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Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP)






Improving our Laboratory System

November 18th, 2010 Laboratory System Assessment

Strengthening the local public health laboratory (LPHL) system requires the involvement of all public health laboratory system partners and stakeholders. The scoring and dialogue that occurred during the assessment in November 2010 has served as the basis for strategic planning in 2011 to build on system strengths, address weaknesses and improve collaboration between partners.

Local Public Health Laboratory System Improvement Cycle

Milwaukee Laboratory Advisory Committee (MLAC) Description & Purpose

The MLAC was established to guide and support LPHL system improvement efforts in Milwaukee. 

June 3rd, 2011 MLAC Meeting Participants & Agenda 

Fourteen individuals representing the diversity of the LPHL system, were identified to provide leadership for LPHL system improvement efforts in Milwaukee.
The first meeting of the MLAC was held on June 3, 2011. The purpose of the meeting was to review the results of Milwaukee’s LSIP assessment and to identify system priorities in need of improvement. 
See the MLAC in action

System Improvement Priorities

System priorities were selected by reflecting on several questions and issues. The MLAC identified the following system priorities as the focus of strategic planning and system improvement efforts:
Mobilize and leverage the LPHL system to support the MHD's mission to become an academic health department. Maximize LPHL system resources and optimize partnership capacity in support of teaching/workforce development, research and service.


August 2nd, 2011 Strategic Planning Meeting

On August 2nd, 2011, MLAC members were joined by subject matter experts in the areas of workforce development and research to engage in strategic planning around those capacities within the LPHL system.
Planning was aimed at addressing the system improvement goals developed by the MLAC at the June meeting.
Here is a glimpse of what the meeting entailed:

·         Meeting Agenda

·         Meeting Participant List 

·         Key Elements and Capacities for Highly Functioning State (or Local) Public Health Laboratory Systems.  This short handout was used to define the gold standards that we are working toward achieving as a part of the Laboratory System Improvement Program (LSIP) in Milwaukee.

·         LSIP Poster.  This poster describing Milwaukee's LSIP efforts was presented at the national meeting of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) in June.  We also had the opportunity to share our LSIP experience at the local level as a part of a panel presentation. 


The meeting was highly energized as workgroups brainstormed and came up with the following strategies:

What innovative & substantial actions can we take to strengthen workforce capacity within the LPHL system?

  • Educate the public and health care professionals on the importance of the LPHL system.
  • Attract a motivated and highly skilled workforce.
  • Retain an engaged and competent workforce.
  • Invest in innovative technology to improve efficiency and capacity.

What innovative & substantial actions can we take to enhance research activities within the LPHL system?

  • Establish leadership and objectives to facilitate LPHL system research.
  • Develop a network of scientists and infrastructure to support research.
  • Assure sustained funding to empower research.
  • Create mechanisms to train researchers.
  • Communicate LPHL system research to the public.

September 26th, 2011 MLAC Meeting

MLAC members met on September 26, 2011, to review, finalize and confirm the strategic priorities developed at the August meeting as a basis for implementation planning. Please see this agenda for more details.


December 14th, 2011 Strategic Planning Meeting

On December 14, 2011, MLAC members were once again joined by subject matter experts in the areas of workforce development and research to prioritize strategies for improvement in 2012 and to develop time phased implementation plans.

The meeting included the following:

·         Participants

·         Agenda

·         PowerPoint Presentation


The three priority strategic directions selected for implementation in 2012 are:

·         Establish leadership and objectives to facilitate LPHL system research; 

·         Promote the work of the LPHL system; and

·         Collaborate, systematize and strengthen internship opportunities across the LPHL System.


       Detailed outcomes and timelines for these three strategic directions can be found by accessing the following links:


·         Research

·         Laboratory Internships

·         Promotion of the LPHL System


Next Steps

Workgroups will be expanded and convened to implement improvements to the LPHL system in the Milwaukee area. A grant has been secured from the Association of Public Health Laboratories to support these efforts. Please contact Steve Gradus at 414.286.3526 if you are interested in serving on a workgroup.

May 20th, 2012 - Milwaukee's Local L-SIP Action Plan

On May 20th, the City of Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory presented a poster on Milwaukee's Local L-SIP Action Plan at the 2012 Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.

The poster provides an overview of important milestones of Milwaukee's L-SIP process to date, including the establishment of co-chairs for the three L-SIP subcommittees: Research, Workforce Development-Promotion and Workforce Development-Internships. These co-chairs and subcommittees have met several times during the past two months, and will continue to meet this summer, to plan for implementation of designated LPHL System improvements.


Innovations in Quality Public Health Laboratory Practice 

L-SIP improvements occurring in 2011 and 2012 were made possible in large part by two "Innovations in Quality Public Health Laboratory Practice" grants awarded to the MHDL from the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).
See below for the final reports for each grant.

Lab Intern gets involved in L-SIP Process 

Patrick Heffernan, an intern through Milwaukee's Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Community Health Internship Program (CHIP), assisted the MHDL with L-SIP projects during his summer internship.
See the video of his presentation on his internship experience, as well as the stories he compiled through interviews with MHDL staff.

L-SIP Workforce Development efforts continue in 2013

MHDL recently wrapped up the final report for our Innovations in Public Health Laboratory System Workforce Recruitment and Retention grant, which was awarded to us in February 2013 by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and National Center for Public Health Laboratory Leadership (NCPHLL). As a component of our ongoing L-SIP efforts, the grant focused on advancing workforce development improvement goals for Milwaukee's LPHL System - specifically, better informing local college and high school students of the laboratory science career opportunities available to them, and gathering input from employers and educators on workforce needs and gaps and brainstorming ways to address those.

The complete report is available here.