State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) is established in Iowa Administrative Code to provide 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 Public Health, 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. Overall budget is $23.7 million, with the state portion comprising approximately $6.5 million, or 27.5% of the overall budget.
FY 2020 total projected reveue is $6,531,783:
- State appropriation - 66%
- Fee for service - 33%
- Indirect cost recovery - less than 1%
- Interest - less than 0.1%
The FY 2020 state appropriation ($4,297,032) is unchanged from last year, following a 2.4% decrease from FY 2018. SHL’s appropriation had previously been unchanged since FY 2014.
FY 2020 budget dollars will fund laboratory support and administrative functions, infrastructure, supplies, and services.
Salaries: Salaries comprise 79% of the laboratory expenses. Clinical faculty and P&S staff will receive a 2.1% salary increase in FY 2020. They received a 1% raise in January 2019 after receiving no raises in FY 2018. Merit staff will receive the 2.1% contractual increase.
Supplies, Services, and Rentals: These expenses constitute 21% of SHL’s budget. They include reagents and consumables, service contracts, laboratory software, services, the statewide courier, and DAS leased space for the Ankeny facility.
CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
Continuity of 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. Laboratory testing technology is changing rapidly and is increasingly expensive. Continuing to provide a high level of service to Iowans while also being able to invest in instrumentation that positions SHL for future growth is a key challenge.
SHL is making multiple efforts to improve its financial position despite funding challenges. To reduce costs, SHL completed the furloughs of 11 P&S staff members in FY 2019. Work continues on opportunities for supply cost reduction and revenue enhancement for both fee-for-service testing opportunities and increased collaborative grant funding opportunities.