We pride ourselves on partnering with the State of Missouri and Local Organizations and Corporations to drive Wellness Initiatives
December 28th, 2021
Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonny Naqvi.
Hi Sonny, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
The prospect of AIM Laboratories came to mind fifteen years ago as I was developing an idea to create a holistic healthcare solution business. At that time, I recognized massive gaps in the flow of patient care when I was putting a plan into motion.
I’ve always been driven by personal relationships, so when I saw how very large laboratories had completely lost touch with the customer service aspect of their patient’s care, I knew I had to roll up my sleeves and find a way to help. To help amend this issue, we implemented the pillars that I was raised on into the core fabric of the business. Those pillars were built around compliance, customer service, rapid turnaround time, high-quality results, and last but not least, community outreach.
Fast forward to today, that same mantra is woven into all the amazing employees at AIM Laboratories. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, our team was truly put to the test. I’m proud to say that we all dug deeper than I think we knew we could to ensure that we kept the laboratory running at the highest capacity possible. As a result, we serviced a lot of phenomenal businesses in the St. Louis area.
Over the past year, we have processed over 1 Million Covid-19 RT-PCR tests in the state of Missouri. Furthermore, we are proud to announce that we will be continuing that support in The Show-Me State entering 2022. We were the only local laboratory awarded a contract with the state of Missouri to deliver continued services to support Covid-19 RT-PCR Testing.
Now, as travel is getting somewhat back to normal, we are currently taking reservations at (www.aimlaboratories.com/book-online) to ensure that travelers have their proper documentation and a negative Covid-19 RT PCR test to travel with ease. We are also scheduling appointments for anyone else that may require a Covid-19 RT PCR test, and are partnering with local businesses to test employees and avoid outbreaks in the workforce.
The beautiful thing is that we have developed an additional arrangement of PCR testing to support other healthcare functions, which include the following: Antibiotic Resistance Gene Panel, Urinary Tract Infections, Pharmacogenomics, Respiratory Tract Infections, Woman’s Health and Wound and Skin. Additionally, we have tested in Hematology & Urinalysis, Clinical Chemistry, Complex Chemistry (Immunoassay), Clinical Endocrinology & Hormone, Allergy Testing, and Toxicology.
We want to serve our mission to as many patients and providers as we have the capacity to support.
AIM Laboratories believes that every test counts, because every patient matters.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
To speak candidly, it has not been a smooth road over the last 15 years. These difficulties can be attributed to network coverage, which puts smaller labs at a huge disadvantage due to network providers awarding coverage only to the large laboratories. The result is a less than level playing field for the local labs like AIM Laboratories.
All our blood, sweat, and tears over the last 15 years have allowed us to build and maintain a network of customers that also are aligned with our mission and want the same quality and compliant service that AIM Laboratories provides.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We have one of the top research and development teams in the industry that is constantly working on ways to keep our laboratory services cutting edge, to ensure we can continue to provide the most current testing capabilities.
The AIM Laboratories team is always looking for ways to improve and partner with organizations, to ensure that we peer beyond our four walls to keep the door open for collaboration and continued success.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Our essential qualities are championed and led by passionate experts, quality testing, rapid turnaround times, met by unparalleled service and support.
AIM Laboratories Partners with Area Leaders to Launch Campaign To Address Vaccine Hesitancy in Disadvantaged Communities
Septemner 14th, 2021
St. Louis, MO – AIM Laboratories, a locally owned and operated diagnostics lab that has performed nearly 1 million COVID-19 tests in the St. Louis region to date, announced it has joined forces with healthcare organizations and community leaders to address vaccine hesitancy. The community outreach campaign, called STLVAX, which was kicked off at NAACP offices, Friday, Sept. 10., seeks to depoliticize the discussion and meet people where they are. “We have seen firsthand how this pandemic has adversely effected people of color and we wanted to be part of the solution,” said Sonny Naqvi, CEO of AIM Labs. “By working with city and county officials, as well as community clinics and the NAACP, we hope to build trust, present the facts, and ultimately increase vaccination rates.” In the city of St. Louis, where nearly half of the approximate 300,000 residents are African American, only 40.5% of residents have received at least one vaccine dose. Statewide, 45.5% of residents have received at least an initial shot, which significantly trails the national rate of 55.6%.
The community outreach campaign includes video testimonials by voices in St. Louis City and County, as well as ordinary residents, who tell compelling stories to help people overcome vaccine hesitancy. It also involves door-to-door canvassing in disadvantaged areas of the city and county where misinformation is leading to mistrust. AIM Labs has also providing a limited number of free COVID-19 antibody tests at health fairs and events throughout the city and county.
“It is essential that we approach people from a point of understanding, rather than judgement,” said John Bowman, head of the St. Louis County NAACP who is leading the canvassing effort. “This cannot be a top-down effort. We need to meet people where they are, explain the facts, and direct them to resources so we can all fully recover from this pandemic.” To learn more about the community outreach campaign, go to aimlaboratories.com/STLVAX or STLVAX.com.
