Diabetes Stories From PTS Diagnostics

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Per the American Diabetes Association, 371 million people worldwide are living with diabetes and this number will balloon to 642 million by 2020 if changes toward prevention are not made globally.  

We spoke with a few members of our PTS Diagnostics family and asked them to share how they’re personally impacted by diabetes and whether this led them to seek professions in the point-of-care industry. Here’s what they said:

Ashley Voils, Document Control Manager

I was only six years old when I received my Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, so I don’t remember much. My mom worked in the medical field and was able to quickly recognize that I was displaying some of the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes; for me these were pounding headaches and a thirst that I couldn’t quench.

Above everything else, I vividly remember the immense feeling of fright that came over me upon   receiving the news. When you’re six you don’t know what diabetes is – What’s happening? What does this mean? Will I have to go to the hospital; or worse?

Luckily, my mom and our doctor were able to explain that diabetes simply meant that my body was having trouble turning sugar from food into energy and that I’d (pretty much J) be able to be just like any other kid, as long as followed my treatment plan and took the necessary medications. As an adult, my greatest accomplishment as a diabetic was giving birth to a healthy baby girl two years ago with few complications.

Growing up as a diabetic has definitely had some level of influence on both my career choice and charitable pursuits. It’s provided tremendous value to my everyday work knowing that I’m making a difference for people of all ages with diabetes. I’m privileged to have been at PTS Diagnostics for 10 years to witness the positive impact that our point-of-care solutions have had on impacted populations.

Scott Lee, Graphic Designer

Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. My father had it, his mother had it, and two of my siblings also have it. I’ve always been predisposed to it and very aware of its lifechanging impact.

The tipping point for me was working in a job with a total commute of 3+ hours. This eventually led to a more sedentary lifestyle than I’d have preferred, and in result, a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The major impact for me has been going from seeing my doctor for checkups to frequent visits for the purpose of diabetes management. I’m also more aware of maintaining a proper diet, specifically focusing on limiting my intake of carbs since I know that this is a key to my insulin balance. What has really stuck with me is that no matter how well I control A1C and other biometric markers, I’ll always be medically categorized as a person with diabetes due to the original diagnosis.

Passion for my work at PTS Diagnostics comes in the form of a “noble why.” I feel a sense of tremendous pride when I create materials that help others with this disease state. This is my way of giving back to the diabetes community and assisting others impacted by all forms of diabetes and their comorbidities. 

Heather Williams, Human Resources

My mom is 59 years old and has battled Type 1 diabetes since age four. Over the years she has been a part of many different studies to help with diabetes management as well as working toward a cure. This is one of the underlying factors in our family’s involvement in diabetes research and related charity work.

I am the oldest of three siblings, a miracle because according to her doctor at the time, I should not have been conceived. I was born a month early and had drastically low blood sugar levels, that resulted in the first few weeks of my life in the NICU.

Growing up, I learned very quickly how to detect when my mom was experiencing drastic changes in her blood sugar and what to do to get her blood sugar back to a normal level, help her with daily insulin shot regimes when my dad was at work, and later helping her with insulin pump placement.

During the pregnancy of my two boys I was closely monitored due to family history for gestational diabetes, which I ended up having during my pregnancy with Nolan, my youngest son. Even though I have a pretty healthy active lifestyle, it was determined that genetics was a factor in my gestational diabetes.

It is amazing to see the evolution in technology for diabetes management and care and how it affects lives from a personal and professional standpoint. Recruiting talented individuals at PTS Diagnostics has been personally satisfying and a great opportunity to help provide means for doctors and clinicians to help individuals with the diagnosis and management of diabetes.

In summary, diabetes management and prevention is a cause that’s near and dear to the entire PTS Diagnostics family. Throughout #DiabetesAwarenessMonth we’ll be giving back to diabetes-related charitable causes through events such as a blue jeans week, low sugar bake-off, and a Thanksgiving pitch-in. Follow the fun and converse with us via our LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels.

Progress Continues on New PTS Diagnostics Global Headquarters

PTS Diagnostics recently broke ground on a state-of-the-art global headquarters in Whitestown, Indiana. As we continue to grow at a rapid pace, this new facility is being added to accommodate the need for additional manufacturing and office space. 

