The ASCLS Connection:

Sharing our Voice, Value & Vision

The ASCLS Connection:
The ASCLS Connection is the official blog for the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. This blog will serve as a source for important society information as well as an opportunity to hear the opinions of members. We will be provide regular updates on state news, committees, upcoming events, member highlights, and provide-the-face moments. Members are encouraged to submit posts on topics. To do so, you must be logged in to the website, then click on "Member Blog" to start your own article or "Leave Comment" to comment on an existing article. We hope you will enjoy this new form of communication and look forward to any feedback!

Society News Now, Special Edition, February 9, 2016

on Wednesday, 10 February 2016. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

SNN Header

SPECIAL EDITION  February 9, 2016


The Board of Directors of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) is pleased to announce the selection of James Flanigan as ASCLS Executive Vice President to succeed Elissa Passiment, who announced her pending retirement earlier last year.

James “Jim” Flanigan, CAE comes to ASCLS from the Society of Critical Care Medicine, where he was the Director of Marketing.  He is the chief revenue officer responsible for generating nearly 80% of the Society’s gross income through program and product marketing and membership programs as well as institutional and international sales and industry relations. 

Prior to joining the SCCM staff, Jim served as Director of Marketing for the American Veterinary Medical Association where he oversaw the association’s member, market and economic research as well as the AVMA’s public education campaigns and association-wide branding.  He is a 26 year veteran of the association management profession and a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications.

He received his Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2013. 

Jim and his wife Kris have two sons.  He and his family, which includes two cats, live in Carol Stream, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago.

Jim will be joining ASCLS March 1, 2016.  Elissa will team with Jim for a yet-to-be-determined period of transition.

The Board of Directors would like to thank the EVP Search Committee for their dedication during the search process.

Of course, the Board would also like to acknowledge Elissa’s dedication during her almost 21 years of service to ASCLS as our EVP and for her prior service as a Past President and member.  Elissa stated that she is looking forward to attending a national meeting with husband Joe and having time to socialize!

Barbara Snyderman


Dr. Tim Randolph receives the Alumni Humanitarian Award from the University of Illinois Springfield

on Monday, 14 December 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

Tim Randolph UIS 2015 Humanitarian

The University of Illinois Springfield honored the significant contributions of Dr. Tim Randolph during the university’s annual Alumni Gala on Friday, November 6, 2015 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Dr. Randolph was honored with the Alumni Humanitarian Award for significant contributions of leadership or service to improve the lives of others and the welfare of humanity.

Dr. Randolph received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology 1983. He is a tenured associate professor and chairman of the department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Doisy College of Health Sciences, at Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center. He is also founder and President of Randolph World Ministries, Inc., a medical mission ministry that establishes and develops medical services in existing clinics in Haiti.

Randolph World Ministries provides a full range of medical services to over 20 Haitian clinics by offering training, materials, consultation, and personal visits to each facility; conducting mobile clinics in remote areas of Haiti where healthcare is unavailable; developing and implementing small business start-up companies to elevate individual families and grow a local economy; providing emergency relief following natural disasters and other types of urgent needs.

Prior to his work with Randolph World Ministries, Dr. Randolph was employed as a medical technologist at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. While earning his doctorate degree from Warnborough University, he developed a new diagnostic test for sickle cell anemia to be used in developing countries – a test which earned a U.S. patent.

A bizarre case of tapeworm-derived cancer causing cancer-like tumors in a Colombian man – Behind the scene story of the lab investigation

on Thursday, 10 December 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

A bizarre case of tapeworm-derived cancer causing cancer-like tumors in a Colombian man – Behind the scene story of the lab investigation

A bizarre case of tapeworm-derived cancer causing cancer-like tumors in a 41-year-old Colombian man has got lot of media attention recently and emphasized again the role of laboratory analysis in complex case investigations. “The key for the diagnosis of this unusual case was combined use of various laboratory techniques – conventional pathology and advanced molecular biology, and synergy among clinicians, pathologists and lab scientists to solve this mystery,” said Dr. Julu Bhatnagar, Ph.D., one of the primary authors of the report published in the November 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Team Lead of the Molecular Pathology Section in CDC’s Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch (IDPB).

In 2013, doctors in Colombia asked CDC to help diagnose biopsies with strange pattern from lung tumors and lymph nodes of a HIV positive man who was non-adherent to therapy. The man presented with fatigue, fever, cough, and weight loss of several months' duration, and lung, liver and adrenal nodules and enlarged lymph nodes. “Initial histopathological analysis was very puzzling, as the growth pattern was cancer like, but the cells were about 10 times smaller than a normal human cancer cells and they were fusing together, which is rare for human cells. The question was if we were dealing with an unfamiliar, possibly unicellular, eukaryotic organism or rare type of cancer? So, it was decided to proceed for the molecular analysis of the tissue specimens.” Dr. Bhatnagar said.

“Every year, IDPB receives thousands of tissue specimens to provide assistance in investigations of infectious disease of unknown etiologies, unexplained illnesses/deaths and outbreaks; consequently, the Molecular Pathology Lab has uniquely developed more than 150 polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR)-based assays and other cutting edge techniques such as pyrosequencing, in-situ hybridization (ISH) and laser microdissection for the identification of wide-array of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi from tissue specimens. Since in this case, initial suspicion was on plasmodial slime mold because of syncytia formation, I started with some broad-range PCR tests targeting slime mold (Myxogastria) and other eukaryotes using DNA extracted from the tissue specimens. By gel electrophoresis of initial PCRs, I saw some faint bands of DNA (PCR products), I decided to make PCRs less stringent and repeated. This time, I got the bands of DNA that I was able to sequence. The result of sequence analysis was completely surprising, as the DNA sequences matched with Hymenolepis nana, a dwarf tapeworm. I could not believe my own results. I tried another PCR, this time specifically targeting cestodes. The resulting DNA sequencing showed 99% identities with Hymenolepis nana again. I searched the literature and interestingly found a case report from Dr. Olson’s group (Natural History Museum, London) related to H. nana infection that showed an image of similar tiny cells in a HIV-positive man.  Feeling more confident now, I sent the results to Dr. Atis Muehlenbachs, a pathologist handling the case, other pathologists of the group and Dr. Sherif Zaki, Chief of the IDPB. They were as surprised as I was. One of them actually predicted in advance and said, “This is really exotic -- case of the decade!” It was concluded after further review that the tiny cells in the lymph nodes of our patient was certainly very similar to the ones showed in Dr. Olson’s case report. Although there were some unanswered questions, Dr. Muehlenbachs quickly contacted doctors in Colombia and informed about the diagnosis. However, unfortunately, patient was in palliative care at that time and died 72 hours after the diagnosis. No specific treatment was attempted.”

