Eagle River Memorial Hospital Laboratory Highlighted

The clinical laboratory professional is a key member of today’s health care team. Lab professionals have the skills to unlock important medical information that is pivotal to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week takes place from April 19 -25, 2009 and recognizes the work of over 265,000 medical laboratory professionals and 15,000 board-certified pathologists who play a vital role in health care. Eagle River Memorial Hospital will be hosting laboratory tours of the department and equipment on Tuesday, April 21, from 10 a.m. - noon. The public is invited to attend, and further invited to bring food items for donation to the Vilas County Food Pantry.

“This celebration honors the hard work and dedication that is portrayed each day by the skilled individuals that work in the medical laboratory,” said Alicia Evensen, Laboratory Coordinator, Eagle River Memorial Hospital. “The community is invited to come and see what happens ‘behind the scenes.’”The Eagle River Memorial Hospital laboratory has over 75 years of combined experience. Our team consists of Medical Technologists, Histologists, Pathologists, phlebotomists, and secretaries.

The Eagle River laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) which requires the Lab to meet regular and thorough inspections to ensure regulatory compliance is met and that the highest standards of excellence are achieved to positively impact patient care. The goal of the CAP Accreditation Program is to improve patient safety by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting, and ensuring laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements.

Every day nurses, physicians, and other health care workers depend on laboratory professionals to perform tests on body fluids, interpret the results, and help provide a complete picture of a patient’s health. Using modern biomedical equipment and complicated analysis, laboratory professionals can detect the presence of cancer; identify infectious viruses and bacteria, and measure glucose, cholesterol, or drug levels in the blood. Without this precise and valuable information, medicine would simply become guesswork.

Laboratory professionals typically work in hospitals, physician offices, or private clinical laboratories, performing tests and monitoring the quality of their results. Others are employed by university or industrial research labs to seek solutions for medicine’s many unanswered questions. And these professional are increasingly found outside the traditional laboratory, participating in community health activities, conducting environmental testing, or serving in the Peace Corps.

Eagle River Memorial Hospital is one of the 6,000 hospitals worldwide to have met the highest standards of excellence. Lisa Michaelis-Alft, Laboratory Director for Howard Young Health Care, reports that it’s the staff that truly makes the difference. “We have a great team of Laboratory professionals working to exceed quality measures each and every day. The staff’s level of dedication to putting the patient first is truly outstanding. The behind the scenes work does makes a difference in the care of our patients.”

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