Skip to main content

Michelle Altrich - Top Ten Inspiring Women Leaders 2022

Michelle Altrich, President Eurofins-Viracor

Innovation and process improvement have been two crucial success factors for Kansas-based Eurofins Viracor. The company is passionate about providing timely, actionable test results, never losing sight of the connection between the testing they perform and the patients their results ultimately help. They have been serving critically ill patients who depend on the testing they provide to ensure they have the best outcomes possible.

As healthcare evolves with ever-changing technology, Viracor continues to innovate and develop solutions which allow healthcare teams to better treat their patients, often before clients even recognize the need. Michelle Altrich, President, Eurofins Viracor, challenges the entire team, at every level, to discover new and inventive ways to deliver the very best testing possible in the shortest amount of time to ensure they are constantly improving more patient lives.

As a passionate innovator who is highly regarded by staff, peers, and clients, Michelle knows the basis of innovation lies in a will to improve constantly. The second principle Michelle brought to Viracor is ongoing process improvement, embedded in daily work and critical to the team’s ever-growing success. She champions change in every meeting, whether in groups or hallway discussions, encouraging everyone she touches to get a little better, a little smarter, and a little faster each day, knowing this incremental growth is compounded into peak performance. Successful change management involves strong leadership to ensure associates see why the change is necessary, and Michelle infuses that strong change leadership through the company.

Participating in peer-executive groups that have a strong female presence allows Michelle to support other women executives in the local area. Eurofins, the parent company of Eurofins Viracor, has an initiative entitled Equity Driving Excellence (EDE) that allows other Eurofins leaders to find an internal support network. Building strong women leaders starts very early. “Our company takes part in bring your child to work day every spring. By engaging young minds to ask questions about what is going on around them, you start to develop critical thinking skills that will serve them well in the future,” says Michelle. “We also support regional Science and Engineering Fairs. Continuing to develop critical thinking and leadership qualities in our young people is critical to the future success, not only for Viracor, but technology companies overall.”

In the ever-changing employment landscape, it is critical to take a genuine interest in developing associates to ensure they stay engaged and productive. Michelle enjoys meeting informally with several female associates to listen to their challenges and suggestions for improvement. “The Eurofins EDE program also contains a formal mentorship program that I am participating in. This allows me to give more formal guidance under a structured program,” she says. “I would suggest two very valuable lessons that I’ve learned. The first is that you need to speak up, even when what you say won’t be popular. The second is being willing to dig in and help no matter what the job is. Having a strong work ethic was something I learned as a teenager growing up on a dairy farm. It took everyone doing their part to make things work.” Armed with this mindset, Michelle is leading the company towards productivity.

Continuing to innovate and provide solutions to the challenges healthcare providers face has been and will continue to be critical to the success of Viracor. “Ensuring that we are partnering with our providers to understand their challenges and help build them solutions,” elucidates Michelle. “Innovation in Healthcare is continuing to rapidly evolve, and it is our goal to strive to be well in front. We will continue innovating by delivering critical data through novel testing that guides a patient transplant journey ­– being a step ahead, every step of the way.” From a leadership perspective, this means ensuring Michelle and her team have stronger associate development plans and associates that more fully engage in this process.

To this end, the company has added a seventh value to their daily efforts – Maximize Talent. “Like every leader, I recognize our people make the company go,” explains Michelle. “From a Viracor perspective, developing people who execute a solid strategic plan allows us to respond to rapid changes in healthcare and healthcare policy. This is critical to our continued success. On a personal side, ensuring that I mentor associates so when it is time for me to move on to other endeavors, there is someone ready to seamlessly take the reins.”

Back to top