UCSC’s Colligan Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory honored by Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley

samples being prepped for testing
The Colligan Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory was established to help the Santa Cruz community by increasing coronavirus testing capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and providing a quick turn-around of testing results for populations vital to the recovery of Santa Cruz. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

The Colligan Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory at UC Santa Cruz has been honored by the Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley with the 2021 Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare.

The laboratory was launched in May 2020 to provide COVID-19 testing services for the UCSC Student Health Center and other medical providers in the local community. After a rapid start-up in provisional laboratory space on the UCSC campus, the lab has since expanded its testing capacity and moved to a permanent location at UCSC’s Westside Research Park on Delaware Avenue.

Since 1999, the Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley has been honoring Phil Rather’s legacy of service to the community through the Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare. This year’s awards ceremony took place on Saturday, September 18, at the Seascape Golf Club. Awards were granted to those who made the most outstanding contributions to health in Pajaro Valley.

“We are pleased to celebrate these leaders who rose to the challenge and made a difference in the community,” said DeAndre James, executive director of the Community Health Trust. “These organizations and individuals are doing remarkable work, addressing challenges only magnified by the pandemic.”

CHT will be donating $500 grants on behalf of each of the awardees, to the charity of their choice. In addition to the Colligan Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory, awardees included Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan, Paulina Moreno, Paz Padilla, Erica Padilla-Chavez, Tamara Vides, and Nancy Faulstich. And receiving the first ever Phil Rather Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Healthcare, for a life and career devoted to creating health equity and wellness for all, Dr. Wells Shoemaker.

Founded in 1998 and serving a tri-county area, the Community Health Trust is recognized for its leadership as a convener in the South Santa Cruz County area. CHT is motivated to foster an equitable Pajaro Valley with health, wellness and a full quality of life for all through access to resources, activities, and choices that help prevent illness and improve quality of life.