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Lab Services

Baystate Reference Laboratories (BRL) is Baystate Health's clinical diagnostic laboratory service, providing state-of-the-art, convenient pathology test/management services to physicians, hospitals, and other health care services throughout western New England.

Patient Service Centers

We have facilities that can take samples for laboratory testing and analysis throughout Hamden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. Find a location near you in our list of locations below.

Download and print a complete list of BRL locations, including hours of operations, by clicking here.

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Anatomic Pathology

This division of the laboratory is staffed by pathologists with a broad knowledge of general pathology, as well as subspecialty expertise in cytopathology, dermatopathology, gastrointestinal pathology, gynecological pathology, renal pathology, hematopathology, neuropathology, soft tissue pathology, hepatic pathology, pediatric pathology, breast pathology, pulmonary pathology, placental/fetal and perinatal pathology, genitourinary pathology and electron microscopy.

The laboratory provides routine and specialized Anatomic Pathology services and is divided into three sections:

  • Surgical Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Autopsy Pathology

Cytopathology

Robert Goulart, MD, Medical Director
Roxanne Florence, MD, Associate Medical Director
Jackie Cao, MD, PhD, Director of Molecular Cytopathology
Christine Germain, CT(ASCP), Manager
Karen Russett, CT(ASCP), Senior Cytotechnologist
Maryanne Hornish, CT (ASCP), MBA, Compliance/Quality Assurance Cytotechnologist
Paula LaPolice, CT (ASCP), Education/Instructor Cytotechnologist

A large nationally recognized laboratory with a focus on clinically-oriented service and diagnostic excellence, education, and translational research, the Cytopathology Service of Baystate Health routinely handles a great depth of specimen types. Liquid-based gynecologic specimens (Pap tests) are fully computer-imaged utilizing the ThinPrep Imaging System, with four tests available on a single Pap specimen vial (Pap test morphologic review, HPV DNA testing, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia screening). Modern ancillary techniques are readily available, including immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, molecular diagnostics, image analysis, and in-situ hybridization. 

Renal Pathology

Giovanna M. Crisi, MD, Ph.D., Director Jonathan K. Freeman, MD

Only pathology group in Western Massachusetts that provides complete onsite modality services for the diagnostic interpretation of renal biopsies. We evalute close to 300 diagnostic renal biopsies annually, performed at Baystate and several other regional hospitals. The biopsies are a mix of challenging medical cases as well as transplant cases. The pathology group provides diagnostic services for the largest group of renal and transplant clinicians in Massachusetts.

Our services include:

  • Histologic light microscopy evaluation.
  • Transmission electron microscopy.
  • Standard immunofluorescent techniques.
  • High quality immunohistochemistry performed on site for evaluation for polyoma virus and lymphoproliferative disorders.
  • Evaluation of C4d staining for renal allograft rejections available both in immunofluorescent and immunohistochemical techniques.
  • Frozen section diagnosis of renal biopsies available for immediate preliminary diagnosis.
  • Evaluation of permanent sections and immunofluorescence available within 12-24 hours.
  • Electron microscopy (most completed within three days).
  • Comprehensive reports that interpret all three modalities are available through our electronic information system throughout the medical system.

Electron Microscopy

Giovanna M. Crisi, MD, Ph.D., Director

Gretl Nunnemacher, Manager

Baystate Pathology Associates at Baystate Medical Center provides the only Electron Microscopy facility (EM) in Western MA and is equipped with an up-to-date EM laboratory, staffed by two highly experienced EM technicians with 60 years of combined experience at top level institutions. The services are used to study tissues at the ultrastuctural level, and provide essential information for the diagnosis of renal diseases, muscle diseases, ciliary abnormalities, metabolic disorders, microbial identification, skin diseases and tumor differentiation.

Hematopathology Services

Jonathan Freeman, MD, Director
Vandita Johari, MD, Pathologist

The Anatomic Hematopathology Service of Baystate Pathology Associates provides a comprehensive range of up to date, high quality diagnostic tests and services for the assessment of hematologic disease. Approximately 500 bone marrows and 300 lymph nodes and other non-marrow cases are interpreted annually. We perform all immunoperoxidase testing and interpretation onsite. We are also supported onsite by a high-quality flow cytometry lab for immunophenotyping, cytogenetics lab for karyotype analysis, and molecular diagnostics lab for PCR and FISH analysis.

