State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) is established in Iowa Administrative Code to provide public health and environmental 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. Overall budget is $24.2 million, with the state portion comprising approximately $7 million, or 29% of the overall budget.
FY18 total projected reveue is $7,079,022:
- State appropriation - 62%
- Fee for service - 37%
- Indirect cost recovery - less than 1%
The FY 2018 state appropriation ($4,402,615) represents no change since FY 2014. FY18 budget dollars will fund support and administrative laboratory functions, as well as supplies and services.
Salaries: Salaries comprise 79% of the laboratory expenses. P&S staff salaries will remain flat in FY18. This is due to uncertain funding streams from federal pass-through grants, employee benefit rate increases, state budget reductions at our partner agencies, and a competitive fee-for-service market. Merit staff will receive the 1% contractual increase, which necessitates shifting existing P&S staff to other funding sources.
Supplies, Equipment, and Services: These expenses constitute 14% of SHL’s budget. They include reagents and consumables, instrumentation, service contracts, laboratory software, and the statewide courier.
CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
Continuity of funding continues to be a primary concern for SHL. Federal agencies that oversee programs that generate significant testing activity for SHL have the potential for significant budget decreases. The future of the Affordable Care Act, which contains substantial funding for public health laboratories, is in question. The State of Iowa has significant budget challenges that have resulted in cuts for key partner agencies and the University. SHL’s budget decreased $100,000 due to reduced indirect cost recoveries, which prompted reducing the budget for replacement of aging equipment. However, the demand for laboratory capacity and expertise to respond to current and future public health and environmental threats continues to grow.
SHL is working to further diversify funding sources and create new partnerships to mitigate these risks in both fee-for-service and grant sectors. SHL is actively pursuing cost reduction strategies, including workflow improvements, supply cost reductions, and staffing strategies.