ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 4, 2008 Clinical laboratoryprofessionals worldwide are coming together in support of an initiative toraise international awareness of the role played by clinical laboratoryprofessionals in health care and their vital contribution to improve patientoutcomes. Through a program called Labs Are Vital(TM), sponsored by Abbott(NYSE: ABT), the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and LaboratoryMedicine (IFCC) http://www.ifcc.org and its 76 national societies are workingtogether to elevate the role of laboratory professionals and to address issuesfacing the profession globally.
"As the focus on disease management continues to grow in importance, therole of early diagnosis and highly trained clinical lab professionals becomesevermore essential to global health care," said Jocelyn Hicks, IFCC president."Labs Are Vital is an initiative that seeks to provide these professionals agreater presence within the global health care system while educatingconsumers about the critical role of the clinical lab to their health."
IFCC has joined Abbott in a commitment to support new, international LabsAre Vital initiatives designed to improve clinical and economic outcomes forpatients by enhancing the role laboratories and laboratorians play in thedelivery of health care. The first step in this process is to highlight thevital -- but often underappreciated -- role laboratorians currently play inthe delivery of care. Program components include the launch of aninternational Web site as well as an active educational campaign.
"Laboratory professionals guide clinicians throughout the process ofdiagnosis and clinical decision making, and play one of the most profoundroles in care giving," Hicks added. "These professionals quietly generatesensitive, precise, and life-saving data everyday. We all depend upon a highlytrained cadre of clinical lab professionals to carefully conduct anincreasingly more sophisticated and delicate generation of clinical tests."
The vocation of the laboratory professional is to educate clinicians aboutthe best and most accurate tests to perform for hundreds of different medicalconditions. In fact, 70 percent of the objective information used in clinicaldecision-making comes from data collected in the clinical lab.
This year's Labs Are Vital initiative also will address issues specific toeach of the regional members of IFCC, including those related to agingpopulation of lab professionals and the workforce shortage.
About International Federation of Clinical Chemistry
The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicineis composed of 76 full member national societies of clinical chemistryrepresenting more than 30,000 clinical chemists, 38 corporate members and fiveaffiliate members. The IFCC strives to enhance the scientific level andquality of diagnostics and therapy for patients throughout the world. Furtherinformation can be found at http://www.ifcc.org
About Labs Are Vital
Labs Are Vital is a multi-pronged, multi-year education and awarenessinitiative designed to highlight the critical role that laboratoryprofessionals play in health care and to address the issues facinglaboratories today. The program includes a public awareness campaign, arecruitment initiative, an instrument donation program, and a variety ofWeb-based resources for laboratory professionals and focuses attention on thelife-saving work medical laboratory scientists provide that aid in diagnosingdisease and improving health outcomes. For more information on the Labs AreVital program, please visit http://www.LabsAreVital.com