Representative Tom Rooney Learns about Cutting-Edge Pathology at Highlands Regional Medical Center

Tour of Highlands’ Pathology Laboratory Showcases Vital Role of Laboratory Medicine in Patient Care

SEBRING, FL (December 1, 2011) — Representative Tom Rooney (R-FL-16) recently experienced first-hand the critical and expanding role laboratory testing plays in patient care during his Nov. 30 tour of Highlands Regional Medical Center’s laboratory.

The tour focused on the important role that pathologists play in health care, and included a demonstration of how pathologists use cutting-edge technology and laboratory tests to screen for cancer and precancerous lesions. During the tour, Rep. Rooney discussed the growth of personalized health care and need to preserve the important role pathologists can play as a diagnostic consultant for patient care.

“It was impressive to witness the scope of diagnostic tests conducted on a daily basis at Highlands Regional Medical Center,” said Representative Rooney following the tour. “Patients and the health care industry as a whole can benefit greatly by understanding the vital role pathologists play in our nation’s health care system.”

“We are honored that Representative Rooney took time out of his busy schedule to visit our laboratory to see firsthand the role we play in today’s medicine,” said George Leidel, MD, FCAP, Medical Director of the Highlands Regional Medical Center Laboratory. “The tour demonstrated how laboratory services are a vital component of patient care from diagnosis to treatment, as well as the benefits of having the laboratory based inside of Highlands Regional Medical Center, with close access to physicians, nurses and administrators.”

The laboratory at Highlands Regional Medical Center staffs approximately 43 full-time equivalent personnel who are involved in processing approximately 750,000 clinical lab tests and 6,000 anatomic pathology cases annually.