January 7, 2021

Swapna Abhyankar

Swapna Abhyankar

I nominate Swapna Abhyankar for the One Regenstrief Award. Over the past year Swapna has gone above and beyond what anyone could expect to lead the LOINCteam through a critical period of transition. In Late 2019 Dan Vreeman left his position as Director of the LOINC program. Swapna reluctantly agreed to step in as inteim co-director along with Dr. Terry Cullen.

This was supposed to be a 6-month position while a new director was found. Here is it is 13 months later. Dr. Cullen has left and Swapna is now the sole interim director and a replacement director is not in place.

Swapna reluctantly accepted the interim position for the good of the LOINC program and the LOINC team. It not a position that she wanted or desired. Still, as soon as she was in the role it became obvious that she was natural leader. She was able to rally the team and bring us together as a unit.
Under Swapna’s leadership the LOINC team achieved many successes. Swapna lead us through our first international conference, 3 successful LOINC releases. Swapna was also instrumental in helping Regenstrief, on behalf of LOINC, gain membership in the Health Standards Collaborative. http://healthstandardscollaborative.org/ Recently, Swapna made a presentation to the World Health Organization (WHO) working to get LOINC listed as part of the Family of International Collaborations (WHOFIC).

Swpana has done all of this and much, much more while battling cancer and in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic. In addition to all this, she has been an accessible and compassionate colleague and leader. Although she may not have wanted this role, she has filled it with grace. We could not have asked for a better leader through this difficult last year of transition to work totally remotely as we all juggled home, health and work.

Swapna has done a remarkable job serving as the Interim Director of LOINC and Health Data Standards. I truly think she has demonstrated excellence in all of the nomination categories, but I chose to highlight two of them. With the onset of the pandemic, she worked nearly around the clock in providing excellent leadership to the LOINC team, enabling us to successfully create hundreds of new COVID-19-related codes, build new webpages on loinc.org to help users choose and access the correct LOINC codes, and provide necessary support and education for the LOINC community on COVID-19. Her dedication to Regenstrief’s mission and values shows through this work as well as her efforts to collaborate with key stakeholders, including CDC, FDA, WHO, investigators/staff at Regenstrief, manufacturers, labs, and others, to make significant strides in interoperability of health information data exchange. In addition to providing excellent leadership for COVID-related work, Swapna also provided the direction & support needed to complete all of our ongoing projects, including successfully publishing two LOINC releases this past year. Swapna’s passion for and dedication to improving health data exchange and ultimately achieving better health for all clearly shows through her work and leadership on the LOINC team and at Regenstrief.