The State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) is established in the Iowa Administrative Code to provide the following services, public health and environmental testing and surveillance, food safety testing and surveillance, chemical and bioterrorism response, newborn screening and testing, education and training, and applied research. Key partners include the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, hospitals and clinical labs throughout the state and region, and university researchers. SHL serves all 99 Iowa counties, in addition to providing services from clients throughout the nation.
FY 2024 projected revenue is $6,449,308
State appropriation – 74.78%
Fee for service testing – 24.88% (Decrease of 5% due to effects of the pandemic)
Indirect cost recovery – .34% (Decrease of 71% by UI Administration)
Interest 0% (Decrease of 100% by UI Administration)
The FY 2024 state appropriation ($4,822,610) is unchanged from last year.
FY 2024 budget dollars will fund laboratory support and administrative functions, infrastructure, supplies, and services.
Salaries: Salaries comprise 73% of the laboratory expenses. Non-Clinical faculty and P&S staff will receive on the average 3.1% salary increase in FY 2024, however due to increase in fringe rates of 6% funding covers less FTE’s than FY2023. Merit staff will receive the 3% contractual increase, however due to increase in fringe rates of 2% funding covers less FTE’s than FY2023.
Supplies, Services, and Rentals: These expenses constitute 27% of SHL’s budget. They include reagents and consumables, service contracts (increased 10-17%), laboratory software, UI Administrative and Shared Services, the statewide courier, and DAS leased space for the Ankeny facility (increased by 4% FY23).
CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
Obtaining funding continues to be a primary concern for SHL. Funding from all sources has not kept pace with increasing costs for staff benefits, reagents, and other supplies. An additional new challenge for FY24 will be that our current statewide courier contract ends July 2023 and the new courier selected via RFP bidding process indicates a substantial increase in expenditures. Recruiting and retaining staff as we move to a high through-put laboratory is critical. The job market for qualified laboratory staff is exceptionally competitive, thus it is imperative for SHL to be able to offer salaries that are comparable to other employers in the same job market. Retention is crucial to avoid the substantial cost of training new staff and avoiding the knowledge drain in the loss of highly qualified subject matter experts. Furthermore, a key strategy is for SHL to move to an updated LIMS system and obtain new instrumentations to increase testing capacity.
SHL is making multiple efforts to improve its financial position despite the funding challenges. SHL continues to work on opportunities for supply cost reduction and revenue enhancement for both fee-for-service testing and increased collaborative grant funding support