ARRA Investments in the NIH Department of Laboratory Medicine
Public Health Burden
The $500 million ARRA Buildings and Facilities (B&F) program addresses high-priority repair, construction and improvement projects at NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD and Hamilton, MT. The ARRA B&F program increases the research capacity of the NIH by providing new or upgrading existing biomedical facilities. The plan also reflects the priorities embodied in the Recovery Act legislation for job creation and sustainable development.
The Clinical Center Department of Laboratory Medicine
The Department of Laboratory Medicine is a large modern laboratory, fully equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation that serves as the clinical laboratory of the NIH Clinical Center. The Department provides laboratory support for patient care and research protocols and conducts research and training in clinical pathology. The laboratory employs 170 people and operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The department provides laboratory testing for all Clinical Center inpatients and clinic outpatients, performing more than 1 million laboratory test results per year. The laboratory has obtained and currently maintains College of American Pathologists accreditation.
The ARRA B&F project replaces the existing air handling units that serve the Department of Laboratory Medicine and increases the cooling and heating available to the laboratory. For the procedures conducted in the laboratory, temperature and humidity must be precisely controlled. The existing air handlers in the laboratory have exceeded their useful service life and are operating at increased risk of failure, which jeopardizes the operations of the laboratory, the NIH Clinical Center, and the intramural research programs of NIH Institutes and Centers. Due to the critical nature of the laboratory’s activities to the NIH Clinical Center and NIH intramural research programs, installation of the air handlers is being carefully coordinated to minimize disruption to the laboratory’s operations. Temporary air handlers will be used while the existing air handlers are decommissioned and the new air handlers are installed.
New air handlers funded by the Recovery Act will be more energy efficient and will increase air-handling capacity by 20%. Increased capacity will permit growth in the Department of Laboratory Medicine program driven by the needs of patient care and the research programs of the NIH.
In addition, the improved ambient conditions created by the new air handlers will help extend the service lives of critical laboratory instrumentation. The project is scheduled to be completed in late-2010.
Page Last Updated on June 30, 2018
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