“Even though the patient died, our investigation continued, as there was a question if we could actually localize H. nana DNA in those tiny cells to confirm that the cells originated from a tapeworm,” said Dr. Bhatnagar. “Dr. Zaki suggested attempting in-situ hybridization. I designed and prepared DNA probes using H. nana DNA that we amplified from the patient’s samples. Simultaneously, probes targeting human Alu DNA sequences were prepared. In-situ hybridization was attempted and this time showed what we were expecting - H. nana DNA probe signals were detected in the proliferative tiny cell clusters, while human Alu probe signals detected in the surrounding human tissue. So, this issue was resolved.”

“The next goal was to confirm the species and to obtain more information about the phylogeny,” Dr. Bhatnagar said. “For this, I tried hymenolepidid-species specific PCR targeting mitochondrial gene CO1 and sequenced the DNA obtained from the PCR products. This case had never seized to amaze us – the sequence was beautiful, but I found some gene mutations. I repeated the sequencing twice and the results remained the same. I shared the sequences with Dr. Muehlenbachs, and he almost jumped out of his chair. He thought the mutations were very similar to the ones that we see in human cancer. I could not agree more. All the papers that I read during my early training years while getting my Ph.D. related to the gastrointestinal tumor markers were coming back to mind.”

“Now, the big question was- if the tapeworm had the cancer or muteted geneS for cancer? We thought we could only get the answer by deep-sequencing of the whole genome of the H. nana. But, at that time, we did not have next-generation sequencing facility in our lab. Next day, Dr. Muehlenbachs and I was sitting in the office of Dr. Michael Frace, Ph.D., CDC’s Biotechnology Core facility to discuss about the project. He mentioned that comparative deep sequencing could be attempted, but could we get him DNA from normal H. nana control? Dr. Muehlenbachs contacted Dr. Olson and others to get us control DNA/tissue so that we can prepare specially treated DNA for deep sequencing. Deep sequencing of the specimens from the patient revealed 6 insertional mutations (5 associated with protein coding genes) and comparative analysis identified H. nana structural genomic variants that are compatible with mutations described in cancer.”

“To a certain extent, mystery solved for this case.” said Dr. Bhatnagar. “Still, there are several unanswered questions and I am optimistic that if experts of several different areas work together collaboratively, some day we will find all the answers and unravel many new facts.” However, Dr. Bhatnagar, who was previously involved in several interesting case investigations including Clostridium sordellii septic shock syndrome associated with medical abortions, has cautioned against reading too much from a single case investigation.

Society News Now, Issue #12

on Tuesday, 10 November 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

SNN Header

Issue 12 November 2015

In This Issue:

Clinical Laboratory Educators' Conference

Student Forum   │  Patient Safety Committee

New Professional and New Member Forum

The Education and Research Fund, Inc  2016-17 Committee Appointments

Clinical Laboratory Educators’ Conference:  Registration is now open for CLEC, which is scheduled in Minneapolis, MN February 25-27, 2016. On-line registration is available at  Join your colleagues for an informative conference!

Student Forum:  The Student Forum Annual Yankee Candle fundraiser is ongoing.  Funds will support travel grants for students to the ASCLS 2016 Legislative Symposium in Washington, DC and the 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  Items purchased will be shipped directly to your home.  Please visit to support the Student Forum!

Patient Safety Committee:  The PSC members submit monthly articles to the COLA sponsored web site Lab Testing Matters.  This month’s article describes how laboratory professionals can improve the quality of laboratory services using the Institute of Medicare Quality Aims and Competencies.  See to read this article and others submitted by the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee members.

New Professional and New Member Forum:  The forum will be creating a Facebook page for all new members and new professionals in mid-November.  Share your comments, questions, concerns and experiences with the group.  The group will be called “ASCLS New Professionals and New Members”.

The Education and Research Fund, Inc:  The E&R Fund, Inc. provides scholarships to Clinical Laboratory Science undergraduate and graduate students.  A scholarship to honor Bernadette “Bunny” Rodak has been established in recognition of her superb contributions to the discipline of hematology, through her textbooks, her dedication to ASCLS and her service on the ASCLS Consumer  Response team.  Individuals and/or state societies are invited to contribute through the “Donate” link on the ASCLS home page:  Choose E&R Fund, and complete the donation page.

ASCLS 2016-2017 Committee Appointments:  A call for volunteers to serve on ASCLS Committees for the coming year has been emailed to all members and published in ASCLS Today.  If you are interested in serving on a committee, please complete the information requested at:  


Society News Now, Issue #11

on Wednesday, 30 September 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

SNN Header

Issue 11 October 2015

In this Issue:

Membership Committee

ASCLS Executive Committee Meeting and Upcoming Board of Directors Conference Call


Diversity Advocacy Council

Membership Committee

The ASCLS Membership Committee has implemented a Regional Member Rewards competition. The Region that recruits the most new PF1 and PF2 members through the Member Rewards program will be able to show they are NUMBER 1 by receiving special victory buttons at the annual meeting in Philadelphia. Review the Member Rewards program on the ASCLS website under the Join tab, Current Membership Promotions

Do you know of an up and coming shining star in your state or region? The “ASCLS Voices Under 40” program will recognize ASCLS members under the age of 40 who have shown exceptional commitment to ASCLS, the laboratory profession, and their community at large. Honorees will be recognized at the annual meeting in Philadelphia in August, 2016 and may be spotlighted in future issues of ASCLS Today, on the website and on social media. Their employers will also receive notification of the recognition. Application and more information can be found here:

ASCLS Executive Committee Meeting and Upcoming ASCLS Board of Directors Conference Call

The ASCLS Executive Committee, a subset of the Board of Directors, met in Philadelphia in September. Among the many issues discussed was the new logo for the Society. You may remember there was a contest last spring and several good proposed logos were submitted. The winning logo was similar to the banner on the ASCLS Website home page, so the Executive Committee voted to use that banner for our “official” logo. The logo retains the beloved triangles, so there is no need to replace society pins or other materials. Feel free to copy the banner from the web site and incorporate it into your regional and state reports.

