By SANDI TERFORD
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Lindsay Dugan has a split personality when it comes to her work. As a laboratory supervisor at Hannibal Regional Hospital in Hannibal, Mo., she is analytical and precise. Dugan says the laboratory does not get a lot of attention but she finds the work very fulfilling.
"Many people don't realize the clinical laboratory world is extremely complex and essential in order for doctors and nurses to treat patients. Seventy percent of a patient's diagnosis is based on their laboratory testing," she said.
As a wreath maker at Mathews Christmas Tree Farm, she gets to embrace her creative side.
"We are a locally owned business with four generations involved. Within the past three years, we have planted 10,000 trees and are committed to be around for many years in order to be a place for lasting memories and family traditions," Dugan said.
Describe a typical day.
At the tree farm mornings are slower, so I spend time taking care of bookkeeping, responding to messages from Facebook or our website, and getting organized for the day. Then if I have extra time, I get started making wreaths.
Every day is different for me in the laboratory and I love it! There are days that I work the "bench" and actually perform testing. Or I might work on completing paperwork such as schedules, evaluations or recurring projects. Then there are days that I get to get out of the laboratory to oversee point of care testing throughout the hospital and at the surrounding physician clinics affiliated with HRMG.
What is the best and worst part of working a tree farm?
The best part of my job is helping to bring joy to families as we contribute to the start or continuation of Christmas traditions. Most people are very happy and excited when they pick out their Christmas tree. The worst part is the number of hours required during the holidays for the business (in addition to my "real" job and school) and the sap.
How did you get interested in these two different occupations?
My senior year of high school, we watched the movie "Outbreak" in advanced biology. I had been interested in finance or accounting but thought the laboratory testing in the movie looked interesting. Fortunately my teacher encouraged me to look into a Clinical Laboratory Science program at UIS. That was 12 years ago and I haven't regretted my decision since! However, I have been able to get back into finance and accounting throughout my master's program and continue to enjoy it.
When we had been selling Christmas trees for a couple years, my dad came to me and said, "What if we started making wreaths out of our unsellable trees?" So we gave it a try. My dad and brother can both make wreaths but it really is a form of art that apparently they think I excel at over them. So I was deemed the master wreath maker.
Other than your work, do you have any hobbies or passions?
I like to read leisurely and have really become interested in genealogy in the past couple years. It helps that my grandparents are all living so I try to get as much historical information from them as possible. I also participate on a weekly bowling league and enjoy being a member of the technical ministry at The Crossing in Quincy.
How do you unwind?
I try to take at least one evening "off" each week to do nothing. In addition, I recently started jogging. Although I don't go out on an regular basis, it is really beneficial for me as a way to clear my head.
Do you put up a fresh tree?
Every year, which helps drive the passion for our business.
NAME: Lindsay Mathews Dugan
POSITION/TITLE: Master wreath maker at Mathews Tree Farm and analytic team leader/point of care supervisor at Hannibal Regional Hospital Laboratory
EDUCATION: Bachelors of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science from University of Illinois at Springfield, almost finished with MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University
FAMILY: Daughter, Kenna Grace, 4; parents, Greg and Linda Mathews
Web site: www.mathewschristmastrees.com