Two board certified hematopathologists provide integrated diagnostic reports that are stored electronically and released as both a written report and incorporated into the patient's electronic medical record. Bone marrow biopsies are interpreted by a hematopathologists into a single comprehensive report synthesizing the interpretation of the core biopsy, clot prep, aspirate smears and peripheral blood smear. Additional studies such as immunoperoxidase stains and immunophenotyping are interpreted by the same hematopathologist and are incorporated into a single comprehensive report, with appropriate classification by WHO diagnostic criteria.


 

Breast Pathology Services

The Breast Pathology Service provides a range of up to date, high quality diagnostic tests, for the assessment of breast disease. Approximately 350 new cases of infiltrating and/or in-situ breast cancers (19% of total cancer patients) are diagnosed yearly, and about 80 new cases of atypical ductal hyperplasia and/or lobular neoplasia are also diagnosed each year.

Among the techniques available in the department are:

  • Breast Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), an active service of the cytology division of pathology with highly qualified cytotechnologists and board certified cytopathologists.
  • Histopathology of the breast including core needle biopsy and mammotome biopsy histologic evaluation, with double read of each tissue specimen by two pathologists.
  • Excisional biopsy and needle localization excisional biopsy histological evaluation with mapping of targeted lesions.
  • Sentinel lymph node assessment by standardized protocol.
  • Intraoperative sentinel lymph node cytologic evaluation.

Ancillary studies performed on a routine basis are immunohistochemical evaluation of hormone receptor status and evaluation of HER-2/neu overexpression. Chromogen in-situ hybridization (CISH) for evaluation of HER-2/neu amplification will be available in the near future. Flouescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) for evaluation of HER-2/neu amplification is done off site (Mayo Clinic).

Additional immunohistochemical studies that are available, but not routinely performed, include:

  • evaluation of other prognostic/predictive factors, such as Ki-67 (Mib-1) for proliferative index
  • epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and p53

In conjunction and in close collaboration with the Baystate Regional Cancer Program / Comprehensive Breast Center, a Multidisciplinary Breast Conference is held on a weekly basis, with participation from pathologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiotherapists, oncologists and plastic surgeons, to assess the therapeutic options available for each individual patient.

In conjunction and in close collaboration with the Baystate Regional Cancer Program / Comprehensive Breast Center, a Multidisciplinary Breast Conference is held on a weekly basis, with participation from pathologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiotherapists, oncologists and plastic surgeons, to assess the therapeutic options available for each individual patient.

Research

Breast Cancer Research is an active field of research in the Department of Pathology and part of the educational program. Staff research interests vary greatly from basic science research to translational research and clinical research with participation in local and national studies. The pathologists with breast research interests have received several grants including the Rays of Hope grant funding and Susan Komen grant funding.

The research is both Baystate Health based as Primary Investigator and/or performed in collaboration with other institutions, including University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, University of Massachusetts at Worcester, Harvard University and Albert Einstein University School of Medicine.

Clinical Pathology

The branch of pathology dealing with the study of disease and disease processes by means of chemical, microscopic, and serologic examinations. The departmental resources at BMC include a large open laboratory with modern instrumentation applying state-of-the-art techniques in all aspects of clinical pathology including, hematology and coagulation, microbiology, chemistry and flow cytometry. These laboratories are equipped for automation and robotics. Separate laboratories exist for transfusion medicine, immunology, molecular pathology and genetics. The department is staffed by pathologists/scientists with expertise in all areas of clinical pathology as well as molecular pathology and genetics. Accreditation Baystate Medical Center's Clinical Laboratory was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of the American Pathologists (CAP).

This program is the most respected and recognized laboratory accreditation program in the world and has long been considered the "gold standard" against which others are measured.

