July 16, 2012 “Intelligence : Late Breaking Lab News”

It is with sadness that we report the death of pathologist Joel A. Sonnier, M.D. A victim of murder, his body was discovered in his home in Lubbock, Texas, on July 10. The housekeeper and the gardener made the discovery and called the police. Lubbock police announced the murder, but have no suspects as of this date. Sonnier, 57, was Chief of Pathology at Covenant Health System in Lubbock. In a strange twist, Sonnier’s murder came two years to the day that his ex-wife, Becky Gallegos, was murdered. It was on July 12, 2010, that she was murdered by her then- husband, Ferman Juan Gallegos, who then shot and killed himself. Police ruled that the motive in this case was a marital dispute. Authorities say there is no connection between the two murders.

MORE ON: Sonnier

In his pathology career, Sonnier was respected for his leadership skills. He had served as President of AmeriPath, Inc., several years prior to its acquisition by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. He had previously been in private practice at Unipath LTD, located in Dallas, Texas.


Consolidation and regionalization of hospital laboratories continue in the province of Ontario, Canada. Last month, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton announced the formation of a regional laboratory network that will operate as part of the area’s Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Also participating will be Joseph Brand Memorial Hospital, the Niagra Health System, West Lincoln Hospital, and a rehabilitation center. The objective of the regional lab network is to foster best practices, organize specialized testing around two lab hubs, and help participating hospital labs cope with the expected shortage of skilled laboratory scientists due to retirement and other factors.


  • Earlier this month, Ernst & Young announced the selection of Tonya Mallory as “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Greater Washington Region. Mallory is co-founder and CEO of fast-growing Health Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc., (HDL) of Richmond, Virginia.

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