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Medical Laboratory Week Salutes Professionals in Idaho

April, 17, 2003

Boise--Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has declared April 20-26 to be Medical Laboratory Week in Idaho, announced the Idaho State Society for Clinical Lab Science (IDSCLS).

"It's important that clinical lab scientists are recognized for the incredible contributions they make to quality healthcare," said Stephanie Combs, president of the IDSCLS. Clinical laboratory professionals are the behind-the-scenes medical investigators in the health care industry. Using the latest biomedical methods and instruments, they accurately and precisely perform laboratory procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and management of health.

The majority of medical decisions made by physicians are based on the information clinical laboratory professionals provide. In addition to the performance and interpretation of laboratory procedures, clinical laboratory professionals are involved in research and development, teaching, and supervision.

Idaho State University Boise Center began offering Bachelor and Master of Science in clinical laboratory science curriculum last fall. The program started with nine students in Boise. Using distance-learning technology, ISU is able to reach throughout the state to train an additional 16 students, including three in remote areas.

"Distant learning technology has exceeded our expectations," said Sonja Nehr-Kanet, program coordinator. "We are truly able to meet the needs of our students whether in Boise, Pocatello or remote locations - and with a shortage of qualified professionals, the labs in the state are very happy to see more students trained in this profession."

Nehr-Kanet said there are already 12 candidates for the fall program in Boise; however, she has room for only six to eight students. "They realize the train is here, the train is moving, and they all want to get on - the problem is funding, faculty and classroom space."

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