Silver Spring, MD, June 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual awards for outstanding achievements in laboratory science, creative approaches to solving today's public health challenges and exemplary support of laboratories serving the public's health. Awardees were honored during a ceremony at the 2018 APHL Annual Meeting & Twelfth Government Environmental Laboratory Conference in Pasadena, California.

The following awards were presented:

Lifetime Achievement Award - This award recognizes individuals who have established a history of distinguished service to APHL, made significant contributions to the advancement of public health laboratory science or practice, exhibited leadership in the field of public health, and/or positively influenced public health policy on a national or global level. This year's award is shared by two honorees:

  • Christopher Atchison, retired, former director, State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa
  • Dr. Michael Pentella, director, State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa

Presidential Award - This award recipient is selected by the APHL president and given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Association's work to promote policies that strengthen public health laboratories.

  • Lovisa Romanoff, deputy director, Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Champion of the Public Health Laboratory Award - This award recognizes federal, state and local elected officials and executive branch employees who have recognized the importance of state and local governmental laboratories that perform testing of public health significance either through support of legislation or federal agency decisions.

  • Dr. Ruth Lynfield, state epidemiologist and medical director, Minnesota Department of Health

Gold Standard for Public Health Laboratory Excellence Award - This award is given to an APHL member who has made significant contributions to the technical advancement of public health laboratory science and/or practice.

  • Dr. Patrick Parsons, professor of environmental chemistry, Department of Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York

Silver Award – This award honors a laboratorian with roughly 10 to 15 years of service in a Governmental public health laboratory that is recognized as a leader both within their home laboratory as well as external to their laboratory. This year's award is shared by two honorees:

  • Maureen Sullivan, supervisor, Emergency Preparedness and Response Laboratory Unit, Public Health Laboratory Division, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Dr. Martina McGarvey, laboratory director, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Thomas E. Maxson Education, Training and Workforce Development Award - The Thomas Maxson Scholarship award was established in August of 1998 in memory of Dr. Maxson. This award honors an APHL member who is a public health or clinical laboratory practitioner, trainer or educator who has made significant contributions to public health laboratory practice by creating, delivering or developing continuing education opportunities, programs, policies or practices for the laboratory community.

  • Shoolah Escott, biosafety manager, Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory

Emerging Leader Award – This award honors an individual whose leadership has been instrumental in one or more advances in laboratory science, practice, management, policy or education within his or her first five to ten years in the profession.

  • Dr. Jennifer Rakeman, director, New York City Public Health Laboratory

On the Front Line Award – This award honors an individual or organization outside of the association’s membership who makes significant contributions to APHL, its membership and mission.

  • Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator & U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy

Leadership in Biosafety and Biosecurity Award - This award honors a laboratorian with over 10 years of related service in the field of biosafety and biosecurity in a state and/or local public health laboratory.

  • Phil Lee, lead biological defense coordinator, State Public Health Laboratory, Jacksonville, Florida

Healthiest Laboratory Award - This award is given to member laboratories committed to safety, environmental process, environmental policy, and employee health and wellness.

  • North Dakota Department of Health Division of Laboratory Services

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to strengthen laboratory systems serving the public's health in the US and globally. APHL's member laboratories protect the public's health by monitoring and detecting infectious and foodborne diseases, environmental contaminants, terrorist agents, genetic disorders in newborns and other diverse health threats.

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CONTACT: Michelle Forman