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New lab showcased

By Staff | Apr 25, 2008

Kathy Jo Howard is receptionist at the newly remodeled lab at Avera Holy Family Health. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Avera Holy Family Health on Tuesday and Thursday this week held tours of the newly remodeled 2,500-square-foot lab.

The $325,000 project combines both the clinic and hospital labs into a modern, state-of-the-art facility that reduces the turnaround time for patients to receive lab results.

According to Mike Hanson, lab manager, construction started on the new lab in December and was completed April 1. The lab includes equipment such as a hematology analyzer, or cell counter, which has been in service at Avera Holy Family since 1999. There is also a $200,000 Dimension Xpand chemistry analyzer which does 44 separate tests, one of which is cancer antigen testing.

The lab can also do blood matching in which recipient blood is matched with donor blood to determine whether there would be a reaction in the donor.

The newly designed microbiology lab determines what bacteria may be causing an illness and what antibiotic might provide a cure.

Louella Cauyan-Leonor, medical technician, checks off some supplies received into the lab.

The clinic was previously located in an older portion of the hospital built in the late 1950s. Business offices, previously located in the new clinic area, have been temporarily relocated to the fourth floor and will be permanently located in the old clinic area once remodeling is completed.

The tours were held to coincide with National Medical Laboratory week. The lab has 10 employees.

Dave Anderson picks up lab samples daily and takes them to Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls, S.D.