It’s National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, and this year Augusta University’s laboratory workers deserve a special shout out as they work long hours behind the scenes in the fight against COVID-19.
As the university takes the lead in coronavirus testing across the state, medical lab scientists in the Microbiology Lab and the Georgia Esoteric and Molecular labs are working round-the-clock to process tests for Augusta University Medical Center, rural hospitals and local testing sites. The microbiology lab is led by Dr. Allison McMullen, medical director of microbiology, and the GEM lab is led by Dr. Ravindra Kohle.
This week, Dr. Brandy Gunsolus, director of specimen referral, was named to the Cardinal Health Laboratory Excellence List 2020 and was a winner in the efficiency category for her work to increase efficient use of lab services and improve the quality of patient care through optimized patient testing.
The GEM and Microbiology labs are only a sample of the many labs at Augusta University. Some labs are strictly for research, some are open to the public and some, like the pathology labs, test patient samples to assist in diagnosis and treatment. To name a few:
The Histocompatibility Immunology Lab has tested patients’ compatibility for organ transplants for more than 50 years. Today, this lab serves the renal transplant program, bone marrow transplant, transfusion and related clinics.
Scientists in the Electron Microscopy and Histology Core Laboratory examine tissue and cells for abnormalities and prepare them for a pathological diagnosis.
Last year, the department opened the AU Health Pathology/Beckman Coulter Core Laboratory on the third floor of Professional Building 1. The department processes about 3 million tests annually. Through state-of-the-art automated technology incorporated into the new 10,000-square-foot facility, the pathology lab can return most test results within 45 minutes.
We want to extend our appreciation to the scientists in each of our labs as they continue their vital work through this pandemic and beyond.