About Us


Patient-centered Laboratory Utilization Guidance Services (PLUGS) is a non-profit laboratory stewardship collaboration within Seattle Children's Hospital Department of Laboratories. Our mission is to improve laboratory test ordering, retrieval, interpretation and reimbursement. To that end, PLUGS is leading the following four initiatives:


Laboratory Stewardship Program Guidance, Tools & Education to help hospital laboratories, reference laboratories, and practitioners implement their own laboratory stewardship programs.  These programs improve patient safety by reducing errors, and significantly reduce laboratory testing expenses.


Insurance Alignment to guide national consensus policies related to laboratory tests and framework and guidance to build partnerships with local payors to improve efficiencies around test review and improve reimbursement outcomes.  This will ultimately increase testing approval for patients who meet medical necessity criteria.  The following policies may be used by insurance payors, laboratories, providers, families, and consumer groups to improve efficiency and reimbursement for rational genetic testing. Microsoft Word versions available upon request. 


                  Exome Sequencing Coverage Policy                      Mitochondrial Genetic Testing Coverage Policy          
  MELAS Genetic Testing Coverage Policy                                   Mitochondrial DNA Deletion Syndromes Genetic Testing Coverage Policy    
  MERFF Genetic Testing Coverage Policy   LHON Genetic Testing Coverage Policy    
  NARP Genetic Testing Coverage Policy   MNGIE Genetic Testing Coverage Policy    


Case Management service for genetic tests provided in partnership with Metis Genetics to clients who are interested in contracting additional laboratory genetic counseling services for case review. 


National Committee for Laboratory Stewardship (NCLS) is developing national standards and checklists for promoting and formalizing laboratory stewardship programs. The core elements will also be helpful for independent commercial clinical laboratories.


Meet Our Team:

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Mike Astion, MD, PhD

PLUGS Co-Founder
Medical Director,
SCH Department of Laboratories
Clinical Professor, University of Washington

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Sarah Clowes Candadai, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, SCH
PLUGS Account Manager
Project Manager – Website Development

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Bonnie Cole, MD

Pathologist, SCH
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Washington

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Jessie Conta, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, SCH
PLUGS Co-Founder
Director of Genetic Counseling Services

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Jane Dickerson, PhD

PLUGS Co-Founder
Director of Clinical Services
Clinical Chemist, SCH
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Washington

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Allison Do

PLUGS Program Coordinator

Rhona Jack
Rhona Jack, PhD

Senior Laboratory Scientist, SCH 

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Monica Wellner

Laboratory Manager, SCH
PLUGS Director of Operations

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Cristina Pacheco, MD

Pathologist, SCH 
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Washington

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Shannon Stasi, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, SCH
PLUGS Account Manager
Project Manager - Communications & Outreach

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Darci Sternen, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor, SCH
PLUGS Account Manager
Project Manager - Case
Management & Insurance Advocacy

Stephanie Wallace (2)
Stephanie Wallace, MD

Associate Director, Medical Genetics, SCH
Assistant Professor, University of Washington




Register now! PLUGS Summit 2019

June 12-14, 2019

Connect with the national PLUGS network in beautiful Seattle, WA. Registration information soon to come!

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