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Laboratory Integration Unit

The mission of the Laboratory Integration Unit is to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of state and local public health laboratory testing services for better public health surveillance and health protection nationally.

The nation’s public health laboratories perform critically needed services to protect Americans’ health and support patient diagnosis and treatment. Yet, they face serious challenges that stem from new health threats, complex new testing methods, information technology advances, and other factors. CDC is committed to helping ensure that the public health laboratory system maintains continuous, 24/7 ability to address today’s health threats and those of the future.

Toward that goal, the Laboratory Integration Unit’s strategies are to:

  • promote coordinated CDC support for an integrated, national public health laboratory system, and
  • lead CDC’s Laboratory Efficiencies Initiative (LEI) partnership with public health laboratory leaders to ensure the long-term sustainability of the national public health laboratory system.

The Laboratory Efficiencies Initiative

CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories inaugurated the LEI in 2011. The LEI is helping public health laboratories across the country adopt new approaches and tools to build a strong platform for current and future testing services. Over 100 public health laboratory directors and senior staff are contributing to the LEI.

Specific, high-efficiency practices public health laboratories are exploring through the LEI include, among others:

  • Sharing of testing services across states
  • Improved data consolidation and access
  • Enhanced models of testing service organization
  • Development and application of informatics solutions
  • Laboratory workforce development
  • Workflow efficiency assessments, and
  • Procurement cost-savings.

LEI Tools and Resources

A high LEI priority is to develop new tools and resources that public health laboratory leaders and their colleagues can use to improve laboratories’ effectiveness and sustainability. A number of tools and resources have been developed since the LEI’s inception:

LEI Stakeholder Meetings

Since mid-2011, APHL and CDC have convened a series of focused meetings of stakeholders and subject matter experts to discuss, plan, and develop LEI goals, strategies, and products:


The LEI webpage at