AIM Laboratories Awarded State Contract to Serve Seven Veterans Skilled Nursing Facilities in Missouri
August 6th, 2021
AIM Laboratories, a locally owned and operated diagnostics lab that has performed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests in the St. Louis region to date, was recently awarded a 3-year contract by the State of Missouri to provide lab testing services for the Missouri Veterans Homes. The organization manages a total of 1,238 beds that provide long term skilled nursing care in compliance with 157 Federal Department of Veterans Affairs regulations. The homes are in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis, and Warrensburg.
“We are proud to be able to serve the men and women who have sacrificed so much to this country,” said AIM Labs CEO Sonny Naqvi. “This contract is a part of our ongoing mission to provide the highest quality lab testing services in the region.”
The selection criteria for the contract included overall reputation, proven performance on existing state contracts, and commitment to customer service, and rapid turnaround time. AIM Labs will provide blood testing services for Missouri veterans five days per week at each of the seven facilities. AIM Labs also provides COVID-19 testing and PCR-based testing for urinary tract infections and wound care.
“Our Real-Time PCR for UTI pathogen identification, quantification and detection of antibiotic resistance can help clinicians properly and quickly get patients on the right treatment the first time,” said Naqvi. “With this gold standard of testing, we can rapidly detect bacterial and fungal targets, eliminating the need for costly, inaccurate, or time-consuming follow up testing.”
AIM Laboratories Launches New Community Outreach Program at National Night Out in St. Louis
August 6th, 2021
AIM Laboratories, a locally owned and operated diagnostics lab that has performed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests in the St. Louis region to date, announced a new community outreach program at the National Night Out in Barrett Brothers Park near the intersection of Goodfellow Boulevard in North St. Louis. AIM Labs also provided free COVID-19 antibody tests at the event.
“I believe that increased access to lab testing is one of the foundations of healthier communities,” said Sonny Naqvi, CEO of AIM Labs. “COVID-19 has demonstrated how important lab testing is to overall health and wellness. That’s why we are investing more resources in education, awareness and lab testing services in underserved areas of St. Louis called MyAIM Health.”
Naqvi, along with his wife Sofi, who is COO for AIM Labs, talked with Mayor Tishauara Jones and other community leaders at the event about ways to improve community health through enhanced testing. AIM Labs also announced the appointment of Donnell “Malik” Sims as head of Community Outreach. Sims, who has deep connections with organizations who serve communities of color in the region, will work with area leaders to help educate, promote, and facilitate increased access to testing.
“I am tremendously excited to be a part of the AIM team and the MyAIM Health initiative. “I am looking forward to engaging with our leaders and community on a consistent basis.”
AIM Laboratories Signs Contract with State of Missouri to Provide COVID-19 Testing for Fulton Hospital
June 28th, 2021
AIM Laboratories, a locally owned and operated diagnostics lab that has performed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests in the St. Louis region to date, announced a new contract with the State of Missouri to provide COVID-19 testing for Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, MO.
“While there are good signs that the pandemic is subsiding, it is still essential to have a solid ongoing testing program for your employees,” said Sonny Naqvi, CEO of AIM Labs. “Our agreement with Fulton State Hospital is just one of several COVID-19 testing contracts we have been awarded by government agencies due to our rapid turn-around time and superior service and support.”
AIM Labs’ contract with the State of Missouri calls for testing all employees at Fulton State Hospital for COVID-19, with results returned within 24 hours. While it’s a one-year contract, it can be extended up to 3 years. Hospital employees are scheduled each week to come to our draw site, located at 500 Market Street, Ste 302, within the hours listed below:
Mondays, 8:30 – 9:30 am
Tuesdays, 3:00-8:00 pm
Wednesdays, 6:00 am-12:00 pm
Thursdays, 8:30 -9:30 am
Fridays, 8:30 – 9:30 am
Fulton State Hospital consists of treatment units for high and intermediate security patients (Nixon Forensic Center, 300 beds), individuals with developmental disabilities (Hearnes Forensic Center), and the Sexual Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services (SORTS) program (Guhleman Forensic Center).
AIM Laboratories Expands Testing Capability to Address New Variants of COVID-19 Virus
March 3rd, 2021
AIM Laboratories, a locally owned and operated diagnostics lab that has performed more than 300,000 COVID-19 tests in the St. Louis region to date, announced an expanded testing program that addresses variants of the virus that are threatening the pandemic recovery efforts.
“We have made great progress in fighting this pandemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives in our country, but now it is essential that we continue to be vigilant in our COVID-19 testing efforts,” said Sonny Naqvi, CEO of AIM Labs. “That means testing for the vast array of variants that are springing up.”
