Long-time member, Mimi Roush, RPT(AMT) establishes endowment for annual, free RPT exams for four, in-need students.
By John Sherer, MT(AMT), Past AMT President
RPT/MT(AMT) member, Dorothy (Mimi) Roush recently donated $20,000 to AMT to be used for annually funding four candidates that need financial assistance to take AMT’s Registered Phlebotomist Technician certification exam. Recipients of the Dorothy "Mimi" Roush RPT Exam Fee Endowed Scholarship will be chosen by the AMT Scholarship committee.
Mimi grew up in a household where her dad was a farm sharecropper and had a health problem where he died at the age of 41. She and her five siblings were reared alone by her mom. Mimi had always wanted to be in healthcare having gone to multiple appointments with her ill father. At the age of 7, she decided she wanted to be a nurse. This dream was out of the question with her financial situation. So, Mimi started an on-the- job, four-year training program that allowed her to take the AMT exam in 1953. She went on to obtain nursing training, and later attended The Ohio State University to further her education. It was from these humble beginnings that Mimi, in her later life wanted to establish this endowment fund, especially for phlebotomists with insufficient income.
At one point in her career, she was the director of the phlebotomy department in a large reference lab in Seattle, Washington. She was informed she had to fire the well-trained phlebotomists and hire people off the street to perform these duties. She refused to do that and instead resigned and as an entrepreneur developed her own phlebotomy training program and traveled throughout the US, Canada, and United Kingdom conducting nursing seminars and phlebotomy training programs. Not only did she train phlebotomists, but she also presented scientific sessions on many topics to many different disciplines. She also became an expert witness for legal trials concerning phlebotomy errors. She also submitted medical items for many state/national publications and authored/self published the very popular pocket-sized Phlebotomy Study Guide/Review and Reference book.
Mimi has been an AMT member for more than 70 years and served on many AMT committees, including as chair of the National Phlebotomy committee, a sub-committee of the Education, Qualifications, and Standards committee. It was in this capacity that Mimi asked AMT to initiate an exam to certify students and create a phlebotomy discipline. After a few years, it became a reality. It was Mimi’s foresight, vision, and persistence that brought an RPT certification into existence. She worked tirelessly to help develop the first exam and later exams. The first exam was proctored in 1992. It seems fitting that we establish this endowment fund 30 years after the first RPT exam was proctored. In 1992 Mimi developed a 240-hour phlebotomy training course that schools throughout the US use to train new students.
Mimi served in many state societies, including Ohio, Washington, Arizona and Florida. She helped set up state meetings and spoke at various events. She has also been honored with multiple awards both locally and nationally, including the first Arizona State Roush Phlebotomist of the Year award and the highest AMT award, The Order of the Golden Microscope. Mimi was also awarded the AMT Lifetime achievement award for giving more than 65 years of dedicated service to the AMT organization.
There are 6,644 active RPTs with AMT today thanks to the efforts of Mimi and all those who helped along the way.