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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Houston VA Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Receives Accreditation From CAP

February 8, 2011

HOUSTON – The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent on-site inspection.

Adam C. Walmus, MEDVAMC director, was advised of the national recognition and congratulated for the "excellence of the services being provided." The MEDVAMC Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is one of the more than 7,000 CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide.

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program. It is the most respected and recognized laboratory accreditation program in the world and has long been considered the “gold standard” against which others are measured.

Inspectors examine the records and quality control of the laboratory for the preceding two years, as well as the education and qualifications of the staff, the adequacy of the facilities, the equipment, safety program, and laboratory management. This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients.

“I am very proud of the job that the pathology and laboratory medicine staff does here at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. They are very dedicated and we take seriously the job of serving those who have served our country,” said Michael M. Ittmann, M.D., Ph.D., MEDVAMC Pathology and Laboratory Medicine chief.

CAP is a medical society serving more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.

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Awarded re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2008, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 120,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery, gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases. The MEDVAMC is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; an award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; VA Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; VA Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; VA Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; and one of the VA’s six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, and Richmond, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged more than one million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2010. For the latest news releases and information about the MEDVAMC, visit www.houston.va.gov.