COLUMBIA, MD, September 8, 2015 – COLA, a national laboratory accreditor and an advocate for quality in laboratory medicine and patient care, has awarded ten laboratory science students studying at several Mid-Atlantic colleges and universities with a $500 scholarship, for a total of $5,000. The awards are part of the “COLAcares Scholarship Program,” designed to increase awareness of the many job opportunities that exist in laboratory science industry, and to assist aspiring laboratorians with financial aid.
The 2015 winners include: Tamiru Kirna, Rachel Kernizan and Kristi Lavin (University of Maryland); Anita Tembo (Morgan State University); Angela Pigg and Rachel Peery (Community College of Baltimore County); Sharie Mae David (Stevenson University); Rebecca Matthews and Pacifique Munezero (Virginia Commonwealth University); and Marisa Hughes (Anne Arundel Community College).
COLA established the scholarship program in 2012 to attract more students to the laboratory profession, and to create greater awareness of the importance of quality lab practices in the delivery of safe, effective health care. While there is currently a need for 14,000 new lab professionals annually, lab science programs only produce, on average, 5,000 graduates per year. About half of clinical laboratories across the nation report difficulties in recruiting new staff.
“We’re proud to provide this financial support to these deserving students, each of whom met the scholarship’s exacting criteria demonstrating their success in their respective institution’s Medical Laboratory Science or Technology programs,” said Douglas Beigel, CEO of COLA. “A lab career offers these and other young people a stable, attractive, potentially lucrative professional path. And most important, it enables them to make a difference in the lives of patients.”
In 2013, COLA awarded $4,500 in scholarships to nine local laboratory science students. The laboratory accreditor also recently funded a $25,000 endowment to expand the Medical Laboratory Technician program at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, where the organization’s headquarters are located.
COLA accredits over 7,600 medical laboratories and provides the clinical laboratory with a program of education, consultation, and accreditation. The organization is an independent, non-profit accreditor whose education program and standards enable clinical laboratories and staff to meet U.S. CLIA and other regulatory requirements. COLA’s program is endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Physicians (ACP) and it is recognized by The Joint Commission (TJC). For more information about COLA accreditation services and educational products, and online educational opportunities, please call 800-981-9883 or visit COLA’s web site at www.cola.org or www.colainsider.org.