This section of the CTBS prep course will focus on relevant practices, regulations and AATB Standards for Tissue Banking Focused on Quality management, quality systems and quality assurance.
Valerie Cruz, CTBS
Valerie Cruz is a strategic visionary with over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Ms. Cruz’s wheelhouse includes tactical experience developing healthcare programs, quality assurance/improvement initiatives, planning and executing stewardship events, including community outreach and international symposia.
Working with top executives in New York City’s major medical centers, she has led teams in the successful completion of regulatory surveys, including The Joint Commission and NYS Department of Health. A nurse and a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist, Ms. Cruz comes with a breadth of knowledge and experience in tissue/organ donation and recovery, having served in multiple capacities in the OPO sector.
While highlights of her career include working with Dr. James Watson, The Royal Family of England and five Former First Ladies, Ms. Cruz is rewarded most by the privilege of supporting families during their time of grief and facilitating their wishes to save lives through donation. Having witnessed first-hand the devastation that occurs when processes falls short of standards, Ms. Cruz is committed to joining AATB in accomplishing its mission to promote safety in the use of the gift of tissue.
Laura Walling-Sotolongo, CTBS
Sr. Director, Employee Learning & Advancement
As a dynamic executive coach, educator, and transformational change catalyst, Laura Walling-Sotolongo uses her +14 years of experience in various aspects of Tissue Banking including leadership development, employee training, donor screening, tissue authorization, recovery, processing, distribution, and quality systems to produce impactful bottom-line results.
She graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Molecular Biology and is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and CTBS certified.
She serves the AATB as the Vice Chair of the Education Committee and in her current role as the Senior Director of Employee Learning & Advancement at New England Donor Services, Laura brings high energy, positivity, and consistent results to organizational & talent development, leadership coaching, and learning design.
She is driven by operationalizing strategies with tactics that engage, align, empower, and develop NEDS' employees and leadership team to help them cultivate their strengths and support positive change that maximizes their potential.
Debby Lewis, MA, SSBB, CTBS
Debby Lewis is Director of Quality Systems at New England Donor Services in Waltham, Massachusetts. Debby earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at universities in the UK where she lived before moving to the US in 1998. With a clinical background as a midwife working for the National Health Service in Portsmouth, England her career in the field of organ and tissue donation began in 2003 when she joined the operations department at New England Organ Bank. She is a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist and Six Sigma Black Belt.
Kelly Stevens, CTBS
Kelly Stevens is the Manager of Quality Assurance at DCI Donor Services Tissue Bank, where she plays an integral role in the direction of the quality assurance program, including the management and guidance of the quality assurance team. Kelly has 8 years of quality and regulatory compliance experience in the tissue banking industry. She is actively involved in quality improvement initiatives, has experience in both leading and participating in audits by regulatory and accreditation agencies, such as the FDA and AATB, as well as entities at both state and international levels. Kelly serves as a member of the AATB Quality Council and is a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist. She is a Certified Quality Improvement Associate with the American Society for Quality and holds a Bachelor of Science from Middle Tennessee State University.