The Executive Committee also discussed several task forces that were approved by the full board in August. Members will be notified soon by the Task Force Chairs to begin their work. The full Board of Directors will meet by conference call on October 26.

Annual Meeting Steering Committee (AMSC) and Advanced Management Institute (AMI)

Members met in Philadelphia, the site of the 2016 ASCLS Annual Meeting, to begin planning the programs for both of these events.  The Abstract and Proposal Review Committee and Scientific Assemblies actively solicited proposals; over 200 proposals were reviewed and ranked as part of the process for determining the educational offerings for both the AMI and the Annual Meeting.  The AMSC members are now working to solidify the proposals and develop speaker contracts. The Philadelphia Host Committee and the ASCLS-PA members are very excited to welcome ASCLS back to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection after 13 years!

You may know that Pope Francis visited the US and Philadelphia in September. The website “Checkin” ( featured an article written by Natalia Kvitek titled “48 Hours in Philly …With the Pope”. An excerpt from the website appears below, suggesting that the Pope should have stayed at the Loews Hotel, the beautiful hotel ASCLS members will be based in during the 2016 Annual Meeting.

“The Pope has shunned the decadent Papal apartment in the Vatican in favor of much simpler lodging, but when he travels, he can hardly be put up in a rooming house. Philadelphia has no lack of beautiful hotels but we think he would appreciate the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Housed in a 1930’s building that holds the title of our nation’s first skyscraper, he might even indulge in a cheeky swim in the hotel pool. In-room WiFi means he can comfortably surf the web, or reply to messages from his adoring worldwide fanbase. Plus, the view from the suites will remind him of just how blessed he is.“

Patient Safety Committee and the Promotion of the Profession Committee

The members of these two committees have worked together to develop the 2016 ASCLS Patient Safety Calendar.  The calendar promotes our role as medical laboratory professionals in patient safety and highlights our profession and our important days each month.  It is now available for purchase in the ASCLS Online Store!  The cost per calendar is $10 and includes shipping. The deadline to order has been extended to October 15, 2015. The calendar is also available as a free digital download.  Visit the Promotion of the Profession website for more information.

Diversity Advocacy Council

Attention all ASCLS MEMBERS!  We are gathering historical moments of ASCLS and we would like copies of your pictures and testimonials for an archive project.  The purpose of this project is to compile these moments into a slideshow for viewing at the ASCLS Annual Meeting.  We are also accepting recorded files with your stories: tell us about an experience you have had in your past that has had a large effect in your life/profession while working in health care.  The Diversity Advocacy Council would like your input by November 30th!  Please send your submissions to  If you have any trouble scanning your pictures or sending your recordings please let us know and we will help troubleshoot.
In addition, we would appreciate some volunteers who might be willing to assist in helping put the slideshow together. If you are interested, please also respond to the email listed above.  We would love to hear your input. Please contact us with your comments.  


Society News Now, Issue #10

on Tuesday, 30 June 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

SNN Header

Issue 10 June 2015

In this Issue:

Annual Meeting News ASCLS Governance at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta 

Opportunities to Pay It Forward Awards

Committee and Forum News Announcements

Annual Meeting News:

July is fast approaching, and that means the ASCLS Annual Meeting in Atlanta is just around the corner.  This is a not-to-be-missed event for members and non-members alike, and you can still register at a cost savings through July 5th. Take advantage of this extended deadline and register now to attend the 83rd ASCLS Annual Meeting, Advanced Management Institute and Exposition.  Rooms may still be available at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, the ASCLS headquarters hotel, and you have until July 6th to receive the ASCLS discounted room rate. Reserve your room today!

ASCLS Governance at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta:

Do you wonder how decisions are made on your behalf in ASCLS?  When you are in Atlanta, take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the workings of ASCLS.

  • ASCLS Board of Directors Meeting, Tuesday morning, July 28: The ASCLS Board of Directors only meets in-person twice a year – once prior to the Legislative Symposium and at the Annual Meeting. All members are welcome to attend, to listen to the Board’s deliberations, and to take part in discussions.
  • ASCLS Committee Meetings, Tuesday afternoon, July 28: Most of the ASCLS standing committees have their in-person meetings scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and you don’t have to be a committee member to attend. Want to learn more about the Patient Safety Committee? What about Promoting the Profession or Government Affairs? Check the governance schedule and attend those meetings that interest you.
  • Issues Update and Forum, Thursday morning, July 30: This session is where Cindy Johnson, ASCLS Secretary-Treasurer will provide a financial report, the President-Elect candidates will give their speeches, and other issues of importance to members will be presented.
  • Regional Caucuses, Friday morning, July 31: Be sure to attend your Regional Caucus for an opportunity to discuss the candidates for election, and to talk about the issues that are coming to the House of Delegates for action.
  • Elections, Friday morning, July 31, right after your Regional Caucus: ASCLS delegates will elect a President-Elect, Regional Directors, a Judicial Committee member, and members of the Nomination Committee. State Presidents need to make certain that their delegates are credentialed before elections. If you have questions about Credentials, contact Charlie Francen, Credentials Chair.
  • ASCLS House of Delegates, Saturday morning, August 1: In addition to the standing agenda items, this year ASCLS delegates will be voting on a Patient Safety Position Paper, and discussing the ASCLS Diversity Task Force’s definition of diversity. Come prepared with your comments and suggestions. Let’s have some lively discussion on the floor of the House this year!

