Diagnostic Laboratory Earns
The University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (VMDL) has earned full accreditation from the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) accreditation committee.
The AAVLD started in 1957 as the organization that establishes standards for public veterinary diagnostic laboratories and then determines if those standards are being met in technical and operational competencies. There are currently 32 AAVLD accredited laboratories in North America.
“The AAVLD is the gold standard for veterinary diagnostic laboratory accreditation,” said MU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Neil C. Olson. “The VMDL is the only laboratory in Missouri to receive this distinction, and I congratulate our lab faculty and staff for the hard work they have put in to make this possible.”
The VMDL performs more than 85,000 tests each year in fulfilling its mission to provide in-depth laboratory diagnostic support to veterinary practitioners and pet owners, livestock and poultry industry interests, wildlife conservationists, researchers throughout the University of Missouri, state and regulatory officials, and veterinary clinicians in the MU Food Animal, Equine and Small Animal Hospitals. The lab is a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which responds to animal disease outbreaks, such as the recent outbreak of avian influenza, and other adverse animal health events of significant consequence. It is also a Tier I laboratory of the Food and Drug Administration Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network, which investigates cases of potential foodborne illness in animals.
In 2003, the AAVLD added stringent quality assurance requirements that demanded labs provide additional documentation. Olson hired Shuping Zhang, DVM, PhD, in 2013 to direct VMDL operations and take over the task of obtaining full accreditation.
“Each person on the faculty and staff was asked to take ownership of quality assurance,” Zhang said. “It became part of faculty evaluations, and we created a staff award in 2014 to recognize staff members who are effective in improving quality control assurances.”
The VMDL is the most comprehensive lab in Missouri and the only one that provides full services for all animal species. As part of MU, the VMDL provides laboratory support to researchers and trains residents as well as U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students.
“Full accreditation is important because we have an obligation to protect the animal health and public health through diagnostic services, to support researchers, and to teach diagnostic medicine to students, graduate students and residents,” Zhang said.
The AAVLD awarded full accreditation through 2016.
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