News Release

Published on Friday, August 01, 2008

Western Technical College has been named one of six nationwide recipients of the Labs Are Vital™ instrument donation program. The announcement came at the July 30 American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting.

As part of the donation, Western’s Clinical Laboratory Technician program will receive an i-STAT 200 Hand Held Analyzer, a $10,000 state-of-the-art piece of equipment that performs blood gas analysis.

“As the only college in Wisconsin chosen to receive this donation, it is quite an honor and a testament to the quality of our program,” said Carolyn Byom, head of Western’s Clinical Lab Tech program. “This instrument will allow the CLT students to gain additional hands-on experience using chemistry instrumentation. It will also aid in their understanding of how the lab results obtained from this instrument aids in the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases.”

"Labs Are Vital™" is an education and awareness initiative designed to highlight the critical role that laboratory professionals play in health care and to address the issues facing laboratories today. The program focuses attention on the life-saving work medical laboratory scientists provide in diagnosing disease and improving health outcomes.

The company behind the donations, Abbott, is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.

To date, Abbott has donated more than $3 million in instruments, reagents, and service to accredited clinical laboratory education programs across the country. Fifty educational programs, impacting 3,000 students in 29 states within the U.S., received state-of-the-art equipment including immunoassay analyzers, hematology systems, and handheld point-of-care diagnostic instruments.

Other 2008 donation recipients were Northern Michigan University, Marquette Mich.; University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nev.; University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.; Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas; Reading Area Community College, Reading, Penn.; and Southeastern Community College, Whiteville, N.C.

For more information on Western Technical College and the Clinical Lab Tech program, call 608.785.9200 or visit For details on the "Labs are Vital™" program, visit