LGM Noteworthy

Laboratory Outreach at Barnes Jewish Hospital and Beyond

The faculty in the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine (LGM) serve as medical directors for the clinical laboratories at Barnes Jewish Hospital (BJH); however, they also provide medical direction and clinical consulting services to hospital laboratories in the St. Louis region and beyond.

Drs. Dennis Dietzen, Stephen Roper, Neil Anderson, and Ronald Jackups serve as medical directors for St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) Core Laboratory, Microbiology/Virology Laboratory, and Blood Bank. The SLCH laboratory is unique: the inpatient population is 60% critical care and testing often involves very limited sample volume. The SLCH medical directors provide clinical service, education, research, and laboratory oversight, as well as consultative services for pediatric providers from around the community.

Dr. Suzanne Thibodeaux serves as the laboratory medical director for Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital (BJWCH), a 108-bed hospital in Creve Coeur, MO that serves the local community with an emergency department, surgical services, and a Siteman Cancer Center. Dr. Thibodeaux oversees laboratory services and provides clinical consultations to physicians and serves on the Medical Executive Committee. The BJWCH team looks forward to continued growth as an individual laboratory and as part of BJC, with the overall goal to improve patient care on an ongoing basis.

Drs. George Wettach and Steven La Rue serve as medical directors for the laboratories at SoutheastHEALTH in Cape Girardeau, MO. Washington University allied with SoutheastHEALTH in 2017 to offer anatomic pathology and select laboratory services throughout the southeastern corner of MO. The diverse and challenging case mix has a projection of 12,000 surgical and non-gynecologic cytology specimens in 2018. A broad range of subspecialty support is available via telepathology and daily courier, including the Washington University Digital Pathology Exchange (WUPAX), a web-based, HIPAA-compliant platform, which allows leverage of subspecialty expertise of colleagues at the WU campus.

Drs. Melanie Yarbrough and Neil Anderson are clinical liaisons to BJC hospitals that send microbiology testing to the BJH lab (including SLCH, Christian Hospital, Alton Memorial, and Parkland Hospitals). An important part of this consolidation involves harmonizing blood cultures for all facilities to a new blood culture system in 2018. Services provided include bacteriology, antimicrobial susceptibility, mycology, mycobacteriology, parasitology, virology, and molecular infectious disease testing. Dr. Carey-Ann Burnham serves as the medical director of the BJH microbiology laboratory.

Drs. Melanie Yarbrough and Charles Eby are medical directors for the laboratory at Shriners Hospital for Children – St. Louis. Shriner’s Hospital houses the Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research, which investigates, diagnoses, and treats more than 100 rare genetic bone diseases in children. The hospital has a large outpatient base, surgical facilities, and a strong research component.

In addition to the efforts described here, the Division of Laboratory & Genomic Medicine (LGM) within the Department of Pathology & Immunology continues to enhance outreach at other regional hospitals. In 2018, the department will assume medical direction of Memorial Hospital Belleville laboratories in Belleville, IL. LGM medical directors serve on the BJC Clinical Laboratory Standardization Committee and Laboratory Utilization Clinical Expert Council, thus contributing to efforts to provide high-quality, evidence-based laboratory services across BJC.

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