(Albuquerque, New Mexico) – September 10, 2018 - TriCore Reference Laboratories, New Mexico's homegrown clinical laboratory, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

TriCore Reference Laboratories was formed in 1998 by a merger of The Reference Laboratory with the hospital laboratories of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Presbyterian Healthcare Services. This unique collaboration gave rise to a laboratory which provides a comprehensive menu of laboratory services, including routine as well as highly complex testing.

TriCore's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Crossey, was part of the group of New Mexico pathologists who led the movement in 1998 to collaborate, instead of compete, to create a shared clinical laboratory. He recalls, "The impetus for forming TriCore was to consolidate laboratory expertise and resources for the best quality and efficiency possible, while keeping testing here in the state. At the time, we were sending 30% of the testing out, meaning your test was performed in Texas or Colorado or California or even New Jersey. Today we send out less than 2%. Testing is staying in New Mexico, closest to the patient, and being performed by New Mexico laboratory professionals."

Since 1998, TriCore has grown from 500 employees to over 1300, making it one of New Mexico's top employers. TriCore employees serve patients in New Mexico's three largest hospital systems, as well as physician's offices throughout the state. Since 1998, the organization has grown from performing approximately 3 million tests a year to over 11 million tests today, and operates out of over 70 locations, including a state-of-the-art core lab facility in Albuquerque, 14 hospital labs, as well as branch labs, clinics and patient care centers throughout New Mexico.

Dr. Doug Clark, Chair of TriCore's Board of Directors, says "TriCore has proven to be an integral part of our healthcare ecosystem. Not only does it touch patients directly, but TriCore continues to support research, education and economic growth in our state."

Of the 20th anniversary, Dr. Crossey says, "We want to thank our employees, our patients, our healthcare partners and our community for 20 years of trust and support. Healthcare is a volatile environment and there is a lot of work to be done. TriCore's future is to maintain an active role in improving care for New Mexico patients and populations."

TriCore recognizes its 20th anniversary from now through December with a Defenders of Health campaign which celebrates its exemplary employees and the communities they serve. Group educational tours of TriCore's core lab facility are offered by appointment. Please contact communications@tricore.org for more information.

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