A Private-Public Collaboration for Safely Reopening Schools in Hawaii
By Sean Romigh , MBA , diagnostic project implementation manager , PerkinElmer , Inc .; John Hicks , clinical sales manager-North America PerkinElmer , Inc .; Andrea Feher , MBA , manager , Marketing , PerkinElmer , Inc .; LeeAnn Dennewitz , senior vice president , Strategic Alliances & Partnerships , PerkinElmer , Inc .; Amy M . Woron , PhD , MPH , MS , M ( ASCP ) MBCM , director , Microbiology and Molecular , Diagnostic Laboratory Services , Inc .; and A . Christian Whelen , PhD , D ( ABMM ), vice president and technical director , Microbiology and Molecular Laboratories , Diagnostic Laboratory Services , Inc .
preferred testing to be performed on-island . As a Diamond level sustaining member of APHL , PerkinElmer contacted Scott Becker , chief executive officer , to assist in identifying a solution for this project .
Photo : Diagnostic Laboratory Services , Inc . ( DLS ) in Hawaii
surging across the United States and the globe , the federal government created the Operation Expanded Testing ( ET ) program
in summer 2021 . This program ’ s mission provides underserved communities with no-cost COVID testing . The program geographically split the United States and its territories into four hubs . PerkinElmer , Inc . was selected to provide services for Hub-1 West — an expansive geographic responsibility that covers eight time zones ( Figure 1 ).
Figure 1 . Geographical testing region , Hub-1 West
Collaboration on a Grand Scale …
To complement PerkinElmer ’ s robust supply chain for reagents , consumables and instruments , we collaborated with proven companies that provided local and national capabilities . The focus on local support was pivotal in the adoption of Operation ET in Hawaii . The program launched with PerkinElmer performing outreach to the state Department of Health
( DOH ) and those in the community that would benefit . Those interested organizations would sign up for the program , receive training and have collection kits delivered to their sites . The software platform , provided by Color Health
, allowed individuals and testing sites to easily access data and manage site operations . To ensure reliable sample shipment , UPS was selected based on their ability to deliver in under 48 hours to the testing laboratory located in California . During the months of August through October 2021 , the program provided results for over 23,000 individuals .
During the initial months of the program , the Hawaii DOH advised PerkinElmer that if a local laboratory was added to the program , it would increase school adoption as the Department of Education
“ During this difficult time , we were thrilled to hear of PerkinElmer ’ s award and proudly recommended one of our corporate members , Diagnostic Laboratory Services , Inc .
( DLS ),” said Becker . With his encouragement , PerkinElmer negotiated terms to deploy instrumentation , reagents and consumables that would be operated by the laboratory team at DLS . As part of the integration process , there were coordinated efforts between the partners for data systems integration , vendor quality assessments , instrument installation and workflow training . Additionally , the change in laboratory location resulted in a reduction in transit time to 24 hours .
… And Closer to Home
Testing at DLS launched in late October 2021 and provided testing for roughly 25 % of Hawaii ’ s sites .
“ As Hawaii ’ s largest locally owned and operated laboratory , we understand the local culture and desire for local testing ,” said DLS President Mark Wasielewski . “ Facilitating access to accurate and timely testing is a core competency of DLS .”
The team then began to phase in additional sites based on the available laboratory capacity . As the team planned to complete the transition to 100 % on-island testing , the Omicron variant surged . This put a temporary pause on transitions while the network of laboratories managed the increased sample volume coupled with high positivity rates . At the end of the first four
16 LAB MATTERS Winter 2022