What led you to start your company, Technowipe, Inc.?
In 1991, my X-ray equipment was becoming contaminated with bloodborne pathogens, and I understood that cleaning it was difficult due to its electrical design. Following this, I left my technologist career to focus on developing products that could improve cleaning medical devices. It became my passion and drive. I understood from a technologist’s perspective that cleaning products should not damage the equipment or negatively impact the X-ray image. This was the driving force behind Technowipe Lint Free Wipes.
How can coming into contact with freshly shaven skin be hazardous?
Bloodborne pathogens can pass through the dead layer of the skin through cuts or abrasions. Shaving, waxing, tweezing and skin conditions such as dermatitis lead to micro abrasions of the skin, thus leading to the potential hosting of blood-borne pathogens.
If you could raise clinician awareness about one thing, what would it be?
Pre-cleaning is the first step in reprocessing reusable medical devices, but this first step often is overlooked. The FDA and CDC recommend that at point-of-use processing, cleaning is the initial treatment to remove and/ or prevent drying of soil and contaminants. The first thing a clinician should do is to wipe clean the medical instrument with an appropriate wetting agent, so that it is free from organic debris. Wiping friction is needed to remove debris and avoid caking on the instrument. Consideration should be given to what kind of wiping materials are used; ensuring that the cleaning material will not clog, scratch, or damage the device.
What’s big on the horizon for you professionally?
I still love my work, and the passion has not left. I continue to search for new equipment that needs improving. I think my product can improve the cleaning protocols for ultra- sound transducers, endoscopes, and fiber optic instruments.
What’s the best career advice you ever got?
Being a woman in the 1960s, career paths were limited. My father told me, “If they don’t let you in the front door, there is always a back door.” So I opened my own business and created my own destiny.
What has been the highlight of your career?
One highlight was when The New York Times featured my patent for “a sanitary shield” I developed for mammography equipment.
What’s one thing about you that others might be surprised to learn?
I still love to punch a “speed bag” and used to amateur box as a hobby at the 92nd Street Y in my 20s.
What’s one activity outside of work that you enjoy?
I enjoy meeting with an informal group of local professional women once a month for dinner to socialize.
If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?
I would love to teach basic infection control methods, first aid, and food safety to high school students.
What is your philosophy in 10 words or less?
When you “believe,” don’t take “no” for an answer.
© Copyright AAMI 2015
A graduate of New York Hospital School of Radiography, is a licensed NYS radiologic technologist with an extensive history of working as a Mammographer. She also is an author and an inventor of a shield to protect mammography patients from infectious diseases (featured in The New York Times, May 16, 1994). Twenty- three years ago, she founded Technowipe, Inc.