Our Team

Carlos Sanchez BS, CST, FAST

President

(October 2017-current)
(Board Member 2016 – 2018)
(Board Member 2014 – 2016)

The time for change is here. Taking on the responsibilities of NJAST President is both an honor and a privilege. Over the past few years, I have stood on the shoulders of giants, from past presidents to current Board Members, and am learning a great deal.

Thank you all for your trust and support. I usually hear a “laundry list” of complaints and presumed reasons for many issues. I say now: the New NJAST has a blueprint for tomorrow’s future: a vision of transparency and a positive transformation. I will listen to common sense ideas and waste no time with nonsense.

 The role of surgical technologist has grown a great deal.  Now it’s time to grow our membership and make the public recognize who is “behind the mask”.  I have worked in the field of surgical technology for over 20 years.  With your help I would like have transparency in reaching both short and long term goals, increasing our membership, and reducing cost.

Darrell Sadler, CST

Vice-President

(October 2017-current)
(Board Member 2017 – 2018)

Darrell began his career as a Surgical Technician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1995. Although initially trained on the job, Darrell completed the Surgical Technology Program from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in 2011. In December of 2011, he became a Certified Surgical Technologist on passing the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assistant exam. 

A member of the 1199 Citywide Perioperative Committee, Darrell has been committed for years to furthering the development of of his profession by fighting for fair wages,educational days, and an advocate to gain the respect due to our profession in and outside of the Operating Room setting. 

At the 2017  national AST conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, Darrell was asked to speak at the NYAST Fall conference on Bullying in the Workplace. He now believes he has a mandate to bring awareness and empower others in his profession on how to eradicate bullying.  Or at the least, teach techniques on how to intervene when others are being bullied. 

A Desert Shield/Storm Veteran, Darrell served  active duty as a flight medic on the C-130 aircraft. He currently works in ambulatory surgery for the past 12 years at Mount Sinai Downtown Union Square, New York. 

Julian Muñoz, BA, CST

Treasurer

(Treasurer 2016 – Present)
(Board Member 2015 – 2016)

Julian is a seasoned consultant and advisor, bringing insight and expertise gained from experience in multiple industries, looking to address various emerging initiatives in the surgical technology field.

He is a private practice surgical technologist, providing services to surgical practice groups in NJ and NY.  His previous employment includes positions in the Surgical Technology Program at the School of Health Studies, Berkeley College, in Woodland Park, NJ; the Department of Urology at Faculty Practice Associates of The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York; and as a Perioperative Services Technologist, charged with provision to the New York Area surgical community of support for endoscopic and laparoscopic surgical procedures.  Prior to entering the healthcare arena, he was an insurance industry executive, conceptualizing and directing comprehensive risk assessment and management programs for clients in the corporate safety, environmental, and healthcare enterprise arenas.

Julian holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences, English-American Literature, and additional departmental coursework in Anthropology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick.  He received a Certificate in Surgical Technology and attained NBSTSA certification from Long Island University, Brooklyn.

Lynn Genrich, AA, AAS, CST

Secretary/Alternate Delegate

(October 2018-current)
(Board Member 2017 – 2018)

Greetings, fellow CSTs! My name is Lynn Genrich and I am a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST). I’d
like to share with everyone my biography on beginning my career as a CST.
In June of 2014, I graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree in Academic Transfer at Southeast
Community College (SCC) in Lincoln, NE.
In June of 2015, I was elected as a Class Officer for the Surgical Technology Program at SCC-Lincoln.
During that month, I was accepted into Student Senate to represent my program. In October, the
Surgical Technology Program Chair cordially invited me to be a Surgical Technology Advisory
Committee Student Representative. By December, I was elected as a Student Senate Executive
Committee member.
In September of 2016, I became a CST and graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in
Surgical Technology. In addition, I became an active member of the Nebraska State Assembly of the
Association of Surgical Technologists (NEAST).
During the course of my education, I was also certified and working as a Nursing Assistant and
Medication Aide while utilizing my training as a Phlebotomist.
In October of 2016, I was hired as a full-time CST and cross trained to work in Pre-Op and PACU at my
current employment in central NJ. Furthermore, I transferred as an active member to the New Jersey
State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists (NJAST).
In April of 2017, I was in attendance for my first NJAST State Assembly Spring Workshop. I have
attended every workshop and conference since that time. In addition, I have attended the previous three
AST National Conferences in San Diego, CA, New Orleans, LA, and Orlando, FL.
In September of 2017, I was graciously elected to represent NJAST as Board of Directors and Delegate.
Moreover, in December, I was humbled with the opportunity to represent NJAST, with President Carlos
Sanchez, in delivering a fun presentation for the 7
th and 8
th grade students of Avenel Middle School

(AMS) for their ‘Career Day’. I firmly believe that we have inspired future CSTs at AMS!
As of October of 2018, I was modestly elected with the votes and voice of the NJAST Membership as
they appointed me to represent them as Secretary/Alternate Delegate. I hold a lot of gratitude for NJAST.
As your Secretary/Alternate Delegate, I understand the importance and purpose of credentialing and
certification. I am driven to continue promoting CSTs as HIGHLY SKILLED PROFESSIONALS and
promoting a high standard of CST performance for QUALITY PATIENT CARE.
It is a great honor to serve every single member of NJAST!

