell Baker:



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Creators and Guests

Stephanie Whitehead
Stephanie Whitehead
Executive laboratory leader with a warm and friendly demeanor always! Skilled at conflict resolution. Team builder who is acutely attentive to internal and external customer needs. Punctual problem solver and avid multitasker. Track record of being an essential part of the management and laboratory team and instrumental in providing effective solutions that produce immediate impact and contribute to the establishment’s long-term success. Co-host for the internationally streamed laboratory podcast, eLABorate Topics. This weekly podcast shares messages related to laboratory and leadership. In addition to her career in laboratory medicine, Stephanie plays an active role in the local community through her involvement with organizations such as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Junior League of San Antonio and the Girl Scouts of America.
Tywauna Coach Tee Wilson
Tywauna Coach Tee Wilson
Leadership Maven , International Trainer, Author, Laboratory Mentor, and Career Success Coach for Professionals Who Are On the Move. Tywauna Wilson is a leading authority on using your strengths to stand out above the crowd. You want to be the best, but you feel like you can’t. Your career is stalled, and you feel like you’re in a rut. It’s time to get unstuck! Mentorship with Coach Tee can be the catalyst that you have been waiting for to ignite your passion, push you past your limits, and inspire you to achieve success!
Dana Powell Baker (She/Her/Y'all) 🐘❤️
Dana Powell Baker (She/Her/Y'all) 🐘❤️
Mom-Wife-Christian | Collaborator | Educator | Medical Laboratory Scientist 🥼 | DEI Advocate | #StrongerTogether | #Lab4Life | #PublicHealthMatters | My Tweets