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Lab Updates


MHDL approved to test patient-collected swabs for STI screening

Effective June 1, 2019

The Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory (MHDL) will offer Patient-collected vaginal swabs in clinical setting as an alternate specimen source for nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). Click here for more information.


MHDL named 2017 Healthiest Laboratory
This June the Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory (MHDL) was recognized as the recipient of the Association of Public Health Laboratories' 2017 Healthiest Laboratory Award, which celebrates APHL member laboratories demonstrating outstanding efforts to reduce their collective environmental impact and promote health and wellness programs.

MHDL was formally recognized during an awards breakfast at this year's APHL Annual Meeting, held in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to being awarded with a plaque, MHDL will be reimbursed up to $1,500 for an eligible wellness or "green" related purchase. MHDL was selected as this year's healthiest laboratory, an award sponsored by APHL partner HDR, based on its responses to an APHL survey.

MHD Lab receives MCW President's Community Engagement Award
The Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) Laboratory was honored with the Community Partner Award as part of the 2017 Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) President's Community Engagement Award reception. As one of six award recipients, MHDL was recognized for its instrumental role in developing a new community resource for soil analysis for urban gardening, under the MCW-led Growing Healthy Soil for Healthy Communities grant partnership. For more details on MHDL's role in the project, check out this video.


MHDL presents three posters at 2015 APHL Annual Meeting
MHDL leadership presented three posters at the 2015 Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Annual Meeting, held May 18-21, in Indianapolis. Posters covered research on Real-time 4th Generation HIV Algorithm Implementation at the MHD STD Clinic, Metagenomic Analysis of Human Fecal Microbiome Using Ion Torrent 16S rRNA Sequencing, and Community Soil Testing utilizing the Mehlich 3 Extraction Method. A total of 75 posters were presented at this year's meeting.

MHDL staff co-author paper on Whole-Genome Sequencing of MRSA strain
MHDL Lead Microbiologist Manjeet Khubbar, Deputy Laboratory Director Dr. Sanjib Bhattacharyya and Laboratory Director Dr. Steve Gradus co-authored an article on the Whole-Genome Sequence for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Strain ATCC BAA-1680, recently published in the American Society for Microbiology's Genome Announcements.


MHDL Workforce Development poster recognized by APHL
A poster on the efforts of Milwaukee's Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) to bridge workforce development gaps among local stakeholders recently received an Honorable Mention award at the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) 2014 Annual Meeting. The poster was one of four presented by MHDL, and one of 73 total featured at the event.

MHDL Quality Improvement efforts highlighted in several publications
Several articles highlighting the MHD Lab's ongoing commitment to quality have been published during the first half of 2014. These publications chronicle our laboratory's application of quality improvement tools and techniques, leading to increased efficiency and the creation of a culture of quality among employees. These efforts have been featured here:

MHD Lab covers quality testing with FOX6 WakeUp
With the summer season now underway, the MHD Lab plays a key role in ensuring the safety of Milwaukee residents when it comes to the beaches they swim in and the summer treats they eat. Watch FOX6's Laura Langemo explore beach water, ice cream and ground beef testing with MHDL staff during her June 6 visit to the lab.

Milwaukee Crypto outbreak featured in recent interview
The Water Quality & Health Council of the American Chemistry Council highlighted Milwaukee's 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak in an interview with Laboratory Director Dr. Steve Gradus.


MHDL staff co-author multi-drug resistant TB article
An article published in the September 2013 issue of Epidemiology & Infection, "Characterization of multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis from immigrants residing in the USA using Ion Torrent full-gene sequencing," was co-authored by several MHDL staff.

Milwaukee's L-SIP featured in Public Health Reports
An article by MHDL staff on Milwaukee's Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP) was just published in the most recent supplement of Public Health Reports.

MHDL GPP article published in Journal of Clinical Microbiology
An article by MHDL staff on the use of Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel (GPP) testing in the rapid determination of gastrointestinal illness was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

MHDL Honored with "Model Practice Award"
The MHDL was honored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) with a "Model Practice Award" for its Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP). View our complete 2013 Model Practices submission on NACCHO's website.

Deputy Lab Director named Emerging Leader by APHL
MHDL Deputy Laboratory Director Dr. Sanjib Bhattacharyya was recently named by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) as its 2013 Emerging Leader, for his instrumental leadership during his time at the MHDL.

Beach water testing program featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The beach water sampling and testing partnership between the MHD and UWM Zilber School of Public Health was highlighted in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. MHDL staff test samples, which are collected by ZSPH students, from Bradford, McKinley and South Shore beaches on nearly a daily basis during the summer months. Beach advisories are updated daily on the MHD's main page.


Lab intern presentations - August 3, 2012

  • Sarah Genich
  • Jan McCann 
  • Ninjbadgar Jamsranjav 

Lab intern presentation - July 27, 2012

Patrick Heffernan

As part of his internship, Patrick interviewed several MHDL staff members and wrote stories about their experiences in the lab, which were compiled into this newsletter to promote laboratory professions.

Lab intern presentations - April 27, 2012


MHD Laboratory hosts international guests 
     Representatives from Botswana Ministry of Health visited the MHD Public Health Lab to discuss organizational needs and testing complexity.

APHL Articles Feature MHDL Testing & Staff  

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