According to the CDC, there has been nearly 2,000 reported cases of COVID-19 variants across 45 states that include:
The United Kingdom (UK) variant called B.1.1.7 that began with a large number of mutations in the fall of 2020.
The South African variant called B.1.351 that emerged independently of B.1.1.7 and was originally detected in early October 2020. Cases caused by this variant have been reported in the US at the end of January 2021.
The Brazilian variant called P.1 that was first identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January. This variant was first detected in the US at the end of January 2021.
“It is very common for viruses like SARS-CoV-2 to undergo mutations over time,” said Dr. Vaka Reddy, PhD., VP of Molecular Diagnostics and Clinical Lab Director at AIM Labs. “We have deployed the most advanced PCR technology that detect these known variants and target them to counter their continued spread in the community.”
AIM Labs utilizes ThermoFisher’s TaqMan™ SARS-CoV-2 Mutation Panel capable of detecting up to five known COVID-19 mutations that are included in the most common variants, including: Del69/70, N501Y, P681H, E484K, K417N in the SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Reddy said that AIM Labs is also investing in new DNA sequencing technology that will be able to detect unknown variants as well.
Along with the expanded COVID-19 testing services, AIM Labs is bolstering its support of St. Louis area schools and businesses. Last month AIM Labs pledged 1,000 tests (approx. $100K) to organizations offering free test to the uninsured or underinsured and will now expanded that to 2,000 tests.
Sonny Naqvi and his wife, Sofi, who heads up operations for the company, have been passionate about fighting COVID-19 in the St. Louis Metro area. Their Bridgeton-based laboratory has provided hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 tests to nursing homes, schools, companies, healthcare providers and patients. Most of those tests have returned results within 48 hours, some within 24 hours.
“We see the person behind every test we do,” said Sofi, who carries her phone with her like a physician on call. “It’s important that we get results back quickly and accurately because they and their loved ones are waiting. Every second counts.”
AIM Laboratories, a locally owned and operated diagnostics lab that has performed more than 250,000 COVID-19 tests to date, announced a new program to support St. Louis area schools and businesses. Under the program, AIM Labs will pledge 1,000 tests (approx. $100K) to organizations offering free test to the uninsured or underinsured.
“We are all in this together,” said Sonny Naqvi, CEO of AIM Labs. “I have seen firsthand how this pandemic has ravaged peoples lives. This is just one way we can give back to the community we love and serve.”
Naqvi is passionate about fighting COVID-19 in St. Louis. He and his wife, Sofi Naqvi, who heads up operations for the company, have been working 20-hour days keeping up with the COVID-19 testing demand of their clients. Their Bridgeton-based laboratory is buzzing with activity, as scientists and laboratory technicians rapidly process COVID-19 tests within 48 hours for urgent care facilities, health systems, and businesses throughout the St. Louis region.
Naqvi said he invested in expanding the lab’s COVID-19 testing capabilities in March when it looked like the pandemic was here to stay for a while. “We expanded our equipment, people and processes in order to address community needs,” said Sonny. “We have been blessed to be able to serve, and just want to give back.”
In an era when large corporate laboratories have put pressure on locally owned labs, AIM Labs has thrived on providing a personal touch to its clients and their patients. “We see the person behind every test we do,” said Sofi, who carries her phone with her like a physician on call. “It’s important that we get results back quickly and accurately because they and their loved ones are waiting. Every second counts.”
Sofi said most of the COVID-19 tests AIM Labs performed are returned within 48 hours, and many are received within 24 hours.
AIM Labs offers a range of COVID-19 tests, including Nasopharyngeal swab, throat swab, lower nasal swab. The company plans to launch a combined COVID/Flu A&B/RSV test shortly. “We are in this for the long-haul,” said Sonny. “As long as this virus is here, we will be fighting it with everything we have.”
May 27th, 2021
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri officials have signed contracts with 11 private laboratories to help boost the number of tests for COVID-19.
Although the total cost of the ramped-up testing will depend on how many people are tested, the cost of each test ranges from $67 to $185, according to a review of the contracts.
Among the first agencies using the expanded testing capacity is the Department of Corrections, where 3,500 employees and prisoners at Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston and South Central Correctional Center in Licking will be tested in the first phase of a department-wide screening.
A second phase will focus on two more facilities.
“We now have the necessary number of supplies to be able to meet the needs for testing our entire division of adult institution staff and offender population, which is approximately 32,000 people,” Corrections Director Anne Precythe said.
Southeast has been the only prison in which a significant outbreak of the virus has occurred. Overall, 45 inmates and 27 workers, mostly at Southeast Correctional Center, have tested positive for the coronavirus. One inmate previously at the Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in St. Joseph died at a Kansas City hospital from complications from the disease.
The push to expand testing by Gov. Mike Parson’s administration was launched in April. At the time, Missouri had contracts with a small number of testing labs and also was using the state health department laboratory for testing.