LAST MONTH, THE LABORATORY INDUSTRY lost one its most dedicated, full-time advocates. With his retirement in January, Joe Boone, Ph.D., ended a 31-year career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Boone started with the CDC in 1977. In 1992, he assumed his present position as Associate Director for Science, Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS) at the CDC. During the past 17 years, Boone actively worked to advance the recognition of laboratory medicine. He advocated the more effective use of lab testing to achieve national and international health goals.
Boone has been a contributing member of work groups that include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).
Important Lab Guidelines
Boone participated in the development of several major international medical laboratory guidelines. Three examples are: CLSI’s “Quality Management System for Healthcare”; the ISO 15189 “Medical Laboratories—Particular Requirements for Quality and Competence”; and international guidelines for quality assurance in molecular genetics testing.
Boone has a knack for bringing together national and international experts across many medical specialties. While at the DLS, he organized institutes on laboratory practices in 1989, 1995, and 2002. Starting in 2003, he led efforts at DLS to further the use of quality management philosophies and systems by laboratories in the United States.
First came the “Quality Institute” in 2003, followed by the “Institute for Quality in Laboratory Medicine (IQLM)” in 2005, and the “2007 Institute on Critical Issues in Health Laboratory Practice: Managing for Better Health” in 2007.
Boone’s effectiveness is based in equal measures on his personal integrity, his ability to build consensus across many stakeholders, and his commitment to excellence in laboratory testing services. His peers recognized these qualities, and he has received such recognition as the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s (AACC) award for Outstanding Clinical Laboratory Contributions to Improving Patient Safety (2005), and the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) 2009 Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service (2009.)
In retirement, Boone plans to consult, as well as volunteer his services to professional organizations. With his energy and vision, it is likely that Joe Boone will make further contributions to the lab industry.