Alverno Laboratories’ CEO Sam Terese said his company is at the forefront of the initiative to transform and systemize healthcare as Alverno becomes more of a regional force in the Midwest.

Hammond, Indiana-based Alverno Laboratories, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is one of the largest integrated laboratory networks in the United States. It owns and operates nearly 40 hospital laboratories in Illinois and Indiana, and features a central laboratory performing both clinical and anatomic pathology. Alverno’s innovative, state-of-the-art laboratory offers cost effective testing and personalized customer service, with advanced technology and testing in Precision Medicine/Next-Gen Sequencing, toxicology and other speciality testing. Alverno’s on-site pathologists are part of the pathology practice of Pathology Consultants, Inc.

“Alverno has been a leader in this initiative for over 20 years in the field of laboratory medicine,” Terese said. “The center provides testing for an extensive region of hospital laboratories.”

Terese has been with the company since 2005, first as Vice President, then as Chief Operating Officer, and, since Sept. 8, 2011, as its President and CEO.

In the last decade under Terese’s leadership, Alverno’s revenue has averaged 20 percent yearly growth, and this year alone the company has made numerous major announcements, including:

  • Becoming the first U.S.-based network to launch groundbreaking digital pathology services from Royal Philips that will assess and diagnose all clinical histology cases digitally, instead of using a microscope.
  • The implementation of Precision Medicine into its network. Precision medicine seeks to predict which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people. Terese said the company purchased genome sequencers that can reveal genetic mutations that can offer clues about a patient’s diagnosis or how they will respond to treatment.
  • Adding two key Chicago hospitals, along with several suburban AMITA Health hospitals, to its network. Alverno added Mount Sinai Hospital, 1500 S. Fairfield Ave., and Holy Cross Hospital, 2701 W. 68th, plus eight suburban AMITA hospitals. It increases the number of hospitals in Alverno’s network to 36, doubling the 18 Alverno partnered with in 2005.
  • The additional hospitals will require Alverno to add 20 associates to the central lab and will increase the total number of associates from 1,700 to around 2,100, Terese said. Terese added that Alverno’s next goal is to expand to Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.

“It’s gradual process to create and develop a model that makes sense,” Terese said of Alverno’s scaling plan. “With that consolidation of work, you’re able to provide a deeper bench of services. That drive to regionalize and consolidate is about improving care for patients. Will we ever be national? I don’t know, but we’ll be able to serve a much larger audience.”

Terese said there also is a move away from hospitals positioning themselves as the “center for all care at almost any cost.”

“Historically hospitals positioned themselves in communities as the center for all care at almost any cost, and that can’t be supported,” Terese said. “As hospitals have come together into a system there is a growing level of ‘systemness’ thinking. Within a system many are designating a system hospital for cardiac care or oncology care. … One of the most important aspects of this regionalization is the expertise through the centering of resources — equipment and knowledge and staff — into a single location. We see this in our laboratory with new technology like digital pathology and next generation sequencing.”

Terese said it’s exciting to lead a company helping to change the healthcare landscape. “It’s great to be able to deliver these kinds of services to the local community,” Terese said.