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Austin State Hospital Laboratory Celebrates 55 Years of Continuous CAP Accreditation

The Austin State Hospital Regional Laboratory in Austin, Texas, began its commitment to maintaining the highest standards in laboratory medicine when Angelyn Smith M.T. (ASCP), helped achieve CAP accreditation on October 26, 1963. This more than half-century tradition of excellence continues today under the guidance of Susan Pacinda, MD, FCAP.

Yes, that’s right, 55 consecutive years as a CAP accredited laboratory!

In addition to maintaining CAP accreditation, the laboratory has maintained an accredited training program in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) since 1956.

Several years ago, an MLS student scanned a peripheral blood smear on a patient from another country. The student alerted the medical laboratory scientist about this unusual finding. The medical laboratory scientist immediately recognized the microfilariae of Wuchereria bancrofti, which is a human parasitic roundworm that is the major cause of lymphatic filariasis and can lead to elephantiasis if left untreated. This diagnosis was confirmed by thin and thick smears. Continuous participation in the CAP proficiency testing program for parasitology allowed the identification of the parasite. This identification enabled treatment and cure of the parasitic infection.

The staff at Austin State Hospital Regional Laboratory is honored that CAP accreditation has been maintained for more than 55 consecutive years. They proudly display the CAP accreditation mark as a testament to the quality of the laboratory services their personnel provide, as demonstrated time and again during on-site CAP inspections.

Photo: Back row, left to right: Alan Isaacson (superintendent), Roger Rasnic, Karla Wolfmueller, Anu Gadde, Lynn Six, Mary Kaye Bagwell
Front Row, left to right: Tara Butler, Judy Larsen (former manager), Jeff Shinn (manager), Carrie Dillon, Karla Snell
Not pictured: Dr. Susan Pacinda, Angelyn Smith (former manager)