 Aeger primo!

Jeanne Rosko, CST

Board Member

(October 2018-current)
(Board Member 2014 – 2016)
(Secretary 2016 – 2018)

I was born and have raised a large family of six children in New Jersey.  I’m married to my husband, George R. Rosko for over 40 years.  After a wonderful business career spanning nearly 30 years, I went back to school for the career I had always aspired to… Surgical Technology… working in the Operating Room! 

I graduated from the Sanford Brown Institute in Edison, New Jersey in May of 2014.  Upon my graduation, I joined NJAST to gain more knowledge in the Surgical Tech field and to work with other Surgical Techs. I have served on the NJAST Board for 2 years as a Director and nearly 2 more years as the NJAST Secretary.  My business career of Owner/Director/Coach of a large gymnastics school in NJ has given me the much needed tools to succeed in the medical world of the operating room, helping NJAST to become bigger and stronger,  and most importantly, to keep making a safe, positive difference in people’s lives. There is no higher calling than to care for my fellow humans, especially at the most vulnerable times of their lives!

Paola Jimenez, AAS, CST

Board Member

(October 2018-current)

 

Hello. My name is Paola Jimenez and I am a certified surgical technologist. I have been certified for the past three years. I couldn’t be more grateful for my job. It is always such a great pleasure in helping my community and becoming a better surgical technologist each and every day.
When I first came to this country,  I worked at Englewood Hospital Medical Center as a housekeeper. I had this job for thirteen years. During those years I decided to challenge myself by improving my English. After this, I decided to go back to school to become a Surgical Technologist. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass the entrance exam so I decided to work with central sterile supplies. I passed my certification and started to work at Hackensack Hospital. Although working in this field allowed me to be more economically stable I knew that I had so much more potential.  
I went back to school and attended Eastwick College. I took the entrance exam for Surgical Technology and I passed. Eventually, I got certified and I graduated as a Certified Surgical Technologist with an Associated Degree in Science. I did all of this because I fell in love with the medical field and because I wanted a better future for my family. My career has been successful thus far. 
I found a job at Englewood Hospital Medical Center. Each day I have the opportunity to do different kinds of procedures like total joints, vascular and neuro cases. Each day I also am able to gain new knowledge and save lives. I feel so pleased and delighted with myself.  I have been a good example for society and my daughter. I have shown many people that when you truly work hard you can overcome any obstacles in the way and achieve all of your dreams.

Amanda Romeo, CST

Board Member

(October 2018-current)

