The State Laboratory of Public Health provides certain medical and environmental laboratory services (testing, consultation and training) to public and private health provider organizations responsible for the promotion, protection and assurance of the health of North Carolina citizens.
Laboratory Director: Scott J. Zimmerman, DrPH, MPH, HCLD (ABB)
Assistant Director, Technical Services: Denise Pettit, PhD
Assistant Director, Operations: Michael Kaufman, M.A.
- Provide quality-assured laboratory services
- Assist other North Carolina laboratories in developing and strengthening their laboratory services
- Serve the entire state as a reference laboratory for difficult, unusual or otherwise unavailable laboratory procedures
- Serve as a resource of information on laboratory practice
- Test human and related animal specimens and environmental samples
- Assist in the development, evaluation, and standardization of medical and environmental laboratory testing procedures
- Participate in special studies and research projects
- Provide training, consultation and information updates, to improve and assure quality services in other laboratories
- Certify milk and water laboratories and milk analysts
4312 District Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
N.C. Courier MSC #1918
Federal EIN 562033116
Main Number (919) 733-7834
State Laboratory of Public Health
PO Box 28047
Raleigh, North Carolina 27611-8047
Official Business Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
After Hours and Emergencies
State Government Security: (919) 807-8900
Visitor parking is available on-site in front of the State Laboratory.
- Postal Services: Daily (Specimens arriving on weekends are refrigerated)The Laboratory does not accept "POSTAGE DUE" specimens or samples.
- UPS: Monday through Friday
- State Courier Service: Daily except Sundays
- Delivery in person: From 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Specimens/samples are delivered to the “Specimen Receiving and Drop Off” area adjacent to the facility Loading Dock (please follow signs); or after hours: specimens/samples are delivered to the same location (“Specimen Receiving and Drop Off”), but delivery personnel must notify on-site Capital Police for access to building via facility intercom.
- Samples or specimens needing microbiology examination for agents of bioterrorism (BT) must be delivered in person by law enforcement agents. Please call the Bioterrorism Laboratory at 919-807-8600 (24/7 number) prior to submitting/delivering samples.
- For samples or specimens needing chemical examination for agents of chemical terrorism (CT), please contact the Chemical Terrorism Laboratory at 919-602-2481 prior to submitting/delivering samples.
The Laboratory receives consultation on policy matters from the State Health Director, the Epidemiology Liaison Committee of the NC Association of Local Health Directors, Advisory Committees to Departmental Programs and the Directors of the Departmental Agencies.
Public health needs, available resources and whether or not the services are available from other laboratories determine services offered by the State Laboratory. Most public health programs are directed toward prevention of illness and require laboratory support for disease surveillance and diagnosis or monitoring and enforcement of environmental health programs. Some services are available only to Local Health Departments and State-operated health facilities.
Clinical specimens must be properly labeled. Every tube, vial, or other specimen container must be labeled with two identifiers (usually patient's name and date of birth). Unlabeled clinical specimens will be discarded. Use waterproof ink (unless otherwise indicated) to prevent smearing and washing off.
The State Laboratory, in collaboration with public health officials, reserves the right to decide whether or not to analyze samples or specimens. The Director or appropriate Unit Heads should be contacted before collecting or sending unusual numbers of specimens/samples (as in epidemics, investigations, or surveys). This is necessary in determining whether or not the specimens can be analyzed and for preparing to do so.
Specimens must be submitted through a local health department, physician or other authorized sender, as defined in the N.C. Administrative Code: 10A NCAC 42 (Laboratory Services).
Authorized sender of clinical specimens 10A NCAC 42A.0102(6) refers to any individual who, by virtue of a license to practice medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, etc. in the State of North Carolina, is authorized to manipulate a patient for the purpose of collecting blood, spinal fluid, and other body materials for analysis. It may also refer to an agency such as hospital, local health department, clinic, etc. which employs persons to perform such services under the direction of a licensed individual as described in this subsection. In some cases this is limited by program guidelines.
Authorized sender of environmental samples 10A NCAC 42A.0102(7) is any individual who has been designated by law, rules and regulations, or professional position to collect and submit environmental material for analysis. In some cases this is limited by program guidelines.
Private citizens are authorized to submit animals or animal heads for rabies examination 10A NCAC 42A.0105(b). The report of results is sent to the authorized sender of the specimen. Copies of laboratory results may be furnished to another authorized sender upon request of the actual sender Certain results are furnished to health programs for follow-up or epidemiologic purposes
Please direct general or policy questions, comments and suggestions, and feedback on State Laboratory services to the Director's office. Each unit may be contacted about specific problems or to obtain information concerning specific services, or explanation of results, etc.
The Laboratory recognizes its special relationship with local health departments. Laboratory Improvement provides consultation for laboratory services, management and technical operations of local health departments. On-site consultation can be arranged upon request by telephoning (919) 733-7186.
The Laboratory furnishes, free or at cost, mailers for collection and shipment of samples and specimens. These mailers are carefully selected by the Laboratory to meet U.S. Postal/DOT Service regulations, to minimize problems such as leakage or breakage and to identify the type of specimen or sample through color coding. Color coding speeds up the sorting and routing of hundreds of specimens and samples received daily Therefore, the Laboratory prefers receiving specimens and samples in these mailers. The mailers are not provided for shipping specimens or samples elsewhere.
The NCSLPH online supply ordering system must be used to order supplies. Some services of this Laboratory are mandated by the Legislature or other funding source to be provided to both public and private providers. Many are restricted by the Legislature, Department Programs, or other funding sources to local health departments and state-operated facilities. The latter does not include federally funded facilities, county facilities that are not part of the health department, or private facilities even if they serve some indigent patients. Some services are further restricted to certain patients seen in local health departments, such as: pregnant women, children of certain ages, patients with symptoms of certain conditions, etc.
Please, use the form appropriate to your facility. Even though a particular testing service may be available to facilities other than local health departments, the same supplies are not available to others. Certain funds are provided to the Laboratory by Department programs or the Legislature for the purpose of furnishing only to local health departments certain items at no cost or at a very low cost (state contract price or recovery of handling costs only) to support specific tests on particular patients.
Rabies Vaccine and Rabies Immune Globulin (RIG) are available to physicians and health departments. These items are very expensive and are not usually stockpiled by the end-user. The person ordering is financially responsible for the cost of the treatment. Once purchased, rabies treatment (vaccine and RIG) may not be returned for credit or refund. Prior to ordering vaccine, consultation with one of the authorized persons in the Communicable Disease Branch is highly recommended
Authorized Personnel-Rabies Treatment
Public Health, Veterinarian: 919-733-3419
The above personnel may be reached after hours, nights, weekends or holidays by calling 919-733-3419.
Shipment of rabies treatment is usually made by UPS or FedEx. In very rare emergency situations, it may be relayed by the State Highway Patrol. This method will not be used unless absolutely necessary.
The N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health does not supply antitoxin for treatment of botulism. The antitoxin is available only from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, and is released to physicians after consultation with a state epidemiologist or physician specialist on call to determine the validity of the diagnosis. To obtain antitoxin for treatment of botulism, contact Communicable Disease Branch (CDB), Epidemiology Section at 919-733-3419. This number is also used after hours, nights, weekends and holidays to reach the epidemiologist on call.
Accounts are maintained and invoiced per order for local health departments, hospitals and state-operated facilities. Prices for all laboratory supplies and biological products are updated as necessary and subject to change without notice.