Opportunities to Pay it Forward at the ASCLS Annual Meeting:

  • The ASCLS Education & Research (E & R) Fund Silent Auction will be held in conjunction with the President’s Reception on Wednesday evening, July 29.   Constituent societies are once again encouraged to donate to the auction and reminded to notify the ASCLS office about their donations so these donations can be promoted. I still use my beautiful carved wooden pitcher/wall art and proudly wear my Joe Mauer Minnesota Twins jersey. Proceeds support the E & R scholarships and grants.
  • This year StandUp For Kids - Atlanta has been selected as the HOPE project by the ASCLS Promotion of the Profession Committee (PPC). StandUp For Kids works to end youth homelessness in Atlanta. ASCLS will be helping to provide hygiene kits containing such items as travel sized deodorant, soap, shampoo and toothpaste. You can also make a monetary donation through the ASCLS website, or on-site at the meeting. Details can be found on the ASCLS website.
  • The Student Forum and New Professionals and New Members Forum will also hold a silent auction during the First Timers' and Students' Reception on Tuesday evening, July 28. The proceeds from this silent auction support travel and educational scholarships for worthy students.


  • Don’t miss out on the ASCLS Awards Ceremonies this year, when we honor our industry partners, and our members and Constituent Societies who have done great things for ASCLS. Industry awards are presented on Wednesday morning; the other awards are presented on Thursday at 5:30 pm, and at the House of Delegates on Saturday morning.
  • The Cardinal Health 2015 urEssential Award winner is ASCLS member, Microbiology Scientific Assembly Chair, and Incoming TACLS President, Dr. Rodney Rohde. Rodney has touched the lives of many over the years, as a teacher/mentor and researcher, as well as an active member of ASCLS. He is very deserving of this award. Other finalists for the Cardinal award were Dr. Patricia Tille (SD) and Marcia Armstrong (HI), also members of ASCLS.
  • ASCLS members were recently featured in the blog,, as one of the "20 Professors of Clinical Laboratory Science You Should Know". The list is comprised of outstanding professors in the field and recognizes their great contributions to academia; all 20 are ASCLS members! Congratulations to Sue Beck, Rodney Rohde, Nadine Fydryszewski, Yazmen Simonian, Linda Smith, Mary Ann McLane, Sally Pestana, Karen Chandler, Lynne Williams, Shauna Anderson Young, Kathy Doig, Cathy Otto, Pat Tille, Kay Rasmussen, Linda Pifer, Kathy Kenwright, Karen Honeycutt, Tera Webb and Tim Randolph. It is always great to see our educators recognized for outstanding service!

Committee and Forum News:

Although everyone is gearing up for the Annual Meeting and the transition to the 2015-16 year, the ASCLS Committee work continues. Here are some highlights:

  • Membership Committee: The renewal of your ASCLS membership continues to be a priority. If you haven’t had a chance to renew your VOICE and VISION for the laboratory profession, take the time to do so now. We value your membership! Your continued support, through membership, allows ASCLS to work for you and for the profession.  The Membership Committee has been working on a recognition program for members – spotlighting those ASCLS Voices under 40. This program will be addressed at the Tuesday, July 28 ASCLS Board of Directors meeting so come and participate in the discussion. The goal is to increase awareness of the efforts and successes of this very promising group of individual
  • Government Affairs Committee: The GAC continues to follow and respond to issues involving legislation and government regulations that affect the practice of laboratory medicine. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of subsidies under the ACA (also known as Obama Care). For us and all healthcare providers it means the new patients you have been seeing (if that is the case) will continue to have health insurance and access to affordable healthcare.  The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each have approved their FY 2016 Labor-HHS-Ed spending bills, which provides $477.67 million (House) or $450.97 million (Senate) for Title VII and Title VIII combined, compared to the President’s FY 2016 budget of $469.45 million. Title VII and Title VIII funds are used to support educational opportunities for those in healthcare related fields.
  • New Professionals and New Members ForumThis forum has developed a pilot mentoring program in conjunction with the Leadership Development Committee to meet the needs of students and young professionals in ASCLS. This mentoring program will be made available to those students and new professionals who have been appointed to national, regional or state ASCLS committees and want to understand their responsibilities and have a positive experience.


  • Reminder: The ASCLS National Office and helpful staff are ready to assist you if you have any comments, questions or concerns. This can include membership renewal, preparations for the Annual Meeting, or general questions. Please contact or 571-748-3770.
  • ASCLS Leadership Academy: The latest class of emerging leaders in the ASCLS Leadership Academy will be graduating at the Annual Meeting and will be presenting their infographics project at a session titled Explore ASCLS through Infographics: A visual collaboration of the Laboratory Profession and Professional Representation on Thursday July 30 at 12:30 pm. As Class #8 graduates, a new class of leaders will begin their year-long activities at the Annual Meeting. Show your support for this successful program entering its ninth year preparing our future leaders for positions not only in ASCLS but in their workplace.
  • Proposals for the 2016 Annual Meeting and/or Advanced Management Institute: Do you have an idea for an education session at the 2016 Annual Meeting and/or Advanced Management Institute (AMI)? If so, please submit your proposal by August 11th. Proposals can be submitted electronically at the following website: Or if you prefer to submit your proposal manually, you can access the form on the Annual Meeting website.

Society News Now, Issue #9

on Thursday, 28 May 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

SNN Header

Issue 9 May 2015

In this Issue:

ASCLS Annual Meeting Governance in Atlanta Membership Committee (MC)

Membership Renewal │Paper and Poster Competition Focused on Quality

Government Affairs Committee (GAC) New Professionals and New Members Forum Travel Grant

