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Office of the state public health laboratory director

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Our Purpose

The Office of the State Public Health Laboratory Director (OSPHLD) protects the public health by assuring accurate and reliable clinical, environmental and public health laboratory services through the provision of support services, consultation and regulatory compliance oversight to the six independent public health laboratories that comprise the State Public Health Laboratory. OSPHLD provides an executive staff level focus for laboratory science policy issues and coordination. The Chief of the Office is designated as the director of the state public health laboratory and has responsibility for laboratory related policy development, oversight responsibility for the state public health laboratory at Richmond.

OSPHLD provides administrative direction to Laboratory Field Services and Laboratory Central Services. The OSPHLD also coordinates and ensures the provision of adequate facilities, equipment, instrumentation, laboratory employee health and safety, technical/scientific support and regulatory compliance to support the mission of all the Public Health Department's Laboratories. The State Public Health Laboratory Director serves as the liaison between the Department and the California Association of Public Health Laboratory Directors (CAPHLD), and in the capacity of California's representative to the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).


Laboratory Field Services – Laboratory Field Services (LFS) is the primary link between the health of California residents and quality oriented, accurate, and reliable clinical laboratory testing. LFS provides oversight for clinical and public health laboratory operations and for the licensed and certified scientists and other testing personnel who perform testing in clinical laboratories.

Laboratory Central Services – Laboratory Central Services (LCS) provides centralized, professional and technical support to the public health laboratories at the CDPH Richmond Campus. These services include: receiving, processing and routing medical and environmental samples and specimens; developing, evaluation and performing decontamination protocols on medical waste; washing and preparing glassware and instruments; purchasing, breeding, maintaining a variety of laboratory animals and maintaining animal facilities.

Public Health Laboratory System Working Group (PHLSWG) – The Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) directed the State Public Health Laboratory Director to form a working group to discuss strategies to strengthen the public health laboratory (PHL) system in California – a key component of disease surveillance. The Public Health Laboratory System Working Group (PHLSWG) was formed to support the CDPH key strategic goal to strengthen statewide infrastructure to improve health.  The work group consists of two member representatives from each of the following: the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California Association of Public Health Laboratory Directors (CAPHLD), California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO), and the County Health Executives Association of California (CHEAC). The function of the partners is to collaborate and develop strategies and recommendations to the CDPH Director’s Office aimed at strengthening the PHL system. To strengthen the PHL system, the PHLSWG has chosen to focus on ensuring quality service delivery, continuous quality improvement of public health services, and enhanced disease surveillance as outlined by the CDPH mission statement.  The PHLSWG has two work products, the Laboratory Service Change Guide 2013, and the Report to the Director 2015.​

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