It may be those who do most, dream most. I have been dreaming of the day that I can step foot into an OR and show off my skills and knowledge for over 10 years. From the moment I began college at County College of Morris, back in 2001, I knew that I wanted a job in the medical field and that I wanted to help others in a way not like the average person could. I had declared my major in Nursing. Staying up late reading one night, I had fallen asleep on the couch reading my book and woken up to an info-mercial going on about how 20 cents per day could help this little boy. He had no arms or legs, but was proud to scoot his way over to his little hut to show off this t-shirt he had. I was bawling my eyes out thinking how I could actually help this little guy. Questions like, “how much of my 20 cents would get to him?” and “would it actually get to him?” I’ve also taken classes like Economics, Statistics, and Mass Media so I also had an idea of how much of the money I’d donate would actually go towards advertising and to the people running the charity foundation. So I started to think deeper into how I could make a difference in people’s lives here in the US and abroad.
Now where I come from and who and what family means to me is a little complex. I bounced around a bit being in the foster care system and became a single mother of two boys, Ty and Isaac, at the age of 19. I knew then that education was my key to success. I knew also that I needed to set an example and show my boys love through our accomplishments as we grew together.
As for my education, I transferred my major to Biology. Before finishing my degree online with Thomas Edison University, I enrolled in Dover Business College’s Surgical Technologist program in 2007. At the time, it was not an accredited program and we were one of the first classes to graduate from that program. I started my first clinical rotation at Bergen Regional Medical Center. I had a great experience and a really helpful preceptor who let me assist with a variety of major surgery cases, my first being a ATK amputation that I will never forget. After 3 months, I was able to move on to UHNJ where I started out the first couple weeks working in the DOC which had 5 OR’s. Then after 3 weeks, my preceptor felt confident in my skills and moved me up to the Main OR where every day was something new. I loved it! One day we’re doing Opthalmics, the next Oral Maxillofacial, then Ortho. Every surgery was a new experience and I just wanted to soak up all the knowledge I could like a sponge. After I graduated the program with a diploma, I wanted to finish what I’d started and get my certification. I went to a testing site in the Preakness Mall in Wayne, NJ. It took me 3 times over the course of 10 years before I finally passed. Each time I’d studied, I read the text book, my notes, and the exam guide, but was mere points off. However, before I took the test the third time, I was in touch with Professor Joseph Charleman and Christina Fannelli from Berkeley College in Woodland Park. Dover Business, the school I graduated from, was taken over by Berkeley and had a policy to continue to help students find a job after graduating. Christina told me how they had open labs in between semesters where I could dress up in my scrubs and practice in their mock OR. Then, she told me how they were going to have a “boot camp” where the students who were graduating were going to get help studying for the certification exam. I took that entire week off from work and then scheduled my test for the following Monday and passed.
Since I graduated from Dover Business in 2008, I have been a member of AST. I read the magazines and go to the State Assembly meetings. It wasn’t until I got my certification in April of last year that I really started putting out applications for jobs in this field. I went to the National Conference in Orlando this past May and have been going to the open labs at Berkeley College when they’ve been
available. I began auditing a 15 week Surgical Techniques class in September and will finish that in 5 weeks. If I don’t find a job when that is over, I am hoping to get a chance to audit the following Surgical Procedures class starting in January. I have been in touch with Jon Jantzen, the career advisor from Berkeley who’s updated my resume with me, on a regular basis about where I’m at and he’s always giving me new tips on new things to try. I’ve had 3 interviews and hope something comes through before the new year. Becoming a member of the Board is a way for me to get more involved. I want to do more in and for this profession. As it is, when I describe what I went to school for to my friends, co-workers, and customers, I don’t think they recognize all the work we do to earn our title.
My ultimate goal through all of this is to find a job in a local hospital where I can get the experience I need to travel abroad. I want to network through AST and meet more educated people that I can keep learning from. I’ve always wanted to go on a medical mission. When I went to Dover Business, I remember my professor encouraging us to look into the “Smile Train” to assist with cleft palate surgeries in Haiti. At the conference in Orlando, I listened to a CST/Bi-lingual Medical Translator talk about how he goes to Guatemala and Ecuador each year and how they perform surgeries in sub-standard conditions and yet make these miracles happen. That is my dream. I want to go around the country and the world making a difference and keep learning new things along the way.

Katherine Jimenez-Gomez, AAS, BS, CST

Board Member

(October 2018-current)

“I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” (Poetry Foundation, 2018) The difference that has allowed for a greater future and aspirations in myself, and determination to succeed, despite coming to the US as an immigrant at the age of five. Over the years I’ve made education a priority because it has been imperative to be in the driver’s seat to make a better future for my family and myself.

I enrolled at Dover Business College in 2007 as a Surgical Technologist student and graduated in 2008, and have been practicing this career for 10 years. Before graduating the program I did my clinical rotations at the University of Medicine and Dentistry where I rotated in their Ambulatory Center for 3 months and Main OR for 4 months.

After graduating the program as a Certified Surgical Technologist in 2008 I started working in Long Branch in an Ambulatory center that was 2 hours from my home. Surgical Technology when I graduated was very new in NJ and it was very difficult to get a job without any kind of work experience.

However, after a year of being in the Ambulatory Center I moved on to work at Somerset Medical Center in Sommerville, NJ and was trained to do all specialties. After 2 years of employment at Somerset Medical I was offered a position at Barnabas Medical. At Barnabas I was able to learn advanced cases and also was crossed trained to do endoscopic cases. With the flexibility of hours I also worked at Saint Clare’s Hospital when I wasn’t at Barnabas Medical. During the time that I was at Saint Claire and Barnabas Medical I was able to learn trauma and also see different techniques during surgery and from different services.

After working at both hospital for a year I was recruited by a travel agency to do a local travel contract at Hunterdon Medical Center. At that time I left Barnabas Health and went per diem at St. Clare’s Hospital. Soon after this I stated my travel career at Hunterdon Medical in Flemington, NJ.

Consequently, after starting that first contract and loving to learn and meet new people I went on to different hospitals in the United States, but some of my favorites have been in California. I loved the beauty of Scripps La Jolla, and Mission Viejo Medical with the beaches near the hospitals.

