Laboratory Corp of America Hldgs, founded in 1971, is an independent clinical laboratory company in the United States. Since the Company's founding, it has grown into a national network of 39 primary laboratories and over 1,750 patient service centers along with a network of branches and STAT laboratories (which are laboratories that have the ability to perform certain routine tests quickly and report the results to the physician immediately). Through its national network of laboratories, the Company offers a broad range of clinical laboratory tests that are used by the medical profession in routine testing, patient diagnosis, and in the monitoring and treatment of disease. In addition, the Company has developed testing operations, such as oncology testing, HIV genotyping and phenotyping, diagnostic genetics and clinical trials. Laboratory tests and procedures are used generally by hospitals, physicians and other health care providers and commercial clients to assist in the diagnosis, evaluation, detection, therapy selection, monitoring and treatment of diseases and other medical conditions through the examination of substances in the blood, tissues and other specimens. The Company believes that it competes favorably with its principal competitors in each of these areas and is currently implementing strategies designed to improve its competitive position. The Company's strategic plan continues to focus on three critical priorities: scientific differentiation, managed care, and customer service. The Company offers its services through a sales force focused on serving the specific needs of customers in different market segments. These market segments generally include Primary Care, Obstetrics-Gynecology, Specialty Medicine (e.g., Infectious Disease, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and Rheumatology), Oncology and Hospitals. The Company is subject to licensing and regulation under federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment and human health and safety and laws and regulations relating to the handling, transportation and disposal of medical specimens, infectious and hazardous waste and radioactive materials.