WSLH Staff Named TB Elimination Champions by CDC

Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) mycobacteriology laboratory staff have been named TB Elimination Champions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The honor comes as health agencies commemorate World TB Day on March 24th with a goal of ending tuberculosis (TB) worldwide.

CDC developed the TB Elimination Champions program “… to recognize accomplishments and learn best practices from people who are making a significant contribution to preventing and controlling TB.”

WSLH mycobacteriology lab staff March 2016

The WSLH mycobacteriology lab group: (front row) Julie Brockman; (middle row from left): Tim Monson, Youngmi Kim, Ana Guaracao, Julie Tans-Kersten; (back row) Dr. Dave Warshauer. Missing from the photo are Don Busalacchi, Ali Lopez and Audrey Prieve.

The WSLH mycobacteriology laboratory serves as a primary diagnostic facility and reference laboratory for clinicians and private clinical mycobacteriology laboratories throughout Wisconsin, and as a public health laboratory serving the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (WDPH) Tuberculosis (TB) program and Wisconsin local public health agencies.

The WSLH award highlighted the close collaborative working relationship of WSLH mycobacteriology lab and WDPH TB program staff, using the 2013 Sheboygan TB outbreak investigation and response as an example.

In addition to TB case response, WSLH mycobacteriology lab and WDPH TB program staff work together to provide statewide, multidisciplinary TB educational opportunities for laboratorians, nurse case managers, clinicians and infection control practitioners.  The strong relationship developed over the years between WSLH and WDPH TB program staff is essential for quality TB laboratory services in support of TB treatment and control efforts in Wisconsin.

World TB Day is an annual event that commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes TB.