It’s National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, which provides us with an opportunity to highlight the great work our lab team does to support our public health efforts here in South Carolina.
Our 70 Bureau of Laboratories (BOL) team members help protect the health of all South Carolinians by identifying infectious and communicable diseases like HIV, TB, flu, and food poisoning outbreaks. The lab team also performs vital screenings to detect metabolic disorders in newborns and lead poisoning in children.
BOL also is one of just a few nationally designated Level I Chemical Terrorism Labs and, next week, will also achieve Tier I Bio-Terrorism Lab status. With this new designation, South Carolina will be one of only six states in the nation tapped to assist others states in the event of a bio-terror attack.
Below is just a snapshot of the hard work our lab team performs each year:
- 100,000 tests in support of maternal and child health programs
- 150,000 tests for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases
- 5,000 tests for rabies
- Testing for over 90 percent of tuberculosis patients in South Carolina
- Screenings to test all South Carolina newborns for metabolic disorders
To show our appreciation for the lab team’s hard work, BOL Director Dr. Shahiedy Shahied hosted a cookout earlier this week in Columbia in their honor. Above is a picture of Dr. Shahied and our Director of Client Services Derrick Mimms enjoying the cookout with our lab team.
Thank you to all of our DHEC Public Health laboratory staff for helping to protect public health in our state. For more pictures of our Medical Laboratory Professionals cookout, visit our Facebook page.