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2022 Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month Toolkit

Graphic that says "Celebrate our Public Health Laboratory Staff Superstars!"

Celebrate Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month this September with APHL! Each year we get excited for a full month of celebrating public health laboratory staff supporting newborn screening, environmental testing, foodborne illness outbreak detection, infectious disease testing, biological threat monitoring or so much more. Whether a microbiologist or chemist, an informatician or administrator, everyone deserves our appreciation! While we try to recognize the invaluable work performed at public health laboratories all year-round, we like to be extra vocal during Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month and we encourage our partners to do the same.

Below you will find tools and resources to help you celebrate Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month. Whether a lab director, a partner organization or an individual who just loves public health labs, there’s something here for everyone. Please share this post with others in your network!

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Which laboratories are “public health” laboratories?

When we say “public health laboratory” we mean local, state and territorial government laboratories whose primary focus is on the public’s health. That means local and state government environmental health, agricultural and food safety labs are also public health laboratories! They are all public sector laboratories focused on protecting the public’s health by testing human, animal and environmental samples to monitor for and detect health threats. Here are some graphics that you can share explaining what we mean when we say “public health laboratory” so that everyone feels included:

Is there a public health laboratory in my community?

Every state has at least one public health laboratory. Some states have more than one laboratory at the state level, and some also have local or regional laboratories. While not all public health laboratories in the US are APHL members, most are. So check out our member list and map to see what types of public health lab(s) are in your state or territory.

Celebrate Public Health Laboratory Staff

Public health laboratory staff work hard every day to keep their community safe from public health threats. Whether you are a microbiologist, an administrative assistant, a custodian, a chemist or hold any other job role, you are vital to ensuring the laboratory operates efficiently and effectively. You are appreciated and deserve to be celebrated!

Below are suggestions for laboratory leaders, laboratory staff, partners and community members. You will also find graphics that you are free to use on your own social networks along with some sample posts.

Ideas for Laboratory Leaders:

  • Create a video using online tools like Memento, Tribute or Vidday with messages of appreciation for your staff. Or have your staff make one for another lab!
  • Hold a virtual or in-person open house for media, elected officials, school groups, staff families and other members of the public. Help your community see the interesting and valuable work your team is doing to keep them safe and healthy.
  • Reach out to your agency’s public information officer and ask them to share posts of appreciation on social media! Sample posts and graphics are below.
  • Hold a Flat Labby t-shirt design contest! The Flat Labby Cool cut-out page has a blank t-shirt, so everyone can create a fun, one-of-a-kind logo or design! Get everyone involved and have a contest for the best shirt!
  • Invite staff to have a Flat Labby lunch or a break together! Coloring is a great way to relax and have some fun. Print these coloring pages, gather markers or other coloring tools, and invite staff to take a break with others around the lab!

Ideas for Laboratory Staff:

  • Sign up with Skype-A-Scientist to virtually connect with students to help them understand public health laboratory careers.
  • Take Flat Labby on some fun adventures around the lab or out on the town – here’s how! Print your own Flat Labby, take them with you, snap some pictures of your adventures, and share during Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month using #ThanksPHLabs and #FlatLabby.
  • Send a letter of gratitude to your staff, coworkers, family and friends. Here are some fun fillable letters for you to use or you can write your own:

Ideas for Partners and Community Members:

  • Contact the public health laboratory in your area and offer to send coffee, lunch, snack or other treats as a token of your appreciation. This list of APHL member laboratories is a great place to start.
  • Post on your social channels to let everyone know how appreciative you are of the work public health labs do every day to protect the community. Graphics and sample posts are below.
  • Send thank you notes to public health laboratories and encourage others to do the same.
  • Make a video sharing how much you appreciate public health laboratories and share on social media using #ThanksPHLabs! We will compile the posts and share with APHL member laboratories.

Sample Social Media Posts:

  • Public health laboratory teams often work behind the scenes but our appreciation for them should be front and center! #ThanksPHLabs for keeping our communities protected from health threats and making us all feel safe!
  • “You’re a shining star, that’s just who you are!” September is Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month, but we are grateful to public health lab teams year-round who detect health threats like COVID-19, rabies and more! #ThanksPHLabs
  • What is a public health laboratory? Who are these unsung heroes? Learn more: #ThanksPHLabs
  • Stars don’t just shine at night because all public health laboratorians are superstars! If you know someone who works in public health, shine a light of appreciation their way by using the hashtag #ThanksPHLabs
  • Remember the cough that canceled your vacation…for two years? Thanks to the work of public health laboratories, tests are conducted that cross human, animal and environmental health domains. Learn more #ThanksPHLabs

Stories to Share:

Downloadable Public Health Laboratory Appreciation Month graphics

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