SOURCE: Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)

Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)

May 23, 2012 18:09 ET

Association of Public Health Laboratories Awards Champion of the Public Health Laboratory Award to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - May 23, 2012) - The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) awarded the 2012 Champion of the Public Health Laboratory Award to Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The award was announced at a ceremony Tuesday, May 22 during APHL's 2012 Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. It will be presented to Dr. Frieden at a meeting this summer.

Early in his tenure as CDC director, Dr. Frieden established the Laboratory Science, Policy, and Practice Program Office (LSPPPO) to centralize agency initiatives relating to laboratory systems and services. He staffed the office with thought leaders in laboratory science and practice, creating an effective team that has made significant progress in crafting solutions to the technical, fiscal and managerial challenges faced by governmental health laboratories. In establishing LSPPPO, Dr. Frieden responded to a proposal from APHL to create a CDC office dedicated to laboratory services.

Dr. Frieden also collaborated with APHL to launch the Laboratory Efficiencies Initiative (LEI), which assists public health laboratories to enhance the overall effectiveness of laboratory management and specifically to identify cost- and time-saving measures to mitigate the impact of decreased funding on critical public health services. The LEI will offer financial and technical assistance to support development of shared testing services, contracted testing services, generation of new revenue streams, procurement savings through joint purchasing and other mechanisms, and adoption of cost-saving technologies and standard testing platforms.

According to APHL Executive Director Scott J. Becker, "In Dr. Frieden, we have a leader who truly understands and appreciates the value of laboratories. Within his first year as director, he visited Washington state's public health laboratories, and it was laboratorians he cited when asked to name the unsung heroes at CDC." Becker added, "With public health funding slashed at all levels of government, public health laboratories are once again being asked to do more with less. Dr. Frieden's proactive response to declining funding has enabled public health laboratories to examine the options available to them so that they can continue to provide services critical to protecting the public's health."

The Association of Public Health Laboratories is a national nonprofit located in Silver Spring, MD, that is dedicated to working with members to strengthen governmental laboratories with a public health mandate. By promoting effective programs and public policy, APHL strives to provide public health laboratories with the resources and infrastructure needed to protect the health of US residents and to prevent and control disease globally.

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