Former employee creates nonprofit to provide services lost in Metro Lab sale

MOLINE, Illinois  --  Quad Cities company, Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, also known as Metro Lab, sold to Laboratory Corporation of America, known as LabCorp. LabCorp will begin operations April 1st, 2019. The locations of the labs will not change, but some of Metro Lab's services will not be continued.

Metro Lab offers extended care services where they come to patient's homes and preform blood draws. These are for patients who are disabled, home bound, or have trouble getting out of their house. When LabCorp takes over, these services will no longer be offered.

"Patients are extremely upset," Lead in extended care department Pam Waugaman said. "We've had patients cry to our phlebotomist saying how sad they are that they aren't going to have this service. They don't know what to do."

Metro Lab's extended services provides care for many patients.

"Anywhere from 200 to 300 patients a week that are just home visits alone," Waugaman said.

Metro Lab extended care services employee Carla Downing decided to open a new non profit, Heart & Hands Home Draw, to provide the services patients would be loosing. She said this is a service that their patients can not live without.

"We'll do pretty much what we do at Metro," Downing said. "It works well."

Heart & Hands Home Draw will serve patients in Iowa and Illinois. Downing says she hopes to provide an easy transition to Metro Lab's current patients, so they do not loose any care.

"Anyone who needs healthcare and they can't get out, but they need a blood draw, then Heart and Hands can do it," Downing said.

Waugaman says without these home care services, many patients would just not get blood drawn anymore.

"A lot of the patients that we do have are on medications that need to have constant monitoring," Waugaman said.

Metro Lab donated their current home blood draw bags to Heart and Hands, but Downing says supplies will only last for a few months. She is asking for donations for the non-profit. The website can be found here.

Metro Lab's extended care services will end on March 29th, 2019. Downing plans to have Heart & Hands Home Draw running by April 1st, 2019.

LabCorp will take over all  six of Metro Lab's locations.

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