As an eight-year-old Sonya Engle would help a family friend at his medical practice. She helped stock the rooms and organize files. She knew then that her calling was to help others.
“[He] was originally a teacher but then went to med[ical] school [and] became a doctor but had that teaching approach in his practice and with me,” Engle said about her family friend and mentor. “He would…help me learn math and to excel in school. Once I was working for the laboratory in sales, I would meet with him and practice selling to him…he’d listen and encourage me. That encouraged me to grow and learn.”
Last month, Engle relocated to Arizona from Southern California to join Sonora Quest Laboratories’ “winning team” as Chief Operating Officer.
“I was drawn into laboratory based on the fact that lab testing is information that helps doctors make decisions. I got to a place in my career where I knew I wasn’t going to be a doctor, but I wanted to help,” Engle said. “Sonora Quest Laboratories is a good fit for me because the culture [and] values are ones I hold dear. Quality, collaboration, compassion, integrity, accountability. I believe it, I live it, and I see that in every leader [here].”
Sonora Quest Laboratories is an independently run joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics and is the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system.
As Sonora Quest COO, Engle uses her history in laboratory testing, program expansion and strategic relationship management initiatives to run the company’s laboratory and technical operations.
Engle said she brings a passion for serving others to the job and solving problems in an innovative way.
“I wake up [every day] ready to go,” Engle said. “We are in a dynamic, changing, exciting industry… and my role affords me the opportunity to [work] in collaboration with great people, great innovation, and that’s my passion so I know I’m in the right place.”
Sonora Quest has roughly 3,200 employees and provides more than 22,000 Arizonans with access to the company’s comprehensive test menu every day at its more than 75 Patient Service Centers.
According to Engle, she embodies the definition of a servant leader and will work to ensure the success of not only the employees under her but everyone who works at Sonora Quest and she is excited for the chance to innovate.
“There are exciting things happening. We are solving problems in ways that no one else can. We have the information, we have the team, we have the leadership that we are going to do great things for the industry,” she said.