It began as an idea in the mind of a medical student at Duke University. Later in 1969 that idea became a reality. In that year Dr. Jim Powell—with Ernie Knesel as the laboratory manager and Powell’s brothers, Ed and John, as coinvestors—started a medical testing laboratory in Burlington, a small North Carolina town.
As time passed, the company and its successors revolutionized medical treatment and assured millions of patients faster and more thorough testing to determine their health problems and how they should be treated. In the past it might have taken two weeks to get test results, often delaying treatment necessary for the patient’s well-being. This new company, however, soon made it possible—even in rural areas—to get sophisticated, state-of-the-art lab testing with twenty-four-hour turnaround, resulting in better medicine.
Today, that company, after internal growth and many mergers and acquisitions, is the largest of its kind in the world, serving millions of people not only in the United States but in several foreign countries as well. It is one of the few S&P 500 companies headquartered in North Carolina, and those facilities remain in Burlington. We now know it as LabCorp.