MARQUETTE — Martin Renaldi, Laboratory Director at UP Health System — Marquette, along with Carrie Fitzpatrick, Cytogenetic and Molecular Pathology Medical Director, showcased the Marquette Lab to the Lake Superior Community Partnership on Wednesday.
The lab at UP Health System — Marquette is comprised of 124 employees of seven major sections with 10 different job descriptions. In total, the lab processes 1.1 million tests per year and has 10,000 blood donors during that same span. Regionally, the lab services 13 UP hospitals, 60 reference and outreach clients, seven skilled nursing facilities, local physician offices, community clinics and regional health departments.
Renaldi also explained how the lab is highly regulated, receiving joint commission accreditation — meeting 244 standards containing 1,046 elements of performance — along with AABB accreditation (428 standards), accreditation from the College of American Pathologists for the cytogenetics lab and is licensed and registered by the Food and Drug Administration.
Having a local lab allows faster turn-around-time for testing. Results for flow cases at the lab can turn results in approximately eight hours, whereas it would take about a week to learn the outcomes if the tests had to be shipped out. For cytogen cases, results come in locally in 3-5 days compared to 10-12 when they have to be shipped out. In addition to quicker testing, a local lab allows on-site physician-pathologist collaboration, easy consultation access to the cytogen medical director and features all relevant medical date on site and readily available. The lab employs many graduates who are from local universities such as Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in medical technology.
The LSCP ambassadors toured the labs where the group learned of the testing for chromosomal abnormalities in tumors, blood, bone marrow and urine; viral infections; changes in DNA that can cause problems with blood clotting; and G-Branded chromosome analysis. Renaldi and Fitzpatrick also described how the lab targets cancer therapy.
The final stop of the tour showcased the UP Regional Blood Center, which supplies blood product need for 13 UP hospitals. Established in the 1960s, all blood collected by the UP RBC stays in the UP. The lab holds approximately 7,600 RBC units and 1,600 platelet units.
For more information on sending testing to UP Health System – Marquette Reference Laboratory, or to set up an account, please contact our Laboratory Program Director, Martin Renaldi, at (906)225-6902 or 1-888-818-3879.