Medical technology professionals in the spotlight April 22- 28

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina M. Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Apr 24, 2012

Medical technology student at UH Manoa
Medical technology student at UH Manoa
Hawai`i has 1,350 licensed laboratory professionals, and April 22–28 is a week set aside to recognize their contributions to health care.
The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Department of Medical Technology at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa offers the only baccalaureate degree program in medical technology in Hawai`i.
Since the development of this career group in the 1920’s, the medical laboratory science professional has played an increasingly vital role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease. Today, the medical lab professional is a key member of a health care team.
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week calls attention to the 300,000 people nationwide whose expertise we depend upon in the performance of laboratory testing.
Sheri Gon, MPH, MLS and Instructor in JABSOM’s Department of Medical Technology, points out that the work of lab professionals often go unnoticed by the public and sometimes even the institutions employing their services.
“With the public now demanding the assurance of quality health care and professional accountability, organizations representing practitioners of this critical science have a responsibility to ensure that the public is well informed about medical laboratory competency," said Gon. “Lab professionals help to take the guesswork out of medicine.”
Gon’s advice to all of us is to give the next laboratory professional we see a smile and a mahalo for their contribution.
2011 was a transformative one for the JABSOM Department of Medical Technology. Last year, two of Hawai`i’s largest clinical testing companies donated more than $100,000 to support medical technology. The gifts from Clinical Laboratories of Hawai`i, LLP and Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc., support a full-time faculty member for two years. The funds allowed JABSOM's medical technology program to resume student admissions, which had been temporarily frozen because of state budget concerns.
At the same time, the Department of Medical Technology (headquartered at the University of Hawai`i Mānoa campus) entered into a partnership with Kapi`olani Community College to restructure the medical technology program. The partnership allows students to spend their first two years at Kapi`olani’s accredited Medical Lab Technician (MLT) program, seeking an associate degree in MLT. Then, they are able to advance to UH Mānoa to complete the last two years of upper division studies, and receive their Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology.

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