Laboratory Services

The Mission of Laboratory Services is to provide high quality analytical services of medical and environmental testing and to achieve the Mission of the Department of Health.The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) Laboratory Services consists of the Microbiology Laboratories and Environmental Laboratories in Nashville and Knoxville. The central laboratory is housed in Nashville in a dedicated facility with state of the art equipment. The laboratory consists of 125 full time employees.The Microbiology Laboratories are licensed by the State of Tennessee Laboratory Licensing Service (LLS) and certified by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CLIA Laboratory Certificate of Compliance) to perform clinical testing. The laboratories perform a wide range of microbiological testing in the areas of Bacteriology, Molecular Biology, Environmental Microbiology, Mycobacteriology, Parasitology, Mycology, Immunoserology, Virology, and Newborn Screening. Laboratory Services is also the State Emergency Preparedness Laboratory for biological agents.The Environmental Laboratories in Nashville and Knoxville are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Each laboratory follows guidelines, regulations, and methodology as prescribed by the EPA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and other federal or state programs. The Environmental Laboratory consists of the Chemistry, Radiochemistry, Aquatic Biology, and Chemical Terrorism Laboratories. The Environmental Laboratories perform testing in support of other state departments such as the Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of Labor, and the Department of Transportation.

Objectives of Laboratory Services

  • To provide quality-assured microbiological and environmental chemistry laboratory services.
  • To assist other Tennessee laboratories in developing and strengthening their laboratory services.
  • To serve the entire state as a reference laboratory for difficult, unusual or otherwise unavailable laboratory procedures.
  • To serve as a resource of information on laboratory practice.
  • To test human and related specimens and environmental samples.
  • To assist in the development, evaluation, and standardization of medical and environmental laboratory testing procedures.
  • To participate in special studies and research projects.
  • To provide refresher training and information updates.