The BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory is the primary public health and reference diagnostic testing facility for BC.
The laboratory is also nationally recognized for its public health leadership, regularly conducting nationally funded research, and playing a leadership role in such areas as drinking water, molecular microbiology, influenza and health care acquired infections.
All clinical faculty members have teaching commitments, some at the leadership level, for undergraduates, graduates and post-graduates; members actively participate in the UBC medical microbiology residency training and as well compete for and obtain external grant funding.
The BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory is responsible in British Columbia for:
- Communicable disease surveillance prevention and control
- Outbreak and emergency response to communicable diseases
- Environmental health and food safety
- Reference, specialized and diagnostic testing
- Biosafety and Containment Level 3 programs
- Integrated communicable disease data management
- Public health policy development and evaluation
- Laboratory improvement and regulation (Quality Assurance)
- Training and education of health care and public health workers
- Public health related research
Drinking water testing is regulated in each province. In BC, environmental laboratories performing microbiological tests on drinking water samples from small to large water systems for public health purposes, must meet the requirements set out by the British Columbia Drinking Water Protection Act and Regulation.
The program acts on behalf of the province of BC in partnership with Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing to recommend laboratory approval for drinking water testing.
The program reports to the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall.
The program serves the drinking water programs of the geographical health authorities.
All programs in the laboratory are internationally accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).