As a Senior Designer, it’s my role to help layout the core laboratory and production zones of the new building so that we can continue to produce and expand the reach of our point-of-care solutions. I’ve been with PTS Diagnostics for 12 years and can honestly say that I’ve never seen such a level of excitement as it pertains to both our internal growth and the global impact of our technology.

The new global headquarters is progressing nicely and we remain on track for a late spring 2019 move-in date. Currently, the building’s first walls are being put up and the next step will be to begin work on roofing and laying concrete for the second floor. Once finished, notable amenities will include creative brainstorming rooms, a workout facility, innovative workspaces, expanded breakroom facilities, ample parking, and an outdoor walking trail and basketball court.

Individuals interested in tracking the construction progress are invited to follow the PTS Diagnostics “Grow With PTS” Facebook album, which will be updated on a monthly basis and more frequently as our move-in date approaches.

Our new global headquarters represents a continued commitment to our employees and our goal of advancing point-of-care technology to improve global outcomes. I believe that I speak for everyone involved with this project when I say that we could not be more excited about the future of PTS Diagnostics.

Tom Harris | Senior Designer

Using Point-of-Care Testing and Compliance to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

A heart attack occurs every 40 seconds and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a reality that I know all too well – just last year, I went into cardiac arrest without warning. I owe my life to the heroic efforts of my son, a former Special Forces Army medic who assisted me until the paramedics arrived, as well as the medical team at Baylor Medical Center-Dallas who successfully completed my heart transplant.

I’m thankful to have the opportunity to continue my career as Medical Director of PTS Diagnostics and to help improve the lives of those suffering from comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease.

This personal experience further ignited my passion for helping to curb our nation’s heart disease epidemic. Unfortunately, it’s my professional opinion that the prevalence of heart disease will continue to grow. This is due to an aging population and busy lifestyles that cause millions to forgo physical activity, regular doctor’s visits and healthy food options, as their health declines.

These regular doctor’s visits, termed ‘compliance,’ are an often-overlooked issue when caring for patients with or at risk of heart disease. If a doctor sends a patient to a laboratory, there’s a chance they may forget to go or opt not to because traditional laboratory tests can be time-consuming and intrusive. Moreover, if a patient takes an intravenous test onsite, results often take days to come back and the doctor may have trouble reconnecting with the patient to share them. This disconnect in the testing process costs many people time that they really don’t have in terms of reducing the risks of further complications if heart disease is present.

Emergent technologies, such as point-of-care testing, can slow this trend and reduce the spread of heart disease by providing timely results and reducing treatment gaps.

In the past, patients had to fast for 8 – 12 hours before a blood test. Now, non-fasting lipid panels (cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) and fingerstick blood glucose control can be performed via A1C testing for the greater convenience of the patient. The sooner that a doctor can identify a potential heart issue, the earlier treatment can begin. Our CardioChek® product line is CLIA-waived, meets NCEP guidelines for accuracy and precision, and delivers a full lipid panel in as little as 90 seconds.

The ability to walk into a clinic, pharmacy, or physician’s office and leave with test results and a plan for care has the potential to take a huge burden off of our healthcare system. It’s my hope that the healthcare workers on the front end of our nation’s heart health epidemic will take steps to incorporate point-of-care technology into their treatment plans.

For more information about heart health and how PTS Diagnostics is innovating point-of-care testing, stay tuned to our social media channels and check out resources such as the CDC or the American Heart Association.

Dr. James H. Anderson | Medical Director
Dr. Anderson trained in Internal Medicine and specializes in Endocrinology. He has 35 years of clinical and research experience, including Interim CEO at Antigen Express, Inc.; Director and Senior Scientific Advisor of Generex Biotechnology Corporation; CEO and President of Symcopeia Company; Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine; and Senior Medical Director for Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Medicine at Eli Lilly and Company. Fellowships include the American College of Endocrinology and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (UK). Dr. Anderson has degrees from Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, and Centenary College of Louisiana. 

PTS Diagnostics Turns 25: A Quarter-Century Commitment to Point-of-Care Solutions

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I’ve called PTS Diagnostics home for 10 years – joining our family in 2007 in a domestic sales capacity before making the transition to global sales, then Chief Commercial Officer earlier this year. It’s even more humbling to comprehend that for 25 years, PTS Diagnostics has been offering innovative and affordable point-of-care solutions impacting those living with chronic diseases.

