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 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.
FY 2023 projected revenue is $6,581,698
State appropriation – 73%
Fee for service testing – 26%
Indirect cost recovery – less than 1%
Interest – less than 0.1%
The FY 2023 state appropriation ($4,822,610) is unchanged from last year.
FY 2023 budget dollars will fund laboratory support and administrative functions, infrastructure, supplies, and services.
Salaries: Salaries comprise 77% of the laboratory expenses. Clinical faculty and P&S staff will receive on the average 3% salary increase in FY 2023, however due to increase in fringe rates of 4% funding covers less FTE’s than FY2022. Merit staff will receive the 1.1% contractual increase, however due to increase in fringe rates of 3% funding covers less FTE’s than FY2022.
Supplies, Services, and Rentals: These expenses constitute 23% 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
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. 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.