October 31, 2022, Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

Clinical laboratories may soon face increasing pres­sure to test for respira­tory syncytial virus (RSV) now that the public has become aware of the pathogen. Over the past month, there has been an onslaught of media attention on RSV. The coverage has often focused on how this common virus could tag team with influ­enza and SARS-CoV-2 to create a triple whammy of contagious infections circulating during the fall and winter.

MORE ON: RSV

For the week ending on Oct. 22, there were 6,061 RSV cases detected by antigen or PCR testing, according to the Cen­ters for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is up 29% from the week ending Sept. 24, which had 4,691 cases. Chil­dren under five years old, who are traditionally prime targets for RSV infection, may be more susceptible currently. “The virus is encountering a highly vulner­able population of babies and children who were sheltered from common bugs during the pandemic lockdowns,” PBS News Hour reported on Oct. 24.

SUMMA HEALTH SELLS OUTREACH ASSETS TO QUEST

Integrated healthcare delivery system Summa Health, based in Akron, Ohio, has agreed to sell select assets of its lab­oratory outreach business to Quest Diagnostics. Finan­cial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Quest’s laboratories in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Pittsburgh will pro­vide testing for physicians and patients serviced by Summa Health’s outreach business. Summa Health will continue to operate its hospital labs that provide services for inpatient and hospital-based outpatient care. The move is the latest in a long line of lab outreach sales to large commercial laboratories. Just back in August, Labcorp acquired the lab outreach busi­ness of RWJBarnabas Health in West Orange, N.J. A factor that frequently motivates health systems to sell lab outreach programs is the need to raise significant amounts of capital to offset operating losses and bolster the system’s assets.

TRANSITIONS

  • Scott Kilpatrick, MD, is the new Medical Director of Ana­tomic Pathology at Cleveland Clinic Laboratories. He will continue to serve as Director of Orthopedic Pathology and Co-Director for the Center for ePathology at Cleveland Clinic. He previously worked at Novant Health Forsyth Medi­cal Center.
  • Jennifer Schleit, PhD, FACMG, has been appointed as Labo­ratory Director at Rady Chil­dren’s Institute for Genomic Medicine in San Diego. Prior to this, she was laboratory director at Blueprint Genetics.
  • Rush University Medical Cen­ter named Gwendolyn Robles as Administrative Director, Labo­ratory. She held prior positions at Community First Medical Center, Lurie Children’s Hos­pital, and Mayo Clinic.

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