CHICAGO, IL (April 12, 2004) – The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has teamed up with William Petersen, star of the highly rated CBS drama, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” to promote laboratory professionals as the “real heroes” during National Medical Laboratory Week, April 18-24.
The pathology group is a non-profit medical society made up of pathologists and laboratory professionals who work in hospitals and other medical laboratories.
National Medical Laboratory Week honors the more than 280,000 people across the country who perform, analyze and interpret the estimated 10 billion laboratory tests each year.
“Working with William Petersen, we created a special 15-second publicservice announcement that delivers his personal salute to pathologists and laboratory professionals,” said Dr. David F. Keren, president of the pathology group. Petersen also asks people to consider a career as a laboratory professional — a field that is experiencing a serious shortage. The CBS network has agreed to broadcast the Petersen-ASCP announcement during Lab Week, the group said.
In the public service announcement, Petersen says: “It’s National Medical Laboratory Week. I want to salute pathologists and laboratory professionals across the country. Every day, they use their skills and knowledge to save lives and solve crimes. If you are interested in a career in laboratory sciences, check out ascp.org.””There aren’t enough people going into the field to fill the positions that are available now,” Dr. Keren, “and we know that 50 percent of the current laboratory workforce will be eligible to retire in 2010.”
Through the hit CBS show, “CSI,” Petersen has become passionate about medical laboratory professionals. In 2001, he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee for increased funding for crime labs.
During Lab Week, laboratories across the country will host open houses, tours, lectures, and demonstrations to help acquaint the public and other health care professionals with the workings of the medical laboratory. For more information about Lab Week or the shortage of laboratory professionals, visit http://www.ascp.org/general/labweek.