Back to Top Skip to main content

Medical lab workers ensure readiness and wellness behind the scenes

Image of woman in lab coat looking at samples in test tubes Senior Airman Brittany Campbell prepares urinalysis samples for testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

Medical laboratory professionals usually work behind the scenes, performing vital duties to ensure the health and readiness of the force. But they come front and center this week, as National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week shines a spotlight on their work and this year’s Fellowship of the Lab theme.

Across the Military Health System, medical lab professionals are involved in every aspect of health care. As the MHS devotes resources to support the COVID-19 pandemic response, lab workers are analyzing tests that detect the contagious respiratory virus.

"We're fortunate to be a vital piece to the COVID-19 pandemic response by standing up in-house testing," said Air Force Lt. Michael Moeun, chief of microbiology at David Grant USAF Medical Center laboratory at Travis Air Force Base, California. The David Grant lab supports Air Mobility Command and the Pacific Theater.

"We could not be more proud to support Team Travis and our patients," Moeun said.

Since the first reports of the new virus Dec. 31, approximately 2.5 million cases of COVID-19 have occurred globally, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Department of Defense is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. State Department to provide support in dealing with the outbreak.

MHS laboratory capabilities are synchronized through the Center for Laboratory Medicine Services and the Executive Secretariat, DoD Laboratory Network. Currently, COVID-19 testing is being performed at 68 Army, Navy, and Air Force facilities across the DoD.

As the virus has spread, so have testing capabilities. For example, the Army initially had nine medical centers with a large testing capacity. That's since expanded to 35 installations to provide testing locally, said Army Lt. Gen. Scott Dingle, the Army surgeon general.

Medical lab professionals are also investigating different diagnostic capabilities, Dingle said. And they're working on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 testing is just the latest capability of MHS laboratory professionals. At Naval Medical Center San Diego, the laboratory staff of 260 performs and analyzes about 4 million medical tests annually, said Teresita Crisostomo, the lab quality assurance supervisor.

"Working in the lab every day is a surprise and unpredictable," Moeun said. "You never know what you will encounter, or how you can help a patient's treatment."

"We are behind the scenes in a patient’s care, performing hundreds of different tests," added Capt. Crystal Davis, chief of the core laboratory. "We never underestimate how important our role is, and truly believe it's the best job ever."

Added Senior Airman Jadon Smith, a core laboratory technician: "Doctors rely on us for results. We are critical to the care of a patient."

You also may be interested in...

NMRTU Everett staff collaborate to ensure Patient Centered Care

Article
11/16/2020
Image of two military personnel wearing masks

NMRTU Everett was commended by the MHS 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus

Holiday Season Guidance to Minimize Spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019

Publication
11/16/2020

This memorandum provides guidance to help protect individuals within the DoD community from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for gatherings and activities during the November to January holiday season.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Forging of civil-military anvil against COVID-19 focus at GHSA

Article
11/9/2020
U.S. and Thai soldiers stand together during a medical exercise.

“Defense partnerships around the world are key.”

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Wave PENDLETON sees more MTFs deploy new electronic health record

Article
11/5/2020
Military technician, wearing a mask, in front of a computer screen

Wave PENDLETON is the third major deployment of MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

BAMC, Argentine Army medical providers share COVID-19 best practices

Article
11/4/2020
Video teleconference image

U.S. Army South facilitated the virtual subject matter expert (SME) exchange between BAMC and CMMH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Technology | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Public Health | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Strategy to Recruit and Retain Mental Health Providers

Congressional Testimony
11/4/2020

S. 1790 NDAA Conference Report for FY 2020, 116-333, Sec. 720

Recommended Content:

Public Health

Collaboration with Minority Serving Health Institutions

Congressional Testimony
11/4/2020

H.R. 2968 HAC Report for FY 2020, 116-84, Pg. 312-313

Recommended Content:

Public Health

Study on Infertility in Members of the Armed Forces

Congressional Testimony
11/4/2020

S. 1790 SASC Report for FY 2020, 116-48, Pg. 211

Recommended Content:

Public Health

How Can Vaccine and Antibody Studies Move So Quickly and Still Be Safe?

Video
11/3/2020
How Can Vaccine and Antibody Studies Move So Quickly and Still Be Safe?

This video provides a detailed overview of the processes that have been implemented to accelerate the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine and antibody studies, and what is being done to assure safety.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Importance of Enrolling Diverse Participants in COVID-19 Studies

Video
11/3/2020
The Importance of Enrolling Diverse Participants in COVID-19 Studies

This video discusses why enrolling diverse participants in COVID-19 studies is critical for ensuring that, when we find a vaccine, we have enough data from populations who are most affected by COVID-19 to determine vaccine safety and efficacy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

DHA-AI 3020-01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (b) and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (z3), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This DHA-AI also provides a preventive plan to monitor and assess for the appearance of new cases and implement those processes that will prevent them from impacting the workforce. The processes describe herein are intended to offer an actionable plan for the workforce to re-enter DHA Administrative Offices. See Appendix 1 for a summary of the DHA Administrative Office Reopening Plan. The plan uses the Force Health Protection Guidance and Health Protection Conditions (HPCON), in accordance with Reference (d), to ensure protection for the workforce, including the most vulnerable-to-serious complications from the virus while enabling DHA Administrative Offices to continue its mission. See Appendix 2 for the conceptual HPCON framework.

  • Identification #: 3020-01
  • Date: 11/3/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

NMCP unveils new COVID-19 testing system

Article
11/2/2020
A group of military health personnel, wearing masks, in front of a large machine with a red ribbon in front of it.

Each Panther system can provide initial results in approximately four hours.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 11 - November 2020

Report
11/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Acute respiratory infections among active component service members who use combustible tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes/vaping products, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018–2019; Fibromyalgia: Prevalence and burden of disease among active component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018; Update: Cold weather injuries, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2015–June 2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Military nurses hold virtual research & evidence-based practice course

Article
10/30/2020
Two nurses, wearing masks, examining a mannequin

Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the three-day in-person course was abbreviated to a one-day virtual.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Research and Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 44

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.