This week, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is recognizing its valuable public health laboratory staff members during National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.
The annual observance recognizes the contributions of the scientific and technical personnel whose work in clinical laboratories helps the public enjoy the best health care possible.
“The practice of medicine as we currently know it would be impossible without the scientific tests performed inside our lab,” said Dr. Patrick Kyle, Interim Director of the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory. “Every day, nurses, physicians and other health care workers rely on laboratory professionals to analyze blood and body fluids, interpret test results, and help provide answers to complete the picture of a patient’s health.”
The Mississippi Public Health Laboratory currently has an 85-member staff that performs approximately 90 different tests to protect the health of all Mississippians. The facility is a Level 2 chemical terrorist response laboratory and the state’s only Laboratory Response Network (LRN) reference laboratory for biological threats, as well as Mississippi’s only mycobacteriology reference laboratory. The lab provides results that assure the health of newborns and mothers, and confirms outbreaks of STDs, influenza, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, tuberculosis, rotavirus and rabies, to name a few.
Construction is currently underway for a new $25 million laboratory on the MSDH central campus. At 60,000 square feet, the new facility will be twice the size of the current lab and will house state-of-the-art lab equipment. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2010.
For more information on public health laboratory services, visit the MSDH website at www. HealthyMS.com or call us at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).