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Regional Labs


The mission of the Michigan Regional Laboratory System is to serve the people of Michigan by providing accurate, timely, and accessible laboratory results that strengthens public health programs, delivers support during public health emergencies, and improves the health of all citizens.


The vision of the Michigan Regional Laboratory System is to provide high quality clinical and environmental testing, serve as partners to support local public health initiatives, engage in outbreak preparedness and response, and offer equitable access to testing to meet the needs of all Michiganders.


The Regional Laboratory System was developed in response to a specific need expressed by local health departments in Michigan. In 1967, the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA '67) was enacted to require hospitals and large clinical laboratories to adhere to strict quality control, test performance, and personnel standards. Each testing facility had to have a certificate and was subject to a compliance inspection every other year. In 1988, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA '88) expanded the standards and extended them to include any facility performing a clinical test. This meant that each local health department had to develop a laboratory program that complied with CLIA '88 to continue many of its programs (e.g., health screening, WIC, ESPDT, Family Planning). Local health departments were not equipped to comply with the federal legislation. In 1990, the State Public Health Laboratory developed the Regional Laboratory System in response to provide experienced laboratory directors (MDCH managerial staff) and technical consultants (the laboratory managers from Kent, Kalamazoo and Saginaw County Health Departments) to comply with the CLIA '88 legislation. Seventy-seven counties joined the Regional Laboratory System. The Regional Laboratory System as initially established consisted of six administrative regions, each with its own laboratory director and CLIA '88 certificate. Three jurisdictions (Oakland County, Genesee County, and the City of Detroit) also participated as associate members in the Regional Laboratory System. The associate members provided their own laboratory directors and oversight of laboratory operations but collaborated with MDHHS on the implementation of laboratory quality assessment activities.

The Michigan Regional Laboratory System reorganized in October of 2011. The regional laboratory umbrella certificates were dissolved, and each agency became responsible for obtaining their own CLIA certificate commensurate with the level of testing they performed. Each agency became responsible for designating a laboratory director to oversee testing activities. Technical support was available from the State Public Health Laboratory upon request and quarterly meetings were held.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance and need for coordinated state-wide public health testing capacity that was timely, flexible, and capable of providing actionable data for both public health and clinical response. This led to a revitalization of the Regional Laboratory Network.

Currently, there are six regional laboratories serving the residents of Michigan. Four reside within the lower peninsula: Kalamazoo County, Oakland County, Saginaw County, and Health Department of Northwest Michigan (Gaylord). Two additional laboratories are in the Upper Peninsula: Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and LMAS (Luce Mackinac Alger Schoolcraft) District Health Department. 

While the physical locations of Michigan Regional Laboratories have changed throughout the years, the mission has remained steadfastly the same. Looking forward in a post-pandemic world, the current regional laboratories will play a major role in ensuring robust response and laboratory capacity remains within Michigan.


Health Department of Northwest Michigan (Region 7)
95 Livingston Boulevard, Gaylord, MI 49735
Regional Laboratory Manager, Cheryl Coale 

Kalamazoo County Government Health & Community Services Department (Region 5)
311 East Alcott Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001
Laboratory Manager, Aaron Hoogenboom

LMAS District Health Department (Region 8)
14150 Hamilton Lake Road, CR428, Newberry, Michigan 49868
Laboratory Manager, Elizabeth Suggitt

Oakland County Michigan Health Division (Region 2N)
1200 North Telegraph 34E, Pontiac, Michigan 48341-0432
Laboratory Director, Dr. Russell Faust

Saginaw County Health Department (Region 3)
1600 North Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, Michigan 48602
Laboratory Director, Tammy Theisen

Western U.P. Health Department (Region 8)
540 Depot Street, Hancock, Michigan 49930
(906) 482-7382
Laboratory Supervisor, Brooke Goulette



Rev. 2/21/24