Conemaugh Health opens new molecular lab


JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ PLUS) — Conemaugh Health Systems held a ribbon-cutting today for their new molecular lab.

A new cutting edge molecular lab is helping cut down the time it takes to get testing results back for patients and also…

“For cancer, for infectious disease, for virology to be able to help diagnose patients quicker, get patients the care that they need faster and help reduce unnecessary procedures,” says Ashley Barrineau, Regional Product Specialist for Roche Diagnostics.

Barrineau says one of the machines, the Cobas 6800, can do even more.

“It runs testing for H.I.V., for Hepatitis B and C and it also does Chlamydia and Gonnorhea.”

Larry Koval, Administrative Lab Director for Conemaugh Health System, says this new technology is a lot different than what they’ve used in the past.

“Molecular testing had to happen in three separate rooms in order to not contaminate the specimen. This new technology does it all within the instrument itself.”

This helps bring assurance to patients.

“When our patients have testing done, they want the results back as soon as possible. The lane results create angst for our patients. They’re wondering what’s going on so providing fast turn-around time for results,” says Koval.

It allows some patients to even get results on the same day.

“They’re able to now produce results within 24 hours on a lot of these assays and get the results back to the physicians so that they can make quicker treatment choices with their patients,” says Barrineau.

The new lab has been in the works for more than three years and was funded by LifePoint Health, who donates hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout Johnstown for projects like these.

Today, that idea finally came to life.

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