As we charge into 2018, it behooves us to reflect upon the people and organizations that have played a role in our growth and success the last quarter-century.

PTS Diagnostics’ Mission and Growth
PTS Diagnostics was founded on the premise that testing for more than just glucose could be a quick, accurate and relatively inexpensive process. It was our vision, dating back to 1992, to expand point-of-care capabilities and bring testing to health fairs, physician’s offices and consumer’s homes. Little did we know that that this ambitious, yet relatively simple concept would change the world over the next 25 years.

Any type of “disruptive” technology encounters resistance in its infancy phase. Initially, central labs and pathologists were very skeptical of point-of-care technologies principally due to accuracy concerns. As such, they forced the device manufacturers to up the ante as it relates to the quality of results and conformity to quality control compliance standards. Fast forward to 2017 when many point-of-care test results are indistinguishable from central lab results and are even relied upon to drive merit-based healthcare incentives.

One of our biggest challenges has been the ability to cling to our core Midwestern values while scaling the business globally in accordance with growing demand for PTS Diagnostics’ solutions. This is a mission that Bob Huffstodt, our President and CEO, and our entire leadership team is committed to and cognizant of, even as we grow at rates that are four times the industry average.

Our Place in Global Point-of-Care Diagnostics
We have grown from being “The Little Engine that Could” to a global force on the point-of-care diabetes and cardiovascular disease stage. There are many times when I step back and have to take a deep breath understanding the responsibility that goes along with our role in the global healthcare market.

With the advantage of a quick turnaround time and immediate coachable moments serving as discernable benefits, I would challenge the healthcare system to operate effectively and efficiently without point-of-care solutions. Think patient satisfaction, provider satisfaction, population health management and health outcomes, and try to do that without point-of-care solutions; I don’t think it can be done and that to me is why we’re poised to help solve major healthcare problems.

Recent Successes
It is a great time to be working at PTS Diagnostics. Our overall growth continues at such a pace that we are planning to build a new global headquarters in Indianapolis, which will open in 2019, and position us well for the foreseeable future. We have very ambitious growth plans for not only our core products, but a number of promising R&D and business development initiatives. We also continue to enjoy the support of our parent company, Sinocare, who has been a great partner since acquiring PTS Diagnostics in 2016. They are very committed to our mission and our people.

Our footprint and overall business presentation have evolved significantly over just the past 10 years, and we have increased automation and office space as the business has grown. Our thriving Sunnyvale location was added in late 2013 when we acquired the A1C Now® product line from Bayer. Shortly, we will be announcing a new retail point-of-care software and a new portable data capture system for screening professionals that are poised to craft a niche in the growing field of population health.

In our line of work, success equals transformation of healthcare and access for traditionally underserved or critically at-risk patients. Therefore, I’m exceptionally proud of the projects that we are working on with the World Health Organization in Africa, National Diabetes Prevention Program in the UK, Discovery Health in South Africa and the Federal Government in Mexico. These are truly transformational and impact the health of entire sub-populations. I get excited when we open up new vertical markets in the U.S. and around the world because that to me equals access, which ultimately equals positive change.

Invaluable Customers and Distribution Partners
The main reason that we are who we are today is that we have always listened to our customers and our distribution partners.

I encourage customers to embrace this commitment and to continue to let us know what they need and what the market needs to help control and manage the chronic diseases that we help to identify and manage every day. Above all, know that we appreciate our partners, the patients and the responsibility of what we do, and are thankful for being a small part of making the world a better place.

Employee Values
PTS Diagnostics is a company that has more than once been told that what we are trying to do is impossible. Whether it be ambitious product improvements, daunting shipping deadlines for massive tenders or bringing a new high-quality product to market in record time. This company ALWAYS delivers. We work evenings, weekends, holidays, whatever it takes to get the job done and that is a true badge of honor, especially given the Midwestern roots of many of our employees.

When we acquired the Sunnyvale operation in 2013, I did not know what to expect. Yet, I have to say I have been blown away as they share the same values and work ethic as the Indy team and the global sales teams. I really think the “PTS Diagnostics-way” is contagious within our organization and for that, I really can just thank everyone as this team is the best in the business top to bottom.

