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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 27, 2010

Hygienic Lab first to receive new CDC award for outreach and training

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has presented its first "Outstanding Sentinel Clinical Laboratory Training Program" award to the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa.

"It is an honor to be recognized by the CDC for programs we develop to increase emergency preparedness," said Hygienic Lab Director Christopher Atchison. "But more, it is a testimony to the commitment of laboratory staff to be the best prepared professionals they can be.

"Iowa and the State Hygienic Laboratory for years have been leaders in preparing laboratory staff on how to address potential acts of bioterriosm. This award is a nod of acknowledgement to our staff and our sentinel partners for a job well done."

The CDC selected the Hygienic Lab because of its outreach and training initiatives that assist sentinel labs in preparing for biological terrorism events. The 139 sentinel labs in Iowa are based in hospitals and other laboratories, and have direct contact with patients when providing routine diagnostic services. These labs refer suspicious organisms to their nearest Laboratory Response Network (LRN) reference lab. In Iowa, the Hygienic Lab is the only laboratory that performs this confirmatory testing.

Reference labs and sentinel labs throughout the country maintain communications and readiness as members of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN). The LRN was created by the CDC, the FBI and the Association of Public Health Laboratories to ensure an effective laboratory response to bioterrorism by helping to improve the nation's public health laboratory infrastructure.

The Hygienic Laboratory is the state of Iowa's environmental and public health laboratory, with facilities located at the University of Iowa's Research Park campus in Iowa City, at the Iowa Lab Facilities in Ankeny, a Des Moines suburb, and at Lakeside Lab in northwestern Iowa. For more information about the laboratory and its programs and services, visit

STORY SOURCE: Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, 102 Oakdale Campus, H101 OH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-5002

MEDIA CONTACT: Pat Blake, 319-335-4177,