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My last day as your director

After 22 years, it's time to step aside.

by Dennis Ernst • September 29, 2021

Editor's Desk

Dennis Ernst then and now

Seems like just last week when I first told you I'd be stepping down before the end of the year and letting fresh talent take over the Center for Phlebotomy Education. Well, things have unfolded quickly. My last day as the Director of the Center for Phlebotomy Education is tomorrow.

Effective October 1, the new owner of the company takes her rightful place in the Director's chair I've been occupying since, well, before the company even had a chair for me to sit in. We first started the discussion with my "heir to the throne" way back in April when I reached out to see if she was interested in any new opportunities. Turns out she was and I about fell off my chair... the one I'll  no longer occupy after tomorrow. I never expected my search for the perfect replacement would end so soon. A smoother path from our first conversation to last week's official signing could not have been possible. That alone tells me she meant to be the new director from the get-go.

In the image to the right I've juxtaposed portraits from 1998 and today. (My wife and I started out as Ernst & Associates Healthcare Consultants in 1999, then incorporated as the Center for Phlebotomy Education in 2000.) They've been the best years of my life.

The new director spent last week with Catherine and I learning the ropes. During that time we filmed a video that will be launched Friday introducing her to you and the rest of the world. I can tell you that when we stood at the end of the driveway and watched her and her husband pull away with the company's inventory, equipment, and furniture it was a really strange feeling. What started out as an idea and a spare room in our home just drove away as a fully functional international enterprise that has changed the way hundreds of thousands of people draw blood, maybe millions, and will continue to do so well into the future. 

And quite a future it will be. The new owner/director is young, full of enthusiasm and ideas, and the same fire in the belly I had when I first started the company. Rest assured I will continue to contribute in many ways. I'll still be writing this blog and filming YouTube videos for the company as well as mentoring the director for a year or more on the complexities of our vast product portfolio, web site, and partnerships. 

Although Thursday, September 30, will be my last day as your director and personal phlebotomy guru, I will not be retiring. I fully intend to continue helping the company succeed and expand as well as a handful of select companies I've been consulting for and with in the preanalytic world over the years, relationships that bring me great joy and much satisfaction. For you and for them, I have launched my own web site,, where we can continue to interact. It's still rudimentary, but I wanted you to see what the dawn of my new day looks like. You'll be happy to know I'll be launching a new blog called "On a Personal Note,"  that refreshing diversion from technical content you've come to enjoy in my Phlebotomy Today column. It's the kind of writing I enjoy far greater than technical writing and a style I've longed to further pursue and perfect. I don't have the first blog post written yet, nor have I configured the subscription process, but I trust you'll come back often. You will see it grow quickly in content and functionality.

In the meanwhile, don't forget the parting gift I announced here yesterday. Get all six of our Smart Charts with the purchase of the complete set of our Abbreviated Teaching Modules, our in-house CEs. Act by the close of business Thursday. When I depart as the Center's director, the special expires. 

Lastly, my next post will be Friday, but not my last on these pages. I'll continue to write Phlebotomy Today posts while the new director gets her legs. There's a lot of moving parts to this company, so I'll be around for a while. The big reveal is Friday. I'll send out a blog post linking you to the YouTube video that announces and introduces the next Phlebotomy Guru! You're going to love her!

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Center for Phlebotomy Education dennis ernst


You will be missed

It has been a pleasure and a welcome breathe of fresh air to have someone as knowledgeable as you serving us for all these years. You were great at your job. Especially answering the questions no one wanted to ask. You will be missed. Take care, be safe and enjoy your next chapter in your life. You desire it.

Alice , 09/29/2021 14:20:00

Gone yet not forgotten

Dennis it's been a pleasure to see you in person as well as your constant support/advocacy for our profession. Wishing you and Catherine all the best as you both open a new chapter in your lives. God bless.....

William E Johnston, 09/29/2021 14:21:13


I wish you and Catherine a wonderful retirement. Thank you so much for your guidance and devotion. Will miss you!

Kate Charlton, 09/29/2021 14:24:32


I still can’t believe it and yet I understand it. It will be strange not to see your face or hear your voice. It’s been a voice I’ve leaned on for many years. I suspect your new journey will be just as awesome as the previous one. Congrats to both you especially for all you have done to support, encourage, and let the health care systems at large know that phlebotomist are key, we matter, we are skilled in our craft.

Thank you

Monique Joseph, 09/29/2021 14:25:39

Fairwell to Our Guru

As a phlebotomist and phlebotomy instructor, I have enjoyed your newsletter, videos and emails for years. You will be missed as our Guru.

Thank you for all your work. You've helped many more than you know.

Good luck with everything to come!

Rebecca, 09/29/2021 14:28:05

Thank you!

Your commitment, information, wisdom and leadership are greatly appreciated. Blessings for a bright future.

Scott, 09/29/2021 14:28:13


You've done a great job. Now on to your next adventure! GO YOU!

Melissa Odom, 09/29/2021 14:34:31

Thank you!

Dennis, job well done. Thanks for the amazing insight over the years. While we anticipate the new Director, it's good and right to let you know what a resource you have truly been to our profession. Personally, I'm delighted to know that you will still push the phlebotomy world forward to more and more success.

Steve, 09/29/2021 14:35:57

Best wishes

It has been wonderful working with you and your organization. I retired from Laboratory Medicine In 2018 and began teaching adult education in Phlebotomy. All of the Goodies from the Center have been extremely helpful. Good luck in all future endeavors.

Cynthia Alpaugh, 09/29/2021 14:38:14

Lab Supervisor

Congratulations!!!! I'm glad you will still be available for questions! LOL

Tracey McDonald, 09/29/2021 14:45:02

Best wishes

Dear Mr Ernst, thank you for the interesting topics the many past years: many of them we have incorporated in our everyday routine. I definitely will follow all the news on the new website. I wish You stay in good health in the many new productive working years that are ahead.

