Meet the Team: Barbara Breeden
“Barbara adds a depth of experience to our team that is a perfect fit,” says Cristy Reiter, U.S. HealthTek CEO, about Barbara Breeden, a new Senior Business Analyst. “She brings to us a quarter century of expertise in anatomic pathology and precision oncology. And it’s crazy how quickly she’s acclimated and become a prized resource we immediately came to depend on.”
Breeden does indeed bring a wealth of knowledge from being on the front line of lab work. “Healthcare IT was never on my radar, but I’m finding it completely suits me,” she says of her new position.
The Artistry of the Lab
Breeden was born in the Tampa Bay area, grew up in San Diego, and returned to Florida in her mid-20s to pursue her love of science. “I always liked the idea of laboratory work,” she says. She was hired by the University of South Florida, Tampa as a lab assistant in their dermatopathology department. After simultaneously completing her B.S. in biology at USF and becoming a licensed and ASCP-certified histology technologist, she was offered a position as a histotechnologist at USF in 2001. She took quickly to the specialized study of microscopic structures of tissues.
Breeden embraced the environment of white coats, slides, and microscopes. “I happen to be an artist in my free time, and I found the view of tissues under a microscope remarkable. It looks like art staining, with all the different components of the tissue and those beautiful dyes. The artistry of it all drew me in.”
In 2013, she became licensed as a clinical laboratory supervisor, applying her mastery of CAP accreditation, noting that “accreditation is important because it shows that a lab not only meets basic requirements but has an even higher set of standards rigorously verified by an inspector.” In the years following that success, she served at several labs and, always eager to learn more, earned a master’s degree in Biostatistics at the University of Florida, Gainesville in 2023.
When she started a tenure at Protean, Breeden noted that they had a LIS program that “was not ideal for their lab, but we were under contract with the vendor, and so I was one of the employees figuring out how to live with it.” When that contract came to an end, they started looking for a new LIS system. Looking for a new opportunity, she took a meeting with Reiter, which was followed by an offer a week later to come on board at U.S. HealthTek.
“I love the job,” she declares. “U.S. HealthTek has a really fun, supportive atmosphere. You can reach out to anybody for any kind of help.” And the other side of working with the client is even better, she says. “For example, one of the custom software development projects I am involved in requires me to have very deep understanding of our client and their specialty.” She adds that during her experience on the front lines in labs, she never enjoyed the experience of building custom software. “It’s exciting when they’re spinning ideas about what they’d like, saying ‘wouldn’t it be nice if the system could do X, Y, Z?’ I go to our developers, who say yes, they can build that… and then I get to give the client the good news that we will make it happen!”
There are other perks, too – from its beginning, U.S. HealthTek has been a company where employees work remotely, which means extra time for Eimi, her Irish Terrier – and of course her husband Robert, with whom she has three grown children and two grandsons. While she leaves the “artistry” of tissue samples on those lab slides, she does apply her artistic talents to her passion for watercolors. Plus, “I’m an avid knitter!”
She confirms her new position is indeed a perfect fit. “It’s like granting wishes,” she says of her day-to-day work at U.S. HealthTek. “It’s a lot of fun to get [the client’s] feedback and see their excitement build. But really, it’s the developers who are working the magic. There’s just so much talent in this company. It’s so satisfying when it all comes together into something tangible, and we can see how everybody contributed to that final product.” Here’s to Barbara granting many more wishes for her clients in the coming years!