ASCLS Beckman Coulter Travel Grant Winners │ Announcements

ASCLS Annual Meeting Governance in Atlanta
Constituent societies have chosen their delegates, and the delegations are making preparations to fulfill their responsibilities at the ASCLS Annual Meeting.  Information about credentialing the delegates has been forwarded to constituent society Presidents, who lead their delegations.  In addition to Elections, one of the items coming before the House of Delegates for debate and approval will be a patient safety position paper, currently being written by the Patient Safety Committee.  ASCLS Committees are starting to wrap up their work for this year, and are already making plans for their in-person meetings in Atlanta.  All members, not just delegates, attending the Annual Meeting should consider coming early to attend the AMI (Advanced Management Institute), the ASCLS Board Meeting, and the Committee meetings that take place on Tuesday, after the ASCLS Board Meeting.  
Membership Committee
Among the many things the Membership Committee is working on is the Young Professional Spotlight, and a return on investment value calculator, demonstrating the value of ASCLS membership.  They are also working on a smart phone application, and are looking for volunteers to help with the design.  If you are interested in helping the Membership Committee work on this app, please contact Holly Weinberg, Chair.  
Membership Renewal
ASCLS is entering the membership renewal cycle, and the opportunity for you, as members, to show your ongoing support for ASCLS and the work we do on your behalf, and for the clinical laboratory science profession.  On-line renewal is easy, as long as you are not changing your membership type.  Just remember to log into the ASCLS Website first.  If you want to change your membership type from last year (for example changing from a Collaborative membership to Professional I or II), contact the ASCLS Office at 571-748-3770 or  Thank you, in advance, for your membership as we continue to provide One Voice, One Vision.  
Paper and Poster Competition Focused on Quality
With generous support from Bio-Rad Laboratories, ASCLS is offering members the opportunity to showcase their quality projects or case studies, and win a cash award, registration, and travel support to attend the 2015 ASCLS Annual Meeting.  One professional/graduate student and one undergraduate student will be selected.  The deadline is June 15, so submit your analytical quality management paper or poster today! Visit for more information.
Government Affairs Committee
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has announced that July 16, 2015 will be the date of its annual meeting to receive comments and recommendations for payment amounts on new and revised Medicare laboratory codes.  The announcement was in the Federal Register, but the link to the list of codes being considered for Calendar Year 2016 doesn’t seem to be working, so stay tuned for more information.  
New Professionals and New Members Forum Travel Grant
Applications are being accepted for a $400 travel stipend to attend the 2015 ASCLS Annual meeting.  Recipients are encouraged to maintain their ASCLS membership and provide active service to the society.  Download the application and submit by June 1, 2015.
ASCLS Beckman Coulter Travel Grant Winners
ASCLS student members were provided an opportunity to apply for a grant to assist with travel expenses to attend the Annual Meeting in Atlanta.  Thanks to the generosity of Beckman Coulter $5000 was available to six students to attend and experience the Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo.  The following students were selected to receive grants:
  • Joshua Bugbee of Millbury, OH
  • Elizabeth LeFors of Fountain, CO
  • Hollie Hatch of Ketchum, ID
  • Meghan Colvin of Cypress, TX
  • Beth Hughes of Monroe, LA
  • Courtney Hall of Albany, GA
  • The Promotion of the Profession Committee is soliciting entries for the Charitable Activities Award, which recognizes constituent societies that have given back to their communities.  Deadline for submissions is June 1!  
  • Don’t Delay!  Register for the ASCLS Annual Meeting by June 8 for discounted fees.
  • ASCLS Advanced Management Institute (AMI) is July 26-27.  Take advantage of this pre-meeting management conference dedicated to challenges and opportunities facing laboratory managers and decision makers.  Information about the sessions can be found on the Annual Meeting and AMI website
  • The ASCLS Career Fair will be held Friday, July 31 during the Annual Meeting.  Registration is free to job seekers.   

Society News Now, Issue #8

on Friday, 08 May 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

SNN Header

Issue 8 April 2015

In this Issue:

Medical Laboratory Professional Week (MLPW)  Patient Safety Committee (PSC)

Abstract Proposal and Review Committee (APRC)  Government Affairs Committee (GAC)

Membership Committee (MC)  Viral Video Contest Winner

ASCLS Spring Meetings are like a Family Reunion  CLIAC Committee Proceedings


Medical Laboratory Professional Week (MLPW)
I hope all of you celebrated MLPW with activities to promote the value of laboratory services in your workplace – and had some fun as well!   Thanks goes to Shelby Currier, Chair, and the Promotion of the Profession Committee for their hard work in promoting MLPW including their original social media campaign.

Patient Safety Committee (PSC)
Cathy Otto, Chair, and the Patient Safety Committee are working on a position paper on the medical laboratory science profession and our importance and contribution to patient safety. The paper will be presented to the House of Delegates at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta for approval by the delegates.

Abstract Proposal and Review Committee (APRC)
The APRC is actively working on reviewing abstracts that have been submitted for either a poster or for oral presentation at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta. When you attend the Annual Meeting, don’t forget to view the posters on Wednesday morning, and consider attending the Member Submitted Papers session on Wednesday afternoon.  

Government Affairs Committee (GAC)
Those of us who attended the Legislative Symposium in March were aware that a bi-partisan bill was going to be introduced into the House to “fix” the sustainable growth rate (SGR) legislation which was used to control the growth rate of payments for physician services. Every six months, Congress had been extending the SGR, but this time they were able to agree on a permanent solution. The SGR will be replaced with an annual 0.5% physician pay increase over the next 5 years, and was signed into law by President Obama on April 16. The best news about this legislation is that it did not include further cuts to laboratory reimbursement. Our collective laboratory voice was heard!

Membership Committee (MC)
ASCLS is pleased to report that our membership numbers are increasing, thanks to the hard work of the Membership Committee, ASCLS staff, and our members who have been actively recruiting new members. Current numbers list ASCLS membership at 8500, which is up over 1000 from last year at this time. The best news is that as we increase members, we are also able to expand the services we provide to our members so please keep up the good work! Now is the time to start your renewal campaigns, too.

In addition, Holly Weinberg, Chair, and the Membership Committee has been busy developing a way to  highlight young professionals in a Young Professional Spotlight.

Viral Video Contest Winner
Cullen James, a MLS student from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, has been named the winner of the 2015 ASCLS Video Contest. Cullen created and produced the entire footage, including the audio and musical track. Congratulations, Cullen! Check out the winning video and the other submissions on the ASCLS website.

ASCLS Spring Meetings are like a Family Reunion
ASCLS constituent society spring educational meetings are winding down. As ASCLS President, I had the opportunity to present and attend meetings in Denver, Houston, Twin Falls, Idaho and Missoula, MT. These meetings are so much more than just continuing education – attendees get to visit with vendors, network with colleagues, reconnect with friends, and most importantly have some fun! I went bowling as a fundraiser, danced to a DJ, watched the Flight of the Butterflies at a planetarium, and participated in a laboratory version of Amazing Race. These annual Spring Meetings are events not to be missed!