Natasha Chokrevska Zografska, 09/29/2021 14:52:40

Thanks for the huge impact you have made for the health of people


You have been a tireless advocate for the profession of phlebotomy - both raising the profile of the sometimes "hidden" profession and of course the Center's teaching and training. Thanks for everything and please realize you have some powerful "rocking chair memories" for your and Kathyrn.


Glen Fine


Glen Fine, 09/29/2021 14:54:31

Gonna miss ya!

Aww, things just wont be the same without you (and Linda). I have personally contacted you many times and was always impressed with your knowledge and support while I was teaching my phlebotomy students at BCCC (over 500 in the past 17 years). Thank you for your enthusiasm through the years and best of life in the future😊

Gail Donegan, 09/29/2021 15:14:20

Program Director

Thank you for all of the assistance you have so kindly given us over the years, and for all of the knowledge you have shared! Enjoy your retirement!

Elizabeth Taylor, 09/29/2021 15:20:44



EMMANUEL MENDOZA, 09/29/2021 15:49:29


So happy for you! Business ownership is like boat ownership. Happiest day, when you start your business, next happiest day is when you sell it! LOL You have served, and will continue to serve, this industry with the highest level of professionalism. I'm the so honored to call you my friend! Best wishes!

Anne Pontius, 09/29/2021 15:49:33

Well earned rest


I have been honored to call you friend ever since we spoke at a professional conference together years ago. You have been my go-to expert and reference for all things phlebotomy. How time has flown. I know you'll continue to be busy. But get some rest as well. Here's to your and Catherine's next chapter!

All the best


Glen McDaniel, 09/29/2021 15:53:52


This is so bittersweet. I've been looking forward to and reading your blogs for 7 years now, and I thoroughly enjoy the educational viewpoints. But I do understand the need to move on. I wish you and your wife the best in your future endeavors and I'm glad you're not cutting off cold turkey. I look forward to seeing what you've got for us in the future! 😃💉🩸

Lisa Crawford , 09/29/2021 18:59:51

Best Wishes !

Thank you Dennis for your many years of dedication to phlebotomy! You identified and filled a necessary void years ago and for that, I'm grateful for your time and willingness to share your knowledge! Enjoy your new role !

Sonia Torres , 09/29/2021 19:14:11

Yayyy for YOU!!! Now think about comeing to visit us in Arizona! The weather is perfect!

You (both) will definately be well received :)


Lauren Zimmardi, 09/29/2021 19:26:51

Thank you!

Thank you. The first time I reached out to you, you responded so quickly. Your advice was helpful and gave me the encouragement to push through. Teaching phlebotomy throughout this pandemic was challenging to say the least but you gave me the tools through my students love it, I love it!

I hope you enjoy this next chapter of your life as much as the last.

Cynthia Lamacchia, 09/29/2021 22:07:11

Thank you for sharing your wisdom

Dennis. I cannot thank you enough for the wisdom you have shared with so many. I retired in 2015, but still continued to receive your emails. More than once I emailed you (and perhaps phoned you) and you were always gracious, kind and informed. Wishing the new director success and to you and Catherine, relaxation.

Terri, 09/29/2021 23:55:13

HCMC Phlebotomy Supervisor


Thank your for your guidance and leadership over the years and may you be blessed in your future endeavors!

Looking forward to your new blog!

Karen , 09/30/2021 07:09:57

Retirement, Time for a Change......

Dennis, thank you for lifting up the Phlebotomy Profession via your advocacy and education! You brought forth many hidden issues to the light for the safety of patients and phlebotomist! Thank you for developing the Center for Phlebotomy Education and for continuing to enlighten us via your new blog to come!

Annette Estrada, MT(ASCP), CLS(N, 09/30/2021 10:04:21

Thank You!

Congratulations on your next phase in life. Thank you for being a reliable source in all things phlebotomy. Looking forward to your blogs.

Marissa Carmolli, BSMT (ASCP), 09/30/2021 10:04:40

Thank You!

Thank you! You have been a mentor to me over the last 20 years. I truly appreciate all your wisdom that you generously shared. Enjoy your retirement!

Erika Ferreri, 09/30/2021 16:01:14

You will be missed

Your hard work and strong code of ethics in the Phlebotomy sector of the Pathology Department will be missed by many senior and new Phlebotomists. I am thankful for having you and your dedicated staff helping Phlebotomists navigate the ever-changing policies of Phlebotomy. God bless you!!

Renee R-K

Renee Robidoux-Kwiatkowski , 09/30/2021 16:13:49

So happy for you Dennis as you enter this next part of your journey. Much deserved! Thank you for all you have done over the years to make such a positive impact in the phlebotomy and laboratory world. Words cannot say enough of what a difference you and your wife have made. You will be missed dearly--and am glad to hear you aren't going all the way away. ;-) Best wishes to you!

Milly Keeler BSMT (ASCP), CLC (A, 09/30/2021 18:36:00

All the best to you and Catherine

So glad that you two will be able to enjoy the back woods of Michigan together. It has been great knowing you over all these years!

Carole Mullins, 10/03/2021 18:06:42

Outpatient Manager

Dennis thank you for reminding and refreshing me on some phlebotomy topics. I have been sharing the information with my staff as well.

Cassandra Wilkerson, 10/08/2021 14:45:39

The best phlebotomy icon ...ever

Dear Dennis

How the years have flown by You have thoroughly enjoyed the journey of teaching it shows in everything you do with phlebotomy

So to the future I wish you good health and good luck

wini potter, 10/13/2021 09:27:41

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