Paula Deen Frito and Corn Salad: Y’All Gotta Try This

Paula Deen recipe picHere’s a yummy, fast salad just in time for Memorial Day. But don’t be fooled by the name salad — it is not low in fat or calories. However, an occasional indulgence from Paula Deen never hurt anyone!

Serves 8-10




2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup green pepper, chopped (can use other colored peppers if desired)

½ cup red onion, chopped

1 (10 1/2 ounce) bag coarsely crushed Fritos chili cheese corn chips

Mix first 5 ingredients and chill. Stir in corn chips just before serving.

Ship Samples with the Same Accession Numbers Together

Do any of you spend 10 minutes figuring out how to get one more plate in your dishwasher or do you juggle six grocery bags, a purse/backpack and a phone just so you don’t have to make one more trip to the car?

We all like to maximize our efforts but when it comes to shipping kits back to Covance we really need Investigator Sites to take the extra time to keep samples with the same accession numbers together.

Anisha, Work Flow Lead, for Lab Pre Analytical Services said, “Sites can consolidate multiple kits in a shipment but they should keep the same accession numbers together.”

In other words, don’t batch by type of sample container– batch by accession number.

“All samples belonging to a specific accession number should be in the same bag,” Anisha said. Continue reading

Covance Award Winner Drives Quality, Service to Sites

anish photoAnisha, Work Flow Lead, began her career with Covance opening samples as they came in from the sites.  She quickly proved herself a natural leader, and in fact, was one of the winners of the prestigious Covance Way Award in 2014.  This internal award recognizes 1 percent of the top performers in each business unit of the company.  After only three years with the company, Anisha was nominated for this award by six people from four different departments.

In addition to overseeing the workflow of the department,  Anisha makes sure all training is up to date and is in charge of all quality metrics.  She also gets to use her people skills by leading all internal and external tours through the department.

“I like the face-to-face interaction I have with our internal and external customers,” she said. Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day

quinoa recipe imageTo celebrate all those who mother and nurture us, enjoy this recipe. Covance Site Communications tried it out and voted it a “keeper.”

Cheesy Greek-Style Baked Quinoa
2 ½ cups cooked quinoa (prepare quinoa with chicken broth instead of water for more flavor)
1 ¼ cups fat-free feta cheese
½ cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts (in oil)
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
½ cup skim milk
1 tsp crushed or minced garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp (approx.) sea salt and coarse black pepper

Prepare the quinoa as directed. While quinoa cooks, dice the cherry tomatoes and chop the spinach leaves, then set aside.  Next, in a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup feta, skim milk, garlic, lemon juice and parsley, blending until smooth.

When ready, add artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and spinach into quinoa, plus 1 tbsp oil from the artichokes, stirring well.  Pour over feta sauce, then season with onion powder and salt and pepper, combining thoroughly.

Transfer mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish, spreading evenly. Top with remaining feta and mozzarella (or cheddar), then bake at 400 F° for 15 minutes until top has melted.  Serve immediately.


New Format, Frequency for InSite

Blog imageWelcome to the new Investigator Blog, InSite.  This replaces our quarterly newsletter with the same name.  This change was made to share relevant and interesting communication with sites more frequently.   The InSite blog will be updated monthly with eLearnings, employee profiles and articles about clinical research and laboratory best practices.

We look forward to communicating with you more often and providing helpful information, practical tips and some fun, lighthearted pieces.  As always, your comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.

Please bookmark this link or save it to your favorites so you can check in with us frequently to see what is new.

Investigator Training Ensures Everyone is on the Same Page

TrainingCovance’s Investigator Training department is a global group of professional speakers who conduct face-to-face meetings or remote trainings to help sites master and comprehend all the details in the Laboratory Manual.

Think of them like your very own tutor – helping you maneuver the ins and outs of a study. They can provide eLearnings or even come to a site to train staff directly.

“We make sure everyone is on the same page for the study,” said Senior Investigator Trainer, Dalia. “It’s important that everyone knows how to collect a sample the same way. It makes for more reliable data.”
Continue reading

Trainer to Sites: Help us Help You

Brad Brill photoYou may not know Investigator Trainer, Brad, but you might recognize his voice. Brad is the narrator of many eLearnings featured in the InSite newsletter/blog.

Brad has been with Covance for 22 years and prior to that worked in a microbiology laboratory at a hospital in the Southeastern part of the United States. Since joining Covance he has always worked in Central Labs and has held positions in the Laboratory and also in Project Management.

This experience, combined with his background, makes him an excellent trainer. One of the things he enjoys most about his job is what he learns at investigator meetings. Continue reading

Don’t Get Caught With Expired Kits

expiredkitsTo ensure an adequate supply of collection kits and to prevent the use of expired collection kits, sites should routinely complete the following steps:

Monitor the expiration dates of the lab kits at your site.
Covance does not perform testing on samples received in expired containers and receipt of any sample in an expired container will trigger a test cancellation resulting in the loss of critical data. Continue reading

A Recipe For Success: Kit Substitution

kit-best-practicesSubstituting kits is a lot like substituting ingredients in a recipe: you have to find the item that is closest to what you are missing. Of course, It’s best to not have to substitute one kit for another, or with our example above, one ingredient for another, but sometimes a situation develops where you have no choice and have to find the best match.

To avoid that last minute scramble, it is important to monitor all site supplies and expiration dates. This should be done routinely and well in advance of any patient visits. Kits can be ordered on our resupply website It’s important to be aware of the number of days required for resupply as it varies by region. This information is also available on the website. Continue reading

Accession Number Format Change

accession-changeCovance CLS recently upgraded our study set up, data warehouse, and laboratory information management system (LIMS) which resulted in updates being made to our accession and container number format.

The accession number, located near the barcode on all collection kits, specimen containers, and requisitions, changed from the current alpha-numeric format to a 10-digit numeric format for accession numbers and up to 12 digits for the container number.

The accession number links all the components of the kit to the site, sponsor and protocol. The accession number is scanned upon arrival at Covance and prepopulates the visit and protocol associated with that kit. Continue reading