Paula Vagnone, MT (ASCP) is the Microbiology Unit Supervisor in the Infectious Disease Laboratory (IDL) of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), overseeing the general microbiology, mycobacterial, fungal, and antibiotic/antifungal testing areas of the laboratory. During the COVID-19 pandemic response, she has also taken on the role of coordinating the preanalytical process for COVID-19 specimens. She serves as the Laboratory Coordinator of the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network Central Region, a liaison-type role between the MDH Central Region Lab, the eight state public health laboratories and the epidemiology health care–associated infection coordinators in the region. Paula has been with the MDH IDL since 2000, initially working for 12 years as a bioterrorism response microbiologist and serving as the Minnesota Laboratory System Program Advisor, liaising with all clinical laboratories in Minnesota. She then moved to her current supervisory position.
Paula obtained her BS in Medical Technology at the University of North Dakota and then spent 12 years as a clinical microbiologist in a large St. Paul hospital. She has always been interested in quality laboratory practices and has served as the Chair of the Association of Public Health Laboratories’ (APHL) Laboratory Systems & Standards Committee for seven years. Ms. Vagnone was a member of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC) from July 2012 through June 2016. She participates in the CLSI Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing, is a member of the Outreach and M39-Antibiogram Working Groups, and currently serves on the CLSI Board of Directors (December 2019-present).