CLIAC Committee Proceedings
During the April 15-16, 2015 meeting of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC), one discussion topic was Laboratory Safety and Quality: Lessons Learned Through the Ebola Response. ASCLS, represented by Executive Vice President Elissa Passiment, provided comments that expressed our concerns about the disparities in information and poor professional reactions that occurred during the Ebola challenge. Our major concern is that science did not seem to prevail over the hysteria, and credibility was lost in all sectors, public health and clinical settings. We applauded the efforts of the CDC to appropriately address concerns during the Ebola event, and believe that this is a great time for clinical and public health laboratorians to work together to address our biosafety issues, and to implement a strong safety culture throughout all sectors. Read the entire statement at .


  • Susan Beck of North Carolina and Scott Aikey of Pennsylvania have been re-elected to the ASCP Board of Certification Board of Governors for three year terms, beginning in November 2015. Thanks to Sue and Scott for their continued commitment to the work of the Board of Certification.
  • April 30 is also the deadline for naming Key to the Future awardees. Every constituent society should recognize and reward at least one of their state ASCLS members who have demonstrated their leadership potential to the organization.

Society News Now, Issue #7

on Tuesday, 31 March 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

ASCLS One Voice, One Vision

Society News Now

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Issue 7 March 2015

In this Issue:

Legislative Symposium  ASCLS Board of Directors Strategic Planning Session

ASCLS Board of Directors Interim Board Meeting  Product Development Committee

Promotion of the Profession Committee  Membership Committee  Announcements

Legislative Symposium
Thanks to the efforts of our EVP, Elissa Passiment, and the Government Affairs Committee, with Rick Panning as Chair, the Legislative Symposium held in Alexandria, VA on March 16 and 17 was another huge success.  Over 130 participants from ASCLS, CLMA, ASCP, AMT, and AGT learned about the latest issues impacting our profession, and gained the skills necessary for their Hill visits.  There were many first time attendees, many students, and many folks who continue to come each year to advocate for our profession.   This year, one of the “asks” was to consider being a co-sponsor on a bill being put forward by ASCLS that would provide specific funding for the clinical laboratory science profession through Title VII of the Public Health Service Act.  This would be in addition to the allied health grants currently in place (but unfunded for the past few years) under Title VII.   

ASCLS Board of Directors Strategic Planning Session
The ASCLS Board met on March 14 for a strategic planning session facilitated by Barbara Snyderman, ASCLS President-Elect.  Among many things, there was excellent discussion around the best ways for ASCLS to communicate with our multi-generational members and leaders, and some talking points were generated to help folks address questions when they are recruiting members to ASCLS.  Thanks to Barbara for organizing a great Planning Day.  

ASCLS Board of Directors Interim Board Meeting
On March 15 the Board of Directors held their interim board meeting to continue the work of ASCLS, and address the requests for action and items of concern brought forth by our members.  The Regional Directors will be reporting back the deliberations that took place on these issues.   Members can read all of the interim reports that were submitted for this meeting by visiting the Leaders page on the ASCLS website.  Many of the appointments for the 2015-16 year were approved, as was the revised ASCLS Investment Policy statement which provides us with a little more flexibility in our conservative investment stance.  The slate of candidates for ASCLS 2015-16 was also approved – to avoid a “spoiler alert”, watch for your upcoming ASCLS Today for details on the candidates.  

Product Development Committee (PDC)
The PDC has been given approval to move forward on a project that will form a team and propose a budget to look into the development of a laboratory-based app designed for mobile devices.  This mobile app would go beyond what is provided by and would strive to improve laboratory test utilization by providing healthcare professionals with accepted algorithms for selecting the correct test at the appropriate time for their patients.  More to come on this exciting possibility.

Promotion of the Profession Committee (PPC)
Remember that Medical Laboratory Professional Week is April 19-25, 2015 and the PPC has developed a fun social media campaign.  Each day will have a different topic for your response on Facebook.   You can also post your MLPW activities to Twitter, Facebook and other social medial using  #lab4life.  Use this hashtag to show others how you are celebrating MLPW and follow what others are doing for their festivities.

The PPC is also helping to judge the ASCLS logo contest.  Over 25 entries were received to update the ASCLS logo, and incorporate our new tag lines – ASCLS:  One Voice, One Vision, and Providing the Science of Medicine.  The top entries will be open to a vote of the membership so stay tuned to the ASCLS website for details on how to vote for your favorite.  

Membership Committee
 ASCLS now has 8,140 members, up from 6,990 at this time last year.  This is a great upward trend, and thanks goes to the Membership Committee and ASCLS staff for providing you with the tools to help you recruit.  Many of these new members are students, so now is the time to show these new members the benefits of membership in ASCLS.  Spring meetings are starting, so in addition to recruiting new members using the Spring Membership Campaign, use this opportunity to retain the members we currently have.  If you need promotional materials for your event, order them in our online store. Please take the time to visit your Membership Booth and help promote the value of ASCLS membership at your spring meeting – and throughout the year.  Let’s continue to keep those membership numbers climbing!

April 1 is the deadline for submitting your You Tube video to promote ASCLS.  Check the ASCLS website for details – and I think you could have a couple of days grace period, since my newsletter is a little late this month.
April 24 is the deadline for the Beckman Student Travel Grants, allowing deserving students the opportunity to attend the ASCLS Annual Meeting in Atlanta.  Details and the travel grant application can be downloaded at the ASCLS Annual Meeting webpage.  
April 30 is the deadline for the Key to the Future award, which recognizes and rewards ASCLS members who have demonstrated their leadership potential to the organization, and to provide these members with structured mentoring.
April 30 is the deadline to submit a proposal for an educational session at CLEC 2016. Visit the CLEC website for more details.
May 1 is the deadline for student members to submit a research paper or case study for the ESA Student Paper Award.  Visit for more details.
May 15 is the deadline to submit your application for the Beckman Coulter Student Forum Travel Grant.
May 22 is the deadline to submit your application for the Student Forum Travel Award.

Society News Now, Issue #6

on Wednesday, 25 February 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

ASCLS One Voice, One Vision

Society News Now

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Issue 6 February 2015

In this Issue:

Clinical Laboratory Science Journal  Help ASCLS Go Viral!  Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC)

ASCLS Planning Day and Interim Board Meeting  Government Affairs Committee (GAC)

ASCLS Diversity Task Force  ASCLS Body of Knowledge (BOK)  Membership Committee

Product Development Committee (PDC)  Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW)

Logo Design Contest  Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW)



Clinical Laboratory Science Journal
Earlier this month, those members who receive the journal were sent an e-mail announcing the new look for the Winter 2015 issue of Clinical Laboratory Science, as it now is published electronically.  This format change will allow a greater use of color and images and flexibility as to the number of pages per issue.  Check it out!

