Support our mission
Petty Officer 3rd Class Tabitha A. Astacio, a hospital corpsman, hangs a poster announcing National Laboratory Week, April 24 - April 30, at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tabitha A. Astacio, a hospital corpsman, hangs a poster announcing National Laboratory Week, April 24 - April 30, at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. (Amanda Woodhead / Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — Visit the U.S. Naval Hospital here next week and you might notice all the new posters going up on hallway walls.

It’s all in preparation for National Medical Laboratory Week April 24 to April 30, when USNH Okinawa will recognize its behind-the-scenes medical professionals, said hospital spokeswoman Amanda Woodhead.

“Pathologists, laboratory technologists and technicians at the hospital and the Armed Services Blood Bank Center are among the many unsung heroes of medical health care here on Okinawa,” she said. “Using state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, laboratory professionals help to prevent disease by detecting unknown health problems and by aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of existing conditions through accurate, timely test results.”

She said the laboratory test results make up some 70 percent of patient medical records and are “vital to the diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease.”

“We are proud of the work we do,” Lt. Cmdr. Tom DeLucia, the hospital’s laboratory manager, stated in a hospital news release. “We have to be painstakingly meticulous in performing our jobs to provide dependable answers to our physicians.”

Laboratory test results can spot health problems in early stages, giving doctors a head start in developing treatment plans, the release stated. Woodhead said the Okinawa hospital conducted some 291,000 such tests in 2004.

Early diagnosis also provides a better chance of a cure with treatments less costly than during a disease’s more advanced stages, Woodhead said.

To celebrate National Medical Laboratory Week, the hospital will promote awareness of the laboratory profession by posting displays related to their work in the hospital lobby, according to hospital officials. Also planned: a cake-cutting ceremony and potluck luncheon for the hospital’s laboratory workers.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up