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Public Health Rep. 2010 May-Jun;125 Suppl 2:110-7.

Leadership principles for developing a statewide public health and clinical laboratory system.

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  • 1Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA. marshast@slh.wisc.edu


In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation established the national Laboratory Response Network (LRN) for bioterrorism readiness. A more broad application of the LRN is the National Laboratory System (NLS), an effort to promote the 10 Essential Public Health Services and the Core Functions and Capabilities of State Public Health Laboratories (hereafter, Core Functions). State public health laboratories (PHLs) are responsible for leading the development of both the LRN and the NLS in their jurisdictions. Based on the experience of creating a laboratory network in Wisconsin, leadership principles are provided for developing and strengthening statewide laboratory networks of PHLs and clinical laboratories, which can also include point-of-care testing sites. Each state PHL, in the context of these Core Functions and leadership principles, sets its priorities, budgets, and strategic plans. For a limited investment of personnel and funds that will yield a large benefit to public health, a robust state laboratory system can be established.

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