About Medical Professionals Laboratory Week
The Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS) in the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS) is excited to celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW or Lab Week) on April 21–27. The purpose of this annual event is to increase public awareness of the importance of laboratory professionals and their role in clinical diagnostics and medicine. The exceptional efforts and behind-the-scenes work of laboratories is essential to protecting public health. CDC supports laboratories as they safeguard the public’s health by continually improving quality and safety, informatics and data science, laboratory preparedness and workforce competencies.
Laboratory Heroes Save Lives
The first Lab Week was organized in 1975 by the American Society for Medical Technology, now known as the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Sixteen representatives from various organizations coordinated the efforts to celebrate laboratory professionals and their role in providing patient care and protecting public health.
Today, medical professionals continue to safeguard patient and public health by reducing diagnostic errors and preparing for disease outbreaks and health threats. These laboratory heroes conduct approximately 14 billion laboratory tests annually, and 70 percent of medical decisions depend on laboratory tests—emphasizing the importance of clinical laboratories in the healthcare industry. Safety, quality, and cost effectiveness in laboratory testing are imperative as the public relies extensively on laboratories for accurate and efficient diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Division of Laboratory Systems Supports these Heroes
DLS strengthens the nation’s clinical and public health laboratory systems in three main areas:
Quality and Safety
DLS supports these heroes by advancing the quality and safety of clinical and public health laboratory testing and operations nationwide. DLS works in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration by providing scientific and technical expertise for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program.
Informatics, Data Science, and Preparedness
DLS enhances laboratory information technology systems, laboratory preparedness, and repository science. In addition to developing guidance and training for improved laboratory informatics, DLS promotes public-private partnerships across the U.S. clinical laboratory community. DLS also operates the CDC Biorepository – CDC’s centralized biorepository—which preserves valuable sample collections so they can be used to advance future medical research and support future emergency responses.
Training and Workforce Development
DLS provides exemplary leadership and support to the clinical and public health laboratory workforce through training and implementation of the Competency Guidelines for Public Health Laboratory Professionals. The goal of training and workforce development is to advance the knowledge, competency, reliability, and sustainability of the clinical and public health laboratory workforce nationwide.
DLS League of Laboratory Superheroes
The Division of Laboratory Systems truly believes heroes are among us – disguised in lab coats – and applauds the superhero-like qualities of laboratory professionals who protect the public’s health. The exceptional work of these heroes often goes unnoticed. So, for this Lab Week, DLS complements “The League of Laboratory Superheroes” introduced in 2018 by kicking off a series of profiles to shine a spotlight on real-life heroes and their extraordinary work, while highlighting the resources and services DLS provides to support their efforts.
Real Life Laboratory Heroes
Beginning April 21 and into the months ahead, get to know real-life heroes who share qualities found in the Luminary of Laboratory Excellence, the Safety Sentinel, the Workforce Wonder, the Ready Responder, Quantum Quality, and the Invincible Informatician. These superheroes recognize that quality, safety, preparedness, data science, and a well-trained workforce all pave the road toward laboratory excellence.
Spread the Word
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week promotes laboratory medicine and science as a viable career option through advertisements, trending hashtags, and many other social media activities that attract the public. Help encourage others by spreading the word about the importance of laboratory professionals. Retweet or repost CDC/DLS social media messages using #LabWeek on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
To learn more about the Division of Laboratory Systems, please visit: www.cdc.gov/labsystems.