The story of CPL begins on the first of May, 1948. On that day
the first pathologist to practice in Austin, Texas, Charles F.
Pelphrey, M.D., opened his practice in a 400 square foot apartment
not far from the University of Texas campus. At the time, there was
no independent laboratory in Austin; even the two local hospitals
at the time did not have laboratories. Prior to May 1, 1948, if a
physician in Austin needed a laboratory test on his patient, he had
to do it himself. That is, until Dr. Pelphrey opened his practice.
Offering tests like thymol turbidity, BMR , Wasserman test and
whole blood glucose, Dr. Pelphrey set the tone for what was to
become the largest pathologist owned laboratory in the United
States. To this day, CPL follows the pioneering philosophy of Dr.
Pelphrey: Serve the medical community with the highest
quality laboratory services catering to the individual needs of
independent practicing physicians.
As medicine progressed over the ensuing decades, Dr. Pelphrey's
practice grew to the point that, by the time of his retirement in
1981, CPL had become a six-man practice serving central Texas. But
the decade of the 1980's brought much change to American medicine,
with the advent of managed health care and the corporatization of
laboratory services. CPL faced the same pressures that most
pathology practices faced at the time, but instead of selling out
to the corporate-run laboratories, CPL re-organized and separated
the laboratory from the pathology practice in 1990. That set the
stage for CPL's expansion beyond the Austin metropolitan area and
the operating philosophy that has served us well since then.
Through a combination of our historical approach to laboratory
medicine, partnering with local pathologists in
the communities we serve, and integrating strategic acquisitions of
like-minded laboratories, CPL grew steadily through the 1990's, to
serve most of the population centers in the state of Texas by the
end of the decade.
In 2002, CPL began offering laboratory services to the
physicians of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Our reputation
continued to grow as a high quality medical laboratory, run by
pathologists offering highly personalized service dedicated to the
needs of individual physicians, in contrast to the
one-size-fits-all approach of the nationwide laboratories.
We were presented with a singular opportunity in 2005 to join a
liked-minded organization dedicated to the same goals and
principles as CPL. Sonic Healthcare, Ltd, of
Sydney, Australia, proposed a merger, and CPL is now part of the
Sonic Healthcare federation of laboratories. Our shared values and
operating philosophies of medical leadership, personalized service
to physicians, and a commitment to the highest quality laboratory
testing, make this alliance a natural and seamless fit.