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2022 Women in Science

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

Congratulations to all our 2022 Women in Science honorees. We look forward to recognizing many more women in 2023 and sharing the impact they have on improving quality of life for patients!

Francesca DeVito, R&D Engineer, joined RTI in 2020 as an intern conducting feasibility research for multiple tissue-based implants. In her role, she contributes to the technical design and cross-functional production of several new product development projects and mentors interns in the R&D department. Francesca's work on the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery team has helped drive current and future development, creating more opportunities for novel surgical techniques for RTI’s customers and their patients. Francesca earned her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida and is pursuing a graduate degree in Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.

Jessica Schrauth joined the RTI Donor Services team in 2009 and has positively impacted tissue donation and outcomes in various roles throughout her career with RTI. In her current position as Donor Services Account Manager, she manages partnerships with Organ Procurement Organizations and Tissue Recovery agencies and focuses on continuous improvement initiatives to expand donation and improve transplant outcomes. Ensuring the gift of tissue donation is honored and maximized for both donor families, and recipients drives Jessica’s hard work and dedication to the mission of donation. Jessica is a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist (CTBS) with the American Association of Tissue Banks. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from St. Cloud State University and a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University Wisconsin.

Susan Payne BSN, RN, CWCN joined RTI Surgical’s clinical team in July 2021. As a Medical Science Liaison, Susan is passionate about providing best-in-class service to our surgeon customers to improve patient satisfaction, patient outcomes, and overall standard of care. Susan provides clinical support to physicians and clinicians during surgeries and facilitates educational opportunities through journal clubs and cadaveric training labs. She also provides advanced clinical support to cross-functional teams at RTI and collaborates with R&D and Regulatory Affairs to host clinical events and HCP advisory boards. Before joining RTI, Susan worked in general surgery and trauma at the Cleveland Clinic and Akron General Hospital in Akron, Ohio where she developed clinical expertise in wound care. Susan earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Akron in Akron Ohio and is a Certified Wound Care Nurse by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board.

RTI’s robust Quality Assurance program is designed to achieve consistent and predictable levels of quality, ensure compliance with applicable regulations/standards, meet or exceed customer expectations, and document best business practices. Anne Mansfield, CEBT, joined RTI Surgical in May of 2021 as Senior Manager of Quality Systems. Anne is a champion for RTI’s quality culture and leads teams that perform critical Quality Management functions to ensure donated grafts are safe for recipients. These functions support the overall Quality Management System and include Document Control, Audit Program, Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA), Complaint Handling and Manufacturing Records. Anne has more than ten years of experience in the tissue donation field. Before joining RTI, Anne worked as a Laboratory Technician at Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin where she performed donor screening, recovery, tissue evaluation, donor eligibility determinations, processing and distribution of ocular tissues before moving to Quality Assurance where she spent five years as the Director of Quality Systems at the eye bank, overseeing all critical areas of operation. Most recently, Anne served as Quality and Regulatory Affairs Director at the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research, where she oversaw the Quality Management System and assisted with the transition of the Recovery and Donor Services Center from RTI Donor Services to Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research. Anne earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Aspects of Conservation with an emphasis in Public Health and is a Certified Eye Bank Technician.

Shannon Robinson believes in lending a hand to help and encourage others. In her role as a Tissue Processing Tech 3, Shannon packages dental implants after they are processed through the Tutoplast® Tissue Sterilization Process. These implants help improve the quality of life for patients. ”I enjoy what I do because I know that we are helping someone to have a better life. We may never meet all the donor families and recipients that we have touched, but we always know that we made a difference,” she said. Shannon is passionate about going the extra mile to meet or exceed challenging goals, and she is dedicated to maintaining RTI Surgical’s high standards. Shannon joined RTI Surgical in 2014 as a tissue processing tech on the Tutoplast® Process team where she prepared donor tissue for surgical implants. Before joining RTI, Shannon spent 15 years at Medical Device Technologies in Gainesville, Florida where she held supervisory roles on the assembly and packaging teams.

