From the Director

Welcome to the annual report of the State Hygienic Laboratory for fiscal year 2013. This has been a year of anticipation. As the state's public health laboratory, we have had an eye on the continuing evolution of our health care system through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The expectation is for significant realignment of both health care operations and improved health outcomes. With the support of the University of Iowa and the Board of Regents, we sought and achieved legislative approval for the restoration of state funding for our public testing programs. We also saw the expansion of our environmental testing, the celebration of 50 years of newborn screening and legislative support for the completion of our training facility in the Coralville laboratory.

Each of these achievements contributes to the further development of the State Hygienic Laboratory in our stated mission: to "protect and improve quality of life by providing reliable environmental and public health information through the collective knowledge and capabilities of our organization." The theme of this report reflects the significance of these developments in the context of "momentum." The Hygienic Laboratory is committed to a forward-looking agenda of service, discovery and information. We are doing so by integrating our strategic planning into our operations; by pursuing greater quality standards in performance and customer service; and by establishing partnerships that challenge us to innovate and to provide information, which stimulates even better health and environmental science.

The momentum will be dramatically demonstrated in fiscal year 2014 with the completion of our Center for the Advancement of Laboratory Science. The center will bring to fruition our vision for a fully functioning educational laboratory and an auditorium for public discourse and professional development. This accomplishment represents a vision shared by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development that the State Hygienic Laboratory is indeed a fundamentally important resource for the University and the people of Iowa.

The opportunities we see, the challenges we face as the result of health system change and the need for understanding of environmental influences on health outcomes will be better served by the momentum demonstrated in the last year. This report describes the scope of the contributions our excellent staff provides to the state of Iowa. It is their work that created the momentum and it is to their credit that the Hygienic Laboratory has seen reinvigorated support for our vision. We look forward to continuing the momentum.