MSHA partners with LMU to expand Medical Laboratory Science program into Kingsport

3/21/2012


KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Kingsport was recently chosen as a site for Lincoln Memorial University’s Medical Laboratory Science Program in a step toward providing more board-certified medical laboratory scientists (also known as medical technologists) to serve patients in area hospitals.

LMU’s program launched in January with six students starting their core classes at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. The inaugural class of Kingsport students also began their clinical work with Mountain States Health Alliance in January.

Lincoln Memorial University, based in Harrogate, Tenn., operates 11 extended sites in surrounding areas in addition to its main campus. Graduates from the Medical Laboratory Science Program take a national registry exam for certification and licensure, and are prepared to directly enter the work force or continue their education.

With many training programs closing down, baby boomers getting ready to retire and budgets being cut, a staffing shortage of medical laboratory scientists has been a problem for a number of years. The justification that drives the need for a regional Medical Laboratory Science program has been documented through national literature, as well as internal surveys and input from MSHA laboratory leadership.

The scientists perform essential laboratory tests that are crucial to a patient’s health and well-being. These professionals are the detectives of the health care world, searching for clues in blood, body fluids and tissues to help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease or injury.

“Our Mountain States Health Alliance Laboratories are so fortunate that Lincoln Memorial University has chosen Kingsport to expand their Medical Laboratory Science Program,” said Susan Williams, director of MSHA Lab Services.

“The medical laboratory scientist shortage is impacting our MSHA laboratories as we struggle to identify certified medical laboratory scientists to fill vacancies.”

MSHA has 10 full-service clinical laboratories.

“We hope that the recruitment of local students into the Kingsport site will enable our recruitment efforts on down the road, and to maximize that effort, we are so fortunate to make available several full scholarships to the LMU medical laboratory scientists,” Williams said.

Jamie Parsons, vice president of Human Resources for MSHA, added, “We are proud to be helping local medical laboratory science students by supplying these scholarships, which will also help us meet MSHA’s future work force needs.”

The Kingsport Center for Higher Education is located at 300 W. Market St., Kingsport. For more information, call 423-354-5151 or visit www.kingsporthighered.org.

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