Tuesday, May 11, 2010

State Reps Lahti, McDowell work to keep open UP's only health, water-testing lab

LANSING -- State Representatives Mike Lahti (D-Hancock) and Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard) today announced that they won't stop fighting to keep the U.P. Regional Laboratory open so it can continue to provide vital testing for U.P. residents. The Houghton-based lab, which is operated by Michigan Department of Community Health, is in danger of closing its doors due to state budget cuts.

"Many of our folks rely on the services this lab provides to keep themselves and their family healthy, and that's why I will continue to fight for this lab and the workers who depend on it for their livelihoods," Lahti said. "This state-of-the-art facility and its dedicated staff work hard to improve our community and our residents' quality of life."

The Houghton lab, which has seven employees, is the only public health testing facility in the Upper Peninsula. It provides public health testing, testing for hospital infections, water quality tests, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases and other communicable diseases.

"I will continue to fight to keep this lab open and its services accessible to our residents," said McDowell, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health. "These workers are committed to helping improve our residents' health and the health of the U.P. We can't afford to lose this valuable resource."

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