Positioning for Future Milestones
Factors within the global marketplace such as where testing is accessed and how it is paid for change rapidly, making it important to be flexible and staying ahead of the curve, given that we transact in more than 140 countries.

Additionally, we must innovate, not only due to competitive forces but to meet the needs of a world that necessitates better access to technology. Highly accurate, non-refrigerated, stable platforms which require minimal pre-analytical interaction and can be delivered in a cost-effective manner are paramount in the world in which we live. We need broader menus and ability to transmit results to a plethora of data capture tools that exist today and are being developed for the future. The to-do list is staggering, but that is why this industry is a blast to be a part of.

A Sincere Thank You
From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to say thank you to ever
yone who has made our success possible, and who dedicates themselves to ensuring that those suffering from chronic conditions receive the quality and efficiency of care that they deserve. It’s important that we remember the real-world impact that our company has and use this as motivation to continue to grow, innovate and revolutionize our industry over the next 25 years.

Stephen Riendeau | Chief Commercial Officer

Mr. Riendeau joined the PTS Diagnostics in 2007 after 17 years of industry-wide sales experience with Specialty Laboratories, Inc., Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Orca Medical Systems, and Abbott Laboratories, Inc. His professional experience prior to PTS Diagnostics included the servicing of individual accounts, territory management, field sales management, and executive direction of corporate accounts. He has overall responsibility for PTS Diagnostics’ global sales in all healthcare segments, sales distribution, and the development and execution of the company’s strategic sales plan. Mr. Riendeau received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Florida State University.

Celebrating Our Culture and Growing Leaders  From Within

PTS Diagnostics has evolved by leaps and bounds since I was fortunate enough to join the leadership team in 2014. In just the past three years, we’ve been able to significantly grow the value of our company through innovation in existing markets, establishing our presence in new markets and introducing state-of-the-art products. This led to the acquisition of PTS Diagnostics by Sinocare in 2016 and begins an even more exciting time for our company.

The acquisition opens new opportunities for growth and allows us to create a new future – one that looks exceptionally bright thanks to our talented team and winning culture.

Leadership and career growth has long been a passion of mine. In fact, I developed a  Leadership Pyramid and Leadership Readiness Assessment, published by Strategic Finance Magazine, that helps identify the preference and readiness of an individual to move into a leadership role. At PTS Diagnostics, our success is a result of identifying internal leaders and bringing in expert talent from the outside to mentor and develop these up-and-coming leaders. Below are just a few of the ways in which we’re molding leaders to grow and advance our company:

Celebrating Milestones and Accomplishments 
In a company of 200+ individuals, accomplishments and daily wins often get overlooked in an effort to quickly and efficiently move onto the next task. This is a mistake. Taking just a minute to thank people and recognize their quality work motivates all employees to see their role in delivering our targeted results. 

​PTS Diagnostics is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and we couldn’t have reached this milestone without the dedication of our talented employees.

Our culture was built by seamlessly intertwining employees of 10+ years with new positions and faces. As the depth of our talent continues to grow, we’ll be able to thrive for many years to come. ​​

Establishing Trust and Respect
Ultimately, every person will ask themselves if they trust the company and its leaders to take care of their family. It’s not a leader’s role to come up with groundbreaking ideas, but rather to create an environment where people feel their commitment is rewarded with a satisfying work environment and a company they can go home to at night and feel proud to be a part of.

Communication and teambuilding are two essential, yet easy ways, to establish trust and respect. PTS Diagnostics has made great progress the past three years to increase our employee appreciation and recognition events. Our CEO does a great job of communicating at these events, and we all leave the event as a better team.

Continuing Education
Continuous learning is also essential for an organization to move into its next phase of growth. PTS Diagnostics constantly studies our market, competition and emerging technologies. We then look for opportunities for team members across the organization to advance an idea, concept, or project as part of our strategy to optimize outcomes. The market and competitive environment are constantly shifting, so our organization must be agile as well.

As for myself, I try hard to keep up with the latest thoughts on leadership. I recently finished two excellent books, “Leaders Eat Last” and “The Road to Character”. Staying immersed in the latest leadership opinions and trends challenges me to be my best.

I’m proud to be a part of the PTS Diagnostics team and all that we’ve been able to accomplish as an organization. As we continue to deliver, celebrate our wins and develop leaders, the sky is the limit.

Mark Morgan | Chief Financial Officer