“April 26, 2004 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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Pathology gets another plug! CBS television recognized National Medical Laboratory Week with public service announcements (PSAs) featuring CSI: Crime Scene Investigation star William Peterson. The story behind the story is that Peterson asked CBS to cover production costs and broadcast time to allow him to say something about the laboratory staffing shortage and to salute pathologists and laboratory professionals across the country. Peterson’s interest was spurred by his interaction at last September’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) in New Orleans.

MORE ON: Peterson

During the ASCP meeting, Peterson received the ASCP Special Recognition Award. In a recent interview in Playboy Magazine, Peterson made a surprising revelation. “I was invited to receive an award at the American Society for Clinical Pathology in New Orleans. It’s the best award I’ve ever gotten—way better than an Emmy!”


Last month, TDR introduced you to “Zippies.” This term describes the upwardly-mobile, highly educated young people manning telephone calling centers in India. Now it’s time for you to meet “Zoomers!” This term is used by some corporate marketing departments to describe baby boomers with money to spend. What makes zoomers important to laboratories is that they have adequate income and consider healthcare to be a luxury good that enhances their quality of life. Among other things, zoomer spending is fueling the growth of health-related procedures such as botox injections and plastic surgery.

ADD TO: Zoomers

Zoomers represent the economic spearpoint of aging baby boomers. Statistics tell the story. In 2001, 78 million Americans were aged 50 or older. According to data from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Census, this group controlled 67% of the nation’s wealth, or about $28 trillion! What’s particularly interesting is that, in households headed by a member of the 55-to-64 age group in the year 2000, median net worth was $112,048. That’s 15 times the median net worth of $7,240 reported for house- holds headed by someone in the under-35 age group. Demographic trends project that, in just five years, one-third of the U.S. population will be at least 50 years old. Two predictions: consumer mass marketing will increasingly target seniors and ads for prescription drugs and healthcare services directed at seniors will increase exponentially in coming years.

• Over in Springfield, Massachusetts, Baystate Health System is looking for a new laboratory administrator. Long-time laboratory director Douglas Jaciow resigned from his position at Baystate earlier this month.


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