Associate Spotlight: Kristopher Alvarez
Learn more about Kristopher Alvarez, R&D Engineer, and his experiences working as part of the PDI Interventional Care team.
Q. Can you tell us a little about your role at PDI?
Alvarez: I’m an R&D engineer on the Interventional Care team. I support drug and medical device new product launches & marketed product improvements. My job is to deliver new science and technology to the market, which includes product design, prototyping, testing, and documentation. This work is exciting to me because I’m able to work on drugs & devices, which have a direct impact on the healthcare continuum of care, and it takes a large cross-functional team to be successful. While I enjoy working with the team internally, I also get the chance to work with vendors externally to engage in diverse thinking to meet our business needs.
Q. What does “Be the Difference” mean to you?
Alvarez: “Be the Difference” means getting up every morning excited to go into the office (or switch on my laptop) to launch products that will save the lives of patients, families, and healthcare personnel.
Q. Are there any unique/exciting projects you have been able to work on while at PDI?
Alvarez: I’ve been part of several exciting projects! I’ve worked on filling the Interventional Care innovation funnel by running workshops & leading cross-functional discussions. I’m working on increasing customer engagement within R&D and determining how we can deliver solutions with the customer in mind. We’ve always been good at this, but we’re consistently raising the bar. I’ve helped increase R&D’s capabilities by identifying a state-of-the-art 3D printer and helping implement an Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) system. The ELN increases compliance and efficiency because we’re spending less time with paperwork and more time doing science. I also developed & implemented an intern program for R&D (which we postponed due to COVID-19).
Q. What impact do you feel your function has had on the industry, particularly during COVID?
Alvarez: R&D has pride in delivering proven products that kill the microorganisms responsible for many healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). During COVID, we have had to prioritize our work as an organization to deliver the right products to our customers. Part of this work included testing our Environment of Care products against the coronavirus to obtain an EPA claim. We are directly impacting the healthcare and food industries by eliminating HAIs.
Q. Have you participated in any charitable programs or events through PDI? If so, which ones and what impact did that program have on our local community?
Alvarez: Absolutely! I’ve participated in PDI’s Spring and Fall Days of Caring, where we devote a day to cleaning & organizing for those who need the help. So far, I’ve volunteered at a Seeing Eye center and a Hospice facility. These organizations are doing great work for others, so the least we can do is great work for them. It’s a cycle of giving that has a direct impact on people’s lives. I volunteered to support PDI’s Be the Difference Day, where we run activities that have supported Meals on Wheels, People to People, and the Center for Safety and Change. And as is possible, I try to support various activities held by PDI, ranging from raffles to Breast Cancer awareness activities like “Wear Pink to Work Day.”
Q. How long have you been with PDI, and why have you decided to stay with the company?
Alvarez: I joined the company in July 2018 and am still here because PDI is doing tremendously meaningful work, and I believe in our vision and mission. The business is open and willing to bringing differentiated solutions to the market to meet customer needs, which is where my work comes in. I’ve had a part in developing productions & processes, understanding the interworking between different departments & facilities, and creating environments for innovation. I love it… We are truly making a difference.
Q. How has the company evolved since you joined?
Alvarez: Since I’ve joined the company, PDI has continuously improved. We recently acquired TRU-D, which sends a real message that our company has the vision to achieve a multi-layered approach to infection prevention. We moved to our new headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, which is a world-class facility with state-of-the-art labs where we can be inspired and deliver best-in-class innovation. This new HQ is an open concept, which has increased collaboration & personally has increased my productivity. We have a Coffee Spot, a large café, and an open atrium where I’ve had conversations with people from every part of the organization, from my colleagues to the CEO. Of course, I don’t get these interactions as much during the pandemic & working from home, but I look forward to getting back to “normal” – whatever that may look like. Overall, it’s been an honor to be part of PDI’s growth.