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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Denton County Health Department
State: TX
Date Added: 05/19/2009
Themes: State and Local Coordination,Surveillance and Epidemiology
Issue Summary: Temporary laboratory staffed by MRC volunteers serves local community physicians and health department
Description of Issue(s): Our county does not have its own state funded laboratory, as a result we utilize the laboratory of our neighboring larger county to process bioterrorism overflow specimens. Our neighboring county only processes specimens sent through the local health department, so during the peak of the H1N1 virus our local physicians needed support in getting these specimen sent to the appropriate laboratory for testing.
Actions taken to address the issue(s): We solved this short termed problem by opening a temporary drop off/ pick up laboratory to serve our local community physicians as well as the health department.? MRC volunteers were activated to receive the specimen in a makeshift office of our health department to ensure that they could be transported and processed in a timely manner.? Local physicians were also able to pick up a limited number of testing supplies in this temporary laboratory.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: This is a solution that would have previously required? staffing by already overtaxed health department staff during the peak of the outbreak in Texas, but a few well trained MRC members were able to fill this critical need.

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