Help ASCLS Go Viral!
We are looking for creative videos to post on You Tube to promote ASCLS.  The videos will be used by the Membership Committee to serve as a recruitment tool.  The winning video will receive a $200 cash prize, and the designated leader of the winning video will win a free student registration to the ASCLS Annual Meeting in Atlanta.  Deadline – April 1, 2015.  

Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC) February 19-21, 2015
I (Susie Zanto) just returned from attending my first CLEC, held in Cincinnati, and although it was cold outside, there were lots of hot topics indoors.  It was a very energizing conference, even for someone who doesn’t directly work in education. I learned about education methods, the latest uses of flipped and on-line classrooms, and issues educators face as they teach our future MLS and MLT professionals.  A special thanks to the CLEC Planning Committee, especially Co-Chairs Cathy Shaffner and Beth Warning, and ASCLS-Ohio for a wonderful experience.

ASCLS Planning Day and Interim Board Meeting
The weekend of March 13 – 15, prior to the Legislative Symposium, the ASCLS Board of Directors (BOD) is very busy.  Friday evening the Finance Committee meets and works on the budget for 2015-16.  Saturday is the BOD Planning Day, a strategic planning session organized by President-Elect Barbara Snyderman and the Long Range Planning Committee.   Last year during Planning Day, the BOD worked on what has become our ASCLS Strategy Canvas and Tag Line, ASCLS: One Voice, One Vision.  Then on Sunday, the Interim Board meeting is conducted.  This is where the BOD addresses requests for action or items of concern that are passed along from our grass roots members through their constituent leadership and Regional Director to the BOD.  Stay tuned for an update from this weekend in future issues of Society News Now.    

Government Affairs Committee (GAC)
The GAC is busy preparing for the 2015 Legislative Symposium in Washington D.C., March 16-17.  ASCLS is proud to work with CLMA, ASCP, AGT, and AMT each year on this meeting, and pre-registration numbers are great.  This shows the importance our members place on learning the legislative issues impacting our profession, and providing a unified, visible, and informed voice as participants make our concerns known inside Congress.  For more information, check out the website.  

ASCLS Diversity Task Force
The ASCLS Diversity Task Force, chaired by Cheryl Caskey of Louisiana, has started deliberations to define diversity as it pertains to the membership of ASCLS, develop strategies to increase diversity in ASCLS, and redefine the Forum for the Concerns of Minorities.  We look forward to a report at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta the end of July.  

ASCLS Body of Knowledge (BOK)
The revised ASCLS Body of Knowledge (BOK), edited by Shauna Anderson of Utah, is now available for purchase.  These publications encompass the essential knowledge base for what is recognized and practiced in the profession.  The BOK is useful in developing job descriptions to differentiate levels of practice, determining training & continuing education needs, and designing education curriculum.  The updated edition is available as a downloadable product through the ASCLS Store.   

The ASCLS BOK Revision Process Task Force, chaired by Linda Smith of Texas, is charged with defining a process so that the ASCLS BOK is updated on a regular basis.  A process will be developed and presented at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta.  

Membership Committee
The Membership Committee continues to work hard at providing tools and resources so that our members can recruit new members and retain existing members.  Membership numbers are up significantly as a result of all the efforts.  Remember as you speak to possible new members, the Spring Meeting campaign starts in March.  When new members join, they receive 15 months of membership for the price of one year - their memberships will not expire until July 2016.  

Product Development Committee (PDC)
The PDC is busy surveying our membership as they identify needs and work to develop educational programs and products in response to new advances in the profession.  Stay tuned for information about a possible mobile application.

Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW)
CCCLW is reviewing the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook and is asking every participating organization for input.  The ASCLS Promotion of the Profession Committee, and Education Scientific Assembly, and the Lab Administrators Scientific Assembly have been working on our response, as we have had concerns for many years related to the description of the laboratory professions.  The CCCLW will be meeting in Chicago in March, and Rick Panning is our ASCLS voting member on this Council.  

Don’t Forget the Logo Design Contest as we look to update our brand to go along with our new tag line and Strategy Canvas.  Details can be found here.

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW)
Get ready to celebrate MLPW on April 19-25, 2015 with ASCLS.  Join us as we launch a social media celebration.  Check out our Facebook page daily and share your responses.  Post pictures and comments.  Tell stories.  Show us how YOU are celebrating!  Then share these discussions across other social media outlets by using our brand new hashtag, #Lab4Life.  Also visit our MLPW website to download the updated MLPW Promotional Guide for ideas to enhance your celebration and purchase promotional items for your staff, coworkers, or even yourself.

Society News Now, Issue #5

on Thursday, 22 January 2015. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

ASCLS One Voice, One Vision

Society News Now

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Issue 5 January 2015

In this Issue:

FDA Public Workshop on Laboratory Developed Tests Leadership Academy Call for Applications

Membership Committee  ASCP Board of Certification Government Affairs Reminders

FDA Public Workshop on Laboratory Developed Tests

Elissa Passiment and Susie Zanto represented ASCLS at this public meeting on January 8 and 9, on the NIH Campus in Bethesda. FDA listened to comments from over 80 individuals representing laboratory interests, including private genetic testing laboratories, organizations such as ASM, APHL, CAP, ASCP, and ACLA, commercial laboratories such as Mayo Medical Laboratories and ARUP, and consumer organizations. Public comments and a panel discussion was held on 6 different topics, and Elissa was part of a panel discussion on clinical validity. The FDA will consider all of the comments as they work to finalize the guidelines. Written comments will still be accepted up to February 2, and the Government Affairs Committee will be finalizing ASCLS comments soon.

