The Department of Health Laboratory provides a wide range of test services such as clinical microbiology, rabies, drinking water, radiochemistry, blood lead and forensic toxicology. As a part of our Health Surveillance Division, the Laboratory also supports core environmental and public health activities including: disease prevention, control and surveillance; environmental health and protection; laboratory improvement and regulation; food safety; and emergency response.
The Laboratory is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) for clinical testing by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) for drinking water analyses.
To be the most Innovative, Quality-Focused, Customer-Oriented Public Health Laboratory.
To promote health and prevent disease by providing:
- Quality Analytical Services
- Leadership in Laboratory Science
- Support to Public Health and Environmental Activities
Public health laboratories provide life-critical services. When new health risks emerge or well-known problems reoccur, public health laboratories analyze the threats and provide the information with which health authorities, first responders, and other officials mount an effective response to protect citizens.
While private medical laboratories perform tests to diagnose problems afflicting individual patients, public health laboratories are engaged to safeguard entire communities. Across the nation, public health laboratories:
- monitor communities for pathogens that spread in food or through contact with people or animals.
- screen 97 percent of the babies born in the US for potentially life-threatening metabolic and genetic disorders.
- perform almost all testing to detect and monitor newly emerging infectious diseases like West Nile virus, SARS and Avian Influenza.
- test drinking and some recreational water for bacteria, parasites, pesticides and other harmful substances.
- rapidly identify suspect agents, as in 2001 when public health laboratories tested over 1,200 specimens a day during the anthrax attacks, ultimately conducting over one million laboratory analyses.
Read more about public health laboratories: Defending the Public’s Health (pdf)
Provides chemical analyses for public and private drinking water supplies (including radiochemical), analytical support for Vermont Yankee monitoring activities, test data interpretation, public health emergency chemical laboratory response for environmental samples (e.g. drinking water tampering incidents, floods, radiological), and certification of drinking water testing laboratories.
Provides a broad range of testing services to diagnose diseases of public health importance including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, tuberculosis, influenza, rabies, hepatitis B & C, foodborne illnesses. Specific laboratories within microbiology include: molecular biology, mycology, water bacteriology, parasitology, bacteriology, mycobacteriology, virology, and serology.
The Microbiology Program also provides training and consultation, and support of epidemiological investigations, public health surveillance, and other public health responses (including bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and naturally occurring emergencies such as floods).
Provides analytical services in blood lead, urine drug, and special toxicology such as testing for blue-green algae toxins. The program is responsible for responding to chemical events that involve testing of clinical specimens for chemical terrorism or environmental toxins.
Vermont Laboratory Response Network (LRN)
The national Laboratory Response Network consists of local, state and federal public health, clinical, agricultural, veterinary, and environmental testing laboratories. The LRN is designed to provide a coordinated and rapid response to biological and chemical terrorism, emerging infectious diseases, and other public health emergencies. The Vermont LRN works to coordinate biological and chemical LRN activities within the State of Vermont between the Health Department and its partners, including first responders, law enforcement and other state and federal public health entities. The Vermont LRN assists hospital sentinel laboratories by providing training and support in specimen collection, storage, and shipment, evidence-control measures and recognition of chemical and biological terrorism agents. The Vermont LRN maintains an integrated laboratory network and promotes statewide laboratory connection and communication.
- (800) 660-9997(In Vermont)
- (802) 863-7335 (Voice Menu)
- (802) 863-7336 (Customer Service)
- (802) 863-7632 (FAX)
- Kit Ordering: (802) 863-7560
Vermont Department of Health Laboratory
PO Box 1125
Burlington, VT 05402-1125
Location and Shipping Address
Vermont Department of Health Laboratory
195 Colchester Avenue
7:45am - 4:30pm Monday - Friday
Closed Holidays. Click to view holidays.
Directions to Health Department Laboratory
From Interstate 89:
- Exit at 14W – Burlington
- Merge onto Route 2 W
- Bear RIGHT at third light onto East Ave.
- Follow East Ave. straight through light at hospital entrance
- Turn LEFT into Lab parking lot before the light at the intersection of
East Ave. and Colchester Ave.
- 195 Colchester Avenue, Burlington VT (Google Maps)