CHI St. Joseph Health Receives State Grant To Expand Coronavirus Testing Capabilities

CHI St. Joseph Health has received an $8.6 million dollar state grant to increase the amount of coronavirus tests that are processed in their Bryan lab.

Chief operating officer Ricardo Diaz says the grant will increase the number of tests they process from between 300 to 500 tests per day to as many as 3,000 a day.

Diaz says that will reduce the time in getting test results in 24 to 36 hours instead of between three to five days

St. Joseph is in the process of hiring 30 more people and creating new lab space that will open by mid-December.

Diaz says the grant also means processing coronavirus tests from around the state.

Click below for comments from Ricardo Diaz, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.

Listen to “CHI St. Joseph Health receives an $8.6 million dollar grant to expand coronavirus testing capabilities” on Spreaker.

News release from CHI St. Joseph Health:

St. Joseph Health recently received a grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to support increased COVID-19 testing for our community.

The $8.6 million grant allows St. Joseph Health to hire additional laboratory staff and purchase equipment specifically for COVID-19 and flu testing. This new equipment is currently the most accurate
test method available for COVID-19.

“We’re thankful to continue to be in a position to support our community during this pandemic and are grateful for the many community partnerships that allow us to do that. This project in particular was
made possible through the collaboration of our partnerships with Texas A&M Health Science Center and the Texas Department of State Health Services,” said Theron Park, President and CEO of St. Joseph
Health. “Through community relationships and innovative thinking such as this project, we are even more prepared to care for those in our community as we move into the winter months and flu season.”

This equipment allows St. Joseph Health to increase daily testing capacity to up to 3,000 tests per day, should the need in our community arise. With this potential increase in testing, St. Joseph Health is also looking to hire up to 30 medical technologists and non-technical staff to support the efforts to serve the COVID-19 testing needs of our area.

Medical Technologists perform COVID-19 testing, as well as other laboratory tests in a clinical setting. Non-technical staff accession samples into our electronic medical records system, sort samples, and
prepare samples for testing. Interested applicants are asked to visit https://careerscommonspirit.icims.com/jobs/ to learn more.

This new equipment also allows the St. Joseph Health laboratory services team to respond with test results much more quickly – in 24 to 48 hours – rather than the 3 – 5 days it has taken in the past.

St. Joseph Health continues to look for opportunities to support residents of the Brazos Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic and the approaching flu season. This is new equipment and additional staff are
huge investment that CHI St. Joseph Health is making towards that effort.