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2021 Women in Science Wednesday Honorees

At RTI Surgical, we are committed to gender equality and were delighted to recognize some of the outstanding women who use science to help patients by developing innovative solutions for customers through our Women in Science Wednesday series.

Congratulations to all of our 2021 Women in Science honorees. We look forward to recognizing many more women in 2022 and sharing the impact they have on improving quality of life for patients!

Olivia Dansereau, R&D New Product Development Engineer, started as an intern while studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. She is now an integral team member on numerous new product development projects and mentors interns and technicians in the R&D department. Olivia’s work on the Tissue & Biologics team focuses on designing and executing studies and compiling data to support current and future product design and development.

Angela Alongo, Setup Technician and Team Lead has been with RTI for 14 years. Angela’s technical understanding of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing allows her to translate engineering design requirements into manufacturing code that precisely produces our high-quality medical devices. She uses her expertise to assist in design for manufacturing and is committed to continuous improvement projects that help RTI continue to meet customer needs and facilitate growth. Angela attended Northern Michigan University and earned a Computer Numeric Controlled machining certification.

Karen Knight has been with RTI Surgical for 24 years and currently serves as the Quality Control Coordinator for the Greenville, N.C. facility. In her role, Karen is responsible for all in-house product quality control analytical testing and environmental monitoring. Throughout her career, she has taken advantage of opportunities to learn a variety of functions and has worked in R&D, Glassware, Manufacturing, Logistics and Quality. Because of her experience and tenure, Karen is Greenville’s go-to person and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with newer employees saying, “I have great pride in what I do and the experience of being able to assist in every department is an honor.” She earned an Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science from the University of the District of Columbia.

Cheryl Stallworth, CLS-SUP (FL), CTBS, Sr. Quality Engineer Sterility Assurance, has been with RTI for 20 years and takes pride in her role to ensure RTI’s implants are safe for implantation. As the leader of the Sterility Assurance team, Cheryl manages the culture programs that determine the eligibility of tissues for processing. Aseptically processed and packaged grafts are also evaluated through these programs to ensure implants meet our strict requirements for release and distribution. She is also responsible for the Dose Audit and bioburden monitoring program that routinely monitors terminally sterilized grafts. Prior to joining the Sterility Assurance team, Cheryl spent 17 years in the Biomedical Laboratory performing serology, microbiology and analytical tests for donor eligibility and quality control. Cheryl earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and an Associate of Science in Medical Technology. She is a certified Medical Laboratory Technician, a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist and is certified as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist-Supervisor in the State of Florida.

Lindsey Bartelli, Sr. R&D Engineer, has been with RTI for 12 years. As a packaging engineer, Lindsey develops sterile barrier packaging systems and performs testing on packaging to ensure that the implants manufactured and packaged in our Marquette and Greenville facilities are compliant with sterilization standards. She also supports the packaging operations team. Lindsey earned a Bachelor of Science in Packaging from Michigan State University.

Kathy McLeod has been part of the RTI family for 28 years and has served in multiple critical roles throughout her career to ensure RTI’s implants meet our strict quality standards and are safe for implantation. As the longest-tenured employee at our facility in Alachua, Florida, Kathy started her career in 1993 at the University of Florida Tissue Bank working in lab support, customer service, quality control and production scheduling. In 2000 she was promoted to Operations Supervisor, where she supervised the BioCleanse® processing, packaging, irradiation and labeling teams before moving to Tutogen Medical as the materials manager and master production scheduler. When RTI merged with Tutogen in 2008, Kathy became the Central Supply Supervisor with responsibility for the warehouse and equipment cleaning, disinfection and sterilization before transitioning to the engineering team in 2020. In her current role as an Engineering Technician, she supports the operations team with new product development, supply continuity and value stream operations. Kathy earned an Associate of Arts from St. Petersburg College and became a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist in 1998 and earned the Certification Board for Sterile Processing & Distribution (CBSPD) credential in 2016.

Casey Sumlin serves as the Quality and Regulatory Supervisor for the Greenville, N.C. facility, which manufactures synthetic-based bone graft substitutes for our customers. In her role, she provides quality and regulatory support for new product development projects, supports audits, manages the facility’s quality system, plays an active role in the maintenance of the validation system and the non-conformance and Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPA) system. Casey also supports the regulatory team by assisting in the change management process and maintenance of existing registrations for the synthetic-based BGS portfolio made in Greenville. Casey joined RTI Surgical in 2017 as a Quality Systems Specialist and then was promoted to a Quality Engineer before taking on her current blended quality and regulatory role. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from East Carolina University.

Ana Y. Rioja, Ph.D., CTBS, joined RTI in 2019 as a Sr. R&D Engineer. In this role, Ana has driven design control activities and technical approaches to meet product and customer requirements on new product development and sustaining projects for the Tissue & Biologics and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery platforms. Starting this year, Ana has taken on the role of project manager for HCT/P and 510(k) projects. In this role, she works with R&D, design assurance, quality, operations, regulatory, manufacturing, and other departments to fulfill all tasks required for project completion. She also contributes to project activities including testing, design control, regulatory registrations, and submissions. Ana earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of South Florida. She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of South Florida.

Rebecca Medor, Quality Engineer 2, has been with RTI Surgical for three years. As a member of the sterility assurance team, Rebecca oversees the environmental monitoring and environmental controls programs at RTI’s facility in Alachua, FL. In her role, Rebecca reviews environmental data to ensure the processing spaces meet the strict requirements for tissue processing. Additionally, Rebecca supports the operations team with CAPA investigations and consults on room cleanliness and equipment disinfection/sterilization. Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Cell Sciences from the University of Florida. She is pursuing her Master of Science in Health Science with graduation expected in December 2021.

Dawn Hutcherson is the Operations Supervisor for the Tutoplast® Tissue Sterilization Process packaging group. After allografts go through the Tutoplast® Process, the team shapes, measures, cuts and packages implants to meet RTI’s strict quality specifications. Dawn ensures that each surgical implant processed by her team meets applicable safety requirements and she collaborates cross-functionally to ensure the timely delivery of our implants to surgeons around the world. Prior to becoming an Operations Supervisor, Dawn experienced the importance of compliance and maximizing the gift of tissue donation while serving as a Tissue Processing Tech. Today, Dawn is a motivational team leader who reinforces these key principles as her team works to process implants that improve the quality of life for patients every day. Prior to joining RTI Dawn spent 13 years in retail management. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Mississippi Gulf Coast and studied Special Education at Mississippi State University.