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On Rare Disease Day, Q4HE Collaboration Highlights Purpose in Action

On Rare Disease Day, Q4HE Collaboration Highlights Purpose in Action

Published 03-01-24

Submitted by Quest Diagnostics

A person looks through a microscope while a person in a white coat points to a screen
No-cost laboratory testing: Fourth-year dental student, Tyesha Younger MS, and Mark Mintline DDS diagnose a case of pemphigus vulgaris as part of the Biopsies Save Lives program.  Photo credit: WesternU

In honor of Rare Disease Day on February 29, we’re highlighting a program dedicated to diagnosing and treating patients in underserved communities in Southern California affected by the rare autoimmune diseases pemphigus and pemphigoid, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Last year, we announced that Quest Diagnostics teamed up with Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) to offer no-cost diagnostic testing services to support Biopsies Save Lives as part of the Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative. The program offers no-cost testing to patients who are low-income, uninsured, and/or underinsured and who also have rare erosive and blistering diseases, and enables faster diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

Since the collaboration between Q4HE and WesternU started, the Biopsies Save Lives program has helped lead to the potentially life-saving diagnosis of 3 patients affected by these rare diseases.

“We are very thankful to Quest Diagnostics and their Quest for Health Equity initiative for supporting the Biopsies Save Lives program,” said WesternU Health Oral Pathology Laboratory Director Mark Mintline, DDS. “Biopsies Save Lives breaks down financial barriers to laboratory testing and turns the scariest part of healthcare—waiting for results from a potentially life-changing test—into one that is most welcoming, supportive, and educational. The no-cost laboratory testing that Quest is providing has been critical for our patients, and the support has been a blessing for underserved communities with erosive and blistering diseases in Los Angeles County.”

Biopsies save lives

Through Biopsies Save Lives, patients better understand their blistering diseases, how to ask their providers questions, and are connected to expert dermatologists.

“This is a great, real-world example of how we are working together to create a healthier world, one life at a time, and highlights the positive impact our work has on patients,” said Cynita Smith-Watson, Senior Manager, Regional Contracting for Q4HE.

Rare Disease Day is an observance held on the last day of February to raise awareness of rare diseases and improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families.

To learn more about the Biopsies Save Lives program, visit

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Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. 

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