Clinical Chemistry

James H. Nichols, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB, Medical Director
Ronald Moccio, MBA, MT (ASCP), Manager
Claudia Chiapuzzi, MT (ASCP), Senior Technologist
Tina Hedeen, MT (ASCP), Senior Technologist
Jim Shields, C (ASCP), Senior Technologist

The Clinical Chemistry service offers a wide menu of over 200 different tests encompassing high-volume automated chemistry, endocrine, therapeutic drug monitoring, clinical toxicology, prenatal, point-of-care and other specialized testing. The Clinical Chemistry laboratory supports patient care through a focus on quality of results and test interpretation while sustaining clinical research and promoting medical education inlaboratory diagnosis and management. Between 1,500 and 2,500 specimens are analyzed each day (approximately 3.6 million tests a year) in a continuous 7 day-a-week/24 hour service. Total laboratory

automation instrumentation allows specimens to be processed, centrifuged, aliquoted, and analyzed without human intervention, reducing the probability of medical errors and increasing laboratory efficiency of medical technologist staff. More than 85% of the tests performed in this service are conducted through the automated systems including basic metabolites, enzymes, hormone, cardiac and tumor markers. Specialized testing utilizes cutting-edge and "gold standard", instrumentation for diabetic monitoring, overdose, drug monitoring, serum and urine electrophoresis, cystic fibrosis diagnosis, prenatal and preterm prognosis. Technical expertise is available 24 hours-a-day to discuss individual cases, practicle questions and as a clinical resource for patient care issues.

Hematology & Coagulation Laboratory

Vandita Johari, MD, Director, Hematology Laboratory & Flow Cytometry
Ronald Moccio, MBA, MT (ASCP), Manager, Hematology Laboratory
Cathy Jagodowski, MT (ASCP), Senior Technologist
Maureen Caraker, MT (NCA), Senior Technologist

This laboratory offers a wide menu of different tests encompassing high-volume automated hematology and coagulation tests, evaluation of urine and other body fluids, as well as specialized testing in coagulation, hemoglobin electrophoresis, and others. The hematology laboratory supports patient care through a focus on quality of results and test interpretation while sustaining clinical research and promoting medical education in laboratory diagnosis and management. Specimens are analyzed each day in a continuous 7 day-a-week/24 hour service.

State of the art instrumentation allows specimens to be processed, centrifuged, aliquoted and analyzed in a totally automated fashion, reducing the probability of medical errors and increasing laboratory efficiency of medical technologist staff. More than 85% of the tests performed in this service are conducted through the automated systems including CBC analysis with automated differential account.

Technical expertise is available 24 hours-a-day to discuss individual cases, practical questions, and as a clinical resource for patient care issues. Two board certified hematopathologists support the technical staff, review difficult cases and perform daily consultative services.

The Flow Cytometry Laboratory is part of the Immunology service of Baystate Reference Laboratories and provides important support for immunophenotyping of blood, bone marrow, lymph node, and other hematologic specimens, including fine needle aspirations. Two board certified hematopathologists provide interpretations of phenotype analysis which are reported directly in both written and electronic form, as well as incorporated into a comprehensive diagnostic report of related biopsy materials.

Immunology

Chester Andrzejewski, PhD, MD, Medical Director, Serology
Vandita Johari, MD, Medical Director, Flow Cytometry
JoAnn Blanchette, B.S., MLT(ASCP), C, I, SI, Manager
Laura Pearson-Smith, MT(HEW), MLT(ASCP), I, Senior Technologist

The Immunology Laboratory offers a wide variety of diagnostic tests to evaluate a multitude of rheumatologic and immunologic disorders. The Immunology Laboratory also performs immunophenotyping by flow cytometry for immunodeficiencies, leukemias, and lymphomas. Information about specific test methodologies or consultation is available from the section pathologists.



Molecular Pathology & Cytogenetics

The Molecular Biology Laboratory at Baystate Medical Center was created in 1994, in the Department of Pathology, to meet as growing demand for molecular diagnostic testing to:

  • Identify genes associated with inborn genetic diseases
  • Identify rare or unusual infectious agents
  • Characterize the alterations in specific genes associated with precancerous and cancerous tissues

Currently, Southern blotting methodology is used to detect the mutations and rearrangements of interest while techniques involving the polymerase chain reaction are currently being developed.

At Baystate Medical Center, the laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Cytogenetics & Immunology functions as an integrated unit of laboratory genetics in providing specialized diagnostic services. The laboratory handled 1,281 Cytogenetics tests and 4,521 Molecular tests in 2007.

Our Locations