Toxicology: Clinical & Forensic

The toxicology laboratory has provided clinical, emergency and forensic toxicology, ethanol and other volatiles testing, therapeutic drug monitoring, and medical legal services for the past 31 years. Formally established in 1970 to support the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office, the laboratory now supports 8 medical examiners or coroners offices in a five state region. The laboratory provides drugs of abuse testing for city, county, and state agencies, public and private industry, several emergency departments in the Twin Cities, athletic teams, half way houses, correctional facilities and drug courts. The laboratory also provides adult and pediatric lead screening programs.

General Lab Numbers Mailing Address Accreditation Certification
612-873-3018
612- 904-4435 (FAX)
Toxicology Laboratory
Hennepin County Medical Center
Clinical Labs MC 812
701 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415
College of American Pathologists - Toxicology (PDF)
American Board of Toxicology (PDF)
 
Staff
Fred S. Apple, Ph.D., DABCC
Medical Director
612-873-3324
612-873-2990
fred.apple@hcmed.org
Julie Kloss, MBA, MT (ASCP)
Supervisor


612-873-5606
612-873-3018
julie.kloss@hcmed.org
Toxicology Technical Staff
The technical staff are highly trained, with degrees in medical technology or biology and are certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists as Medical Technologists and the National Credentialing Agency, Inc. as Clinical Laboratory Scientists.
 

Accreditation

Toxicology Lab Staff Photo

The Toxicology Laboratory is certified by the College of American Pathologists for both the general lab and the Forensic Urine Drug Testing and the State of Minnesota for drug testing in the workplace. They participate in College of American Pathologists proficiency testing in general toxicology and Forensic Urine Drug Testing. In addition, the laboratory is certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, meeting the standards acceptable to the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) to provide forensic toxicology testing for medical examiner and coroners offices.

Services

The Toxicology laboratory provides a 24/7/365 full menu of services, from chain of custody specimen collection, secure transportation of specimens to the laboratory, drug screening and confirmation analytical services, verification of results by board certified scientists, and confidential reporting of findings. Specimens are collected daily for non-DOT collections only. All testing is performed on-site. The following reviews the comprehensive services provided.

The Toxicology Laboratory provides the following services:

  • Urine tests for drugs of abuse, including amphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (such as valium, Xanax), ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, heroin (6-MAM), LSD, marijuana (THC), methadone, opiates including oxycodone, phencyclidine or “angel dust”, propoxyphene, or any combination of these or other substances. Confirmation of presumptive positive screening results by GC/MS or LC/MS/MS.
  • Urine tests for pain clinic management, including amphetamine, benzodiazepines (such as valium, Xanax), buprenorphine, carisoprodol, cocaine, ethylglucuronide (ETG), fentanyl, heroin (6-MAM), methadone
  • Point of care test screening for immediate turn around times for amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine metabolite, opiates, PCP and THC
  • Blood ethanol medical-legal screening and confirmation analysis by gas chromatography, with additional tests available for acetone, ethylene glycol, isopropanol, methanol and propylene glycol.
  • Forensic testing, qualitative screening and quantitative analysis, for drugs in tissues and other body fluids, with an average turnaround time of two-weeks.
  • Professional consultative expertise providing extensive legal, medical, laboratory, and courtroom experience and expert witness testimony.
  • Complete documentation of chain of custody procedures that ensures results will withstand legal challenges.
  • Emergency qualitative screens and quantitative drug testing 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency rooms, clinical laboratories, physician offices, and clinics.
  • Comprehensive therapeutic drug monitoring for patients on medication.
  • Secure, certified testing facility, including specimen storage and record storage, to ensure confidentiality.
  • Quality control measures and proficiency testing for staff.
  • Computerized reporting and billing.
  • Competitive rates for professional services.

Toxicology Laboratory Education

Toxicology Lab Staff 2 Photo

The toxicology laboratory has provided educational opportunities and teaching expertise for since 1982.

Post-Graduate
Since 1982 the laboratory has trained over 80 laboratory medicine and pathology medical residents from both the Hennepin County Medical Center's and the University of Minnesota's residency programs, over 20 Forensic Pathology Fellows affiliated with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, and 13 PhD Postdoctoral Scientists affiliated with the University of Minnesota's Clinical Chemistry Fellowship Program, under the direction of Dr. Apple.

Undergraduate Level
Over 100 students from both the Schools of Medical Technology and Medical Laboratory Technicians have gained training towards their baccalaureate degrees in clinical and forensic toxicology.

Trainees
Individual trainees within the department have secured jobs ranging from Medical Examiners, Directors of Clinical Laboratories in Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology in hospitals and industry, research scientist positions, clinical laboratory managers, supervisors, medical technologists and technicians in hospitals, private reference laboratories, industry and research.