BILOXI, Mississippi — Employees of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) who play a vital role in patient care celebrated a week-long national celebration April 24-30.
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW), nationally recognized during the last full week of April, provides an opportunity to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the lab professionals, according to Marthena Moffett, associate chief of pathology and laboratory medicine (P&LMS) at GCVHCS.
“[National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week] honors laboratory professionals by showcasing their invaluable contributions that have a direct impact on clinical and public health,” she said. invisible, but play a vital role in veteran healthcare through their ability to run, read and report lab results, which directly impacts patient care. »
Moffett added that the 2022 MLPW theme of Give the gift of health is particularly suitable; the ongoing global health crisis has created an increased need for medical laboratory services, which she said the GCVHCS laboratory team has taken into account.
“We have seen increased demand for our services over the past two years and the concerted efforts of our GCVHCS team have provided invaluable data to our frontline providers in determining care options,” Moffett said. “Our laboratory professionals deliver results to healthcare providers to improve public health and patient care, drive innovation, and advance health equity.”
Although GCVHCS lab employees typically have limited interaction with veterans, the impact of these employees can represent a critical moment in recipient health care, Moffett said. Their efforts can help frontline healthcare providers determine the right lab tests to administer and ensure the correct collection method for thousands of specimens each year. She added that upon receiving a sample, laboratory professionals at GCVHCS will analyze, interpret and report the results to pathologists who will confirm the results, which can have a direct impact on health care.
“The efforts of the healthcare professionals who staff our labs at facilities across our healthcare system play an ongoing role in ensuring that the veterans we care for receive the best care possible,” Moffett said. “Their dedication and perseverance in the face of some of the most challenging global public health issues faced in generations is a testament to the care we provide to our veterans and I couldn’t be more proud of the GCVHCS lab team.”
Moffett also said that medical laboratory scientists and clinical laboratory scientists have a variety of academic pursuits, ranging from a four-year bachelor’s degree to advanced studies. She added that people who choose to work as medical laboratory professionals are typically trained in microbiology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, chemistry, hematology, urinalysis, molecular testing, blood banking and serological testing, as well as practical applications in testing methodology, disease processes, and clinical and laboratory presentation of disease.
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, established in 1975, is sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and coordinated by 17 national clinical laboratory organizations.
The GCVHCS includes the Biloxi Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center and community outpatient clinics in Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin, and Panama City (CBOC). Based in Biloxi, Mississippi, the GCVHCS provides a variety of outpatient medical services to more than 82,000 veterans and other eligible beneficiaries along Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf Coast of Florida.