In her role as Senior Quality Engineer, Jessica Grady supports process validations, Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPA), continuous improvement initiatives, and audits to ensure that RTI’s customers consistently receive high-quality implants. She also leads engineers and technicians on the Quality Engineering team to support the Operations processing teams and other groups throughout the company. “I enjoy working in Ops Quality because it challenges me to keep improving and there are opportunities to learn something new every day,” said Jessica. Jessica started her career at RTI in 2007 as a Data Entry Specialist, then moved into a Quality Technician role before being promoted to Quality Engineer in 2017. She is a Certified Quality Engineer and a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Florida.

Mette Laurence, Sr. Operations Data Analyst, joined RTI Surgical in 2019 and takes pride in helping our company better serve patients and business partners. As the leader of the Planning & Analysis team, she oversees inventory management, production capacity, data analysis, and metric aids. In her role, Mette teaches technical skills, collaboration, data improvement practices, and promotes good stewardship of donated tissue. Before joining RTI Surgical, she was a senior web developer overseeing a programming team and managing websites with a searchable 1,000+ database of transcripts, video, and audio archives. Mette earned a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Bioinformatics (Bio. Computer Science) and Finance. She is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida and looks forward to completion this fall.

As a Business Intelligence Analyst, Kayla Glover analyzes business and industry trends to anticipate customer demand for surgical implants. She uses these insights to inform business decisions and collaborates with RTI’s commercial teams to improve the quality of life for patients by ensuring that implants are available to support surgeries around the world. Before joining RTI in 2021, she worked as a financial consultant in the hospitality industry and in revenue management at an Orlando theme park. Kayla earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Master of Business Administration from Rollins College.

As a Supervisor of Donor Information, Kimberly Elizar, is responsible for maintaining RTI’s strict donor screening criteria. After receiving donated tissue from independently licensed recovery agencies, the donor information team reviews donor records to confirm the donation process met regulatory, medical and safety standards before an RTI medical director makes a final determination of donor eligibility. Kim joined RTI in 2002 and has accomplished her dream of working in the sciences and being a mom. She proudly honors the gift of tissue donation through her work, “I fell in love. The idea of using the body to heal another has always resonated with me. I’m honored to be a part of a process that can help families with grief and impact the lives of recipients. I am proud of the hard work we do every day for donors, their families, and the recipients,” she said. Kim is a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist by the American Association of Tissue Banks.

As a Medical Technologist in the biomedical laboratory, Suzy Rascan is responsible for performing lab tests on donor tissue to confirm tissue is eligible for processing and that processed implants meet our strict safety, quality, and performance requirements for release and distribution. Suzy joined RTI Surgical in 2005 and worked with the Central Supply, Equipment Cleaning, Disinfection & Sterilization, and Tissue Processing teams before moving to the biomedical laboratory. Suzy earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Master of Science in Forensic Toxicology and is licensed in the state of Florida as a Medical Technologist.

Leila Kelly joined RTI in 2014, and in her role as Quality Supervisor, she is responsible for efficiently and effectively receiving, reviewing, evaluating and resolving complaints in compliance with requirements to ensure customers receive the highest-quality products and implants to improve the quality of life for the patients who receive them. As a member of the Quality Systems team, Leila’s work provides customers with confidence in our robust compliance practices by defining the scope of the Quality Management System to support our compliance with applicable external requirements, regulations and standards established by organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, American Association of Tissue Banks and the British Standards Institution. Before joining RTI, Leila earned a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao College and earned a medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine. She then completed her pediatric residency at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi, TX and completed a fellowship in pediatric nephrology at the University of Florida.

Kat Caldwell, Commercial Analyst, is instrumental in helping patients by ensuring that facilities have appropriate implant inventory available for surgeries. In her role, she supports RTI’s sports medicine and plastic & reconstructive surgery customers by collaborating with cross-functional teams to manage facility contracts. Kat joined RTI’s customer service team in 2007 and her professionalism and commitment to providing exemplary customer service led to her promotion to customer service trainer. In 2014, Kat was recognized as the Customer Service Rep of the Year, and she served as the customer service supervisor before transitioning to an analyst role on the sales operations team in 2018. Before joining RTI Kat spent nearly 10 years in the financial industry.