COLA honors Sen. Mikulski with laboratory excellence award

Dec. 19, 2013

Richard A. Wherry, MD, Chair of the COLA Board of Directors, recently presented U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) with the organization’s Perry A. Lambird Memorial Excellence in Medicine Award at a meeting of the COLA Board of Directors.

Senator Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Congress, has represented Maryland since she was first elected to the U.S. House in 1977. She received the award from COLA for her leadership in the passage of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) in 1988, enacted by Congress in response to public concerns about the quality of laboratory testing. Senator Mikulski was a leading sponsor of the legislation, which brought all U.S. clinical laboratories under uniform regulations. This year marks the 25th anniversary of CLIA’s enactment.

The senator, who has also been an active proponent of newborn screening, Alzheimer’s research, and women’s health issues, is the seventeenth recipient of the national award, named for a COLA founder and leader. Past award recipients are Alan Nelson, MD, former president of the American Medical Association and World Medical Association; Isabel Hoverman, MD, MACP, the Chair of The Joint Commission’s Board of Commissioners; Representative Elijah Cummings (D-7th, MD); and former U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD. View a video of Dr. Wherry’s and Sen. Mikulski’s remarks at the award ceremony about CLIA and the quality of clinical laboratory testing.

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