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Labs Are Vital(TM) Announces Winners of 2009 National Video Contest to Highlight Careers in Lab Sciences

CHICAGO, July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Labs Are Vital(TM) today announced that a 2009 high school graduate from northern California, Kelly Peterson, is the grand prize winner of its national video contest. High school students around the country submitted their views on video about why careers in the clinical lab sciences are vital.

Labs Are Vital is a global program sponsored by Abbott to increase awareness about clinical laboratory sciences and career opportunities in this important field. In collaboration with Channel One Network, Michigan State University, Diagnostics Detectives, America's Blood Centers and My Blood Your Blood Programs, Labs are Vital solicited submissions for the contest on the Web page. Content submissions were judged by an independent panel representing the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), and American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

Peterson was awarded $2,500 by ASCP for her first-place video. Her production aired on the Channel One Network, reaching more than 2.2 million students in high school classrooms around the country with a message about the importance of laboratories and careers in lab sciences. Labs Are Vital also awarded two runner-up prizes of $1,000 (funded by APHL and ASCLS) to Megan Dougherty, a high school freshman from eastern Oklahoma; and to a biology class at East Oktibbeha County High School in Crawford, Miss.

"The video contest demonstrates that high school science students are beginning to understand the importance of careers in clinical laboratory sciences," said Denise Brunner, Abbott's Labs Are Vital program manager. "We hope many will answer the call and help alleviate the global shortage of qualified laboratory scientists and technicians."

About Labs Are Vital(TM)

Labs Are Vital is a multi-pronged, multi-year, global education and awareness initiative designed to highlight the critical role that laboratory professionals play in health care and to address the issues facing laboratories today. The program, which includes a public awareness campaign, advocate development initiatives and a variety of Web-based resources for laboratory professionals with almost 7,000 registered supporters in the United States, focuses attention on the life-saving work medical laboratory scientists provide that aid in diagnosing disease and improving health outcomes.

Labs Are Vital also continued its commitment to help prepare students for careers in clinical laboratory science by maintaining donated diagnostic instruments, supplies and service for 50 clinical laboratory education programs across the United States.

For more information on Labs are Vital, or to view the winning videos, visit

About Abbott Diagnostics

Abbott Diagnostics is a global leader in in vitro diagnostics and offers a broad range of innovative instrument systems and tests for hospitals, reference labs, blood banks, physician offices and clinics. With more than 69,000 institutional customers in more than 100 countries, Abbott's diagnostic products offer customers automation, convenience, cost effectiveness and flexibility. Abbott has helped transform the practice of medical diagnostics from an art to a science through the company's commitment to improving patient care and lowering overall costs. The history of Abbott Diagnostics is filled with examples of first-of-a-kind products and significant technological advancements, including the development of the very first diagnostic test to detect HIV.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at

Labs Are Vital is a trademark of Abbott Laboratories.

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