JACKSON, Miss. – The new Mississippi State Public Health Laboratory currently under construction will now bear the name of the health official who pushed for its completion – former State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson.
A resolution requesting the state legislature name the laboratory after Dr. Thompson was passed by the Mississippi State Board of Health in October, and the accompanying legislation, Senate Bill 2524, was signed into law by Gov. Haley Barbour on Tuesday.
Dr. Thompson served as State Health Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) from 1993 to 2002 and was named Interim State Health Officer in July 2007. He was later reappointed to the permanent position of State Health Officer in December 2007. Dr. Thompson also served as State Epidemiologist from 1983 to 1993. He passed away December 1, 2009, after a long battle with cancer.
Dr. Thompson is remembered as a longtime, dedicated public health servant and was recognized for his expertise and leadership in the advancement and promotion of public health in Mississippi and throughout the nation.
The new $25 million laboratory will be 60,000 square feet, twice the size of the current lab, originally built more than 50 years ago. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment in the new facility will allow the agency to efficiently detect infectious diseases, identify harmful environmental contaminants, and rapidly respond to biological terrorism agents.
Construction of the Dr. F.E. "Ed" Thompson, Jr. State Public Health Laboratory is slated for completion in the fall.
For more information on laboratory services or photos of construction progress of the construction, visit www.HealthyMS.com/phl.