During the 8 years as a Traveler Certified Surgical Tech I went on to graduate with an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from Berkeley College in 2014 and in May of 2018 with a Bachelor Degree in Health Service Management.

Currently, I have taken a local travel contract at Morristown Medical Center and have been working closely with the facility towards the awareness of AST and educating new professionals both RN’s and Certified Surgical Techn into this amazing career.

As your new AST Board of Director I am looking forward to helping make NJ aware of the potential that our members have as CST’s in the state.

Robert Torres, BA, CST, CRCST, CHL

Board Member

(October 2018-current)

This past October, 2018, at the NJAST Fall Conference, I was unexpectedly and humbled to be elected to a one-year term as Board Member for the NJAST. I also have volunteered since last year to redesign and maintain our assembly’s website.

I recently started a new position (07 January, 2019) as a civilian surgical technician for U.S. Army Medical Command at Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point, N.Y. [U.S. Military Academy], having been transferred and promoted from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in East Orange, NJ, after serving my fellow veterans as a Sterile Processing Technician for the last three years. At Keller Army Community Hospital, I have the honor and privilege to be part of an immensely talented surgical team (mostly active-duty Soldiers), who perform surgery on West Point Cadets, U.S. Army Garrison soldiers and their family/dependents, as well as U.S. Army retirees. Prior to that, I worked 3 years at Palisades Medical Center, Central Sterile Dept, and where I met and became friends with our President, Carlos Sanchez. I am dual-certified in Surgical Technology (CST – Certified Surgical Technologist), and Sterile Processing (CRCST – Certified Registered Central Sterile Technician), CHL (Certified Healthcare Leadership), and CRMST (Certified Registered Medical Supply Technician – U.S. Veterans Health Administration’s own SPT certification). I am also a part-time Adjunct Professor for Berkeley College’s School of Health Studies Surgical Technology/Surgical Processing Technology Program at the Woodland Park and Newark, NJ campuses. In 2013, I augmented my career prospects by taking a role within the healthcare field, after having been an award-winning, freelance interactive designer and multimedia specialist with web, motion graphics, print media design skills and overall experience in digital graphic arts.

My goal is to provide the optimum in patient care by following the strictest protocols of infection control and aseptic technique on the sterile field within the operating room, and in sterile processing prior to and after surgery. Along with the capable members of this Board and its Officers, I hope to contribute and serve our AST members of New Jersey to help promote our field as it grows exponentially due to the increasing hospital consolidation (Hackensack, St. Barnabus/RWJ, Atlantic Health, etc.) and rapid rise of surgical centers. I am bilingual for English/Spanish, and have a working knowledge of French. Military veteran (US Navy).

Shondra McGill, CST, CASSPT, FAST

Past President

(President 2015 – 2017)
(Vice President 2010 – 2015)
(Secretary 2007-2010)
(Board Member 2006-2007)

 

I graduated from the Surgical Technology program at Sanford-Brown Institute in September, 2004 with High Honors.  I achieved certification in March of 2005.

Upon graduating, I enjoyed working with wonderful people as a per-diem tech at Princeton Surgiplex, Princeton HealthCare System’s Surgical Center, CARES Surgical Center in New Brunswick and University Surgical Center in East Brunswick.  In August 2010, I accepted a full time position assisting with the new opening of the beautiful new Ambulatory Surgical Pavillion at RWJUH in New Brunswick where I worked with an amazing team of Operating Room Professionals.  In June 2011, I returned to the Princeton HealthCare System family – now known as the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro – at the new Monroe Surgical Center, a joint venture between PHCS and Princeton Orthopedic Associates.  I truly value all the relationships I’ve made in my career.  I’ve been fortunate to work with them all.

NJAST has accomplished passing minimum requirements for working as a Surgical Technologist in the State of NJ requiring mandatory certification or the successful completion of an Accredited Program, a small but elite group of programs putting out the finest Surgical Technologists to benefit our patients and our facilities, as well as maintaining 15 CEU’s per year to help keep us strong in our important profession.

In July 2015, I was appointed to and proudly serve on the SALC Committee for AST, our National Organization that supports our Profession.  I serve with a strong and dedicated group of individuals whose goal it is, to encourage and oversee growth and leadership to other State Assemblies working to help the Surgical Technologists in their states grow stronger thru education, membership and guidance. 

In June 2017, I was honored to receive the FAST (Fellow of AST) recognition at the 2017 AST National Conference in New Orleans!  This was an especially momentous occasion for me as it was the 10th anniversary of my first National Conference attendance (which also happend to be in NO), and NJAST had just celebrated our 10th anniversary as a State Assembly in the fall of 2006.

As a founding member of NJAST’s Board of Directors, and now Past President, I look forward to continuing the important work toward achieving future goals and progressing our profession.