Leadership Academy Call for Applications

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015-2016 Leadership Academy. This is a great way to invigorate your state society with new leaders, and provide them with the tools they need to be successful. Please think of those around you that have leadership potential, and encourage them to apply. The investment will benefit both the candidate and your society. Applications or questions should be directed to Rebecca Rogers, Leadership Academy Committee Vice Chair.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee continues to encourage the recruitment of new members. The Member Rewards program allows you to earn $25 in rewards for EVERY new member you recruit. Reach out to your co-workers, students, managers, and supervisors. Click here for to view the member rewards flyer! Member dues are being pro-rated until the end of February, after which the Spring Membership Campaign for new members starts.

ASCP Board of Certification

ASCLS has nominated Scott Aikey (PA) and Susan Beck (NC) to second terms as ASCLS representatives to the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) Board of Governors (BOG). Scott currently is Secretary of Board, and former ASCLS President, Kathy Hansen (MN) will become the Chair after the October 2015 meeting of the BOC Board.  

Government Affairs

ASCLS continues to collaborate with a coalition, including AACC and leaders from the “therapy” professions – physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and respiratory therapy), to work with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The focus is on placing more attention on Allied Health and the need to allocate more resources to Allied Health education.  

Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA): CMS will be selecting members of the PAMA Advisory Committee. ASCLS has nominated Rick Panning (MN), Judy Davis (TN), Suzanne Butch (MI), and Elissa Passiment as possible members. CMS needs to publish the proposal that reforms the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) soon to give people time to read it and make comments, since the final rule is to be published by July 2015.


CLSI Survey: Don’t forget to complete the CLSI survey concerning the use of CLSI standards and guidelines, and how CLSI can best offer standards, guidelines, and companion products (bench aids) in a way that is most appropriate to your needs and the needs of your organization.   If you do not have a link to this survey, please contact

Logo Design Contest: Our new ASCLS tag line and strategic canvas deserve a new logo. Put your artistic and creative minds to work!  Click here for more information.

Clinical Laboratory Educators’ Conference (CLEC): There is still time to attend CLEC in Cincinnati February 19-22, 2015. Click here for more information, and register now!

Legislative Symposium: Register now for this annual not-to-be-missed opportunity, March 16-17, 2015 in Alexandria, VA. The deadline for early registration is February 15. Click here for more information.        

Awards/Scholarships: The application deadlines for many awards and scholarships are quickly approaching. Please be sure to recognize deserving individuals and activities by nominating them. You can find all information at



Society News Now, Issue #4

on Tuesday, 16 December 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

ASCLS One Voice, One Vision

Society News Now

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Issue 4 December 2014

In this Issue:

November Board of Directors Meeting  Clinical Laboratory Science Journal – Electronic format Government Affairs FDA Guidance on Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) Promotion of the Profession Membership Committee CMS Advisory Panel on Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests Patient Safety Committee ASCLS Logo Contest  Happy Holidays!

 November Board of Directors Meeting

The ASCLS Board of Directors met by conference call on November 14, and several motions were passed. These included:

  • Continued support for the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW)
  • Investigating a system to record the President-Elect Seminar during the national meeting for those members unable to attend
  • Developing a mechanism to help State Presidents mentor and monitor their volunteers in elected and appointed leadership positons, and
  • Determining a means to collect a permanent, not school, e-mail address for students so we can continue to communicate with them when they graduate.

Clinical Laboratory Science Journal – Electronic format

In 2015, the CLS Journal will be published in an electronic-only format. The Board selected a publishing option that will provide a totally interactive website, with searchable manuscripts, and links to referenced material. The Table of Contents will have links to individual manuscripts and the entire journal issue can be downloaded as a pdf file.

Government Affairs

ASCLS formed a coalition of other health care professions (AACC, occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy and speech and language pathology) to meet with HRSA regarding the need for HRSA to communicate to Congress the need for funding for Allied Health Professions. Clinical Laboratory needs a sustained federal investment, specifically funding to recruit and retain students, grow faculty and develop curriculum.

It is anticipated that the new Republican-led Congress will try to repeal the ACA (Healthcare Reform) and the President will veto those attempts. Two areas that are likely to see action are: (1) Employer mandate provisions and thresholds; the definition of full-time is now 30 hr/wk and SSA would like to change that to 40 hr/wk. (2) Device tax – there is support for the repeal of the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices. If repealed, a plan for replacing the lost funds would need to be developed.

FDA Guidance on Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)

The FDA will hold a public meeting related to Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) on January 8-9. Elissa Passiment and Susie Zanto will be in attendance, representing ASCLS members. ASCLS will submit comments to the proposed FDA guidance, which are due in February. If you have some specific concerns that you would like addressed in the ASCLS comments to the FDA, please forward them to Elissa Passiment at

Promotion of the Profession 

The Career Recruitment Toolkit has been updated on the ASCLS website. Check it out!

ASCLS Voice articles continue to be posted in ADVANCE. Read the latest one.

ASCLS will have its own slogan for MLPW, to be used in addition to the common slogan of 'Get Results.' The slogan is #lab4life and will be used in a social media campaign and will appear on ASCLS merchandise.

Membership Committee

The MC is looking at ways to engage our members who are retiring, to encourage them to continue to support the profession that has served them through the years. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in our veteran professionals that can be a huge asset to ASCLS.

Lapsed member campaigns are on-going. The MC is very interested in learning why some members have not renewed their membership. Please forward that information to Holly Weinberg, MC Chair at

CMS Advisory Panel on Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is convening an advisory panel to provide input on the establishment of payment rates for new tests and the factors used in determining coverage and payment processes for new clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.   ASCLS has nominated 3 well-respected and well-qualified members for this panel: Judy Davis from Tennessee, Rick Panning from Minnesota, and Suzanne Butch from Michigan. ASCLS will continue to monitor this process to establish fee schedules.

Patient Safety Committee

The PSC is planning a publicity campaign to inform our colleagues about Patient Safety.  The overall theme of the campaign is called It Is Up to Me.  

The PSC is working on a P.A.C.E.® approved product to provide educational tools for MLT and MLS educators, as well as laboratory managers, that will furnish students and lab professionals with information regarding Patient Safety.

The Patient Safety Tips products are being validated in 2015. Part of the validation includes a short survey for patients to complete after they have had a chance to review the product.

ASCLS Logo Contest

Our new ASCLS tag line and strategic canvas deserve a new logo. Join your colleagues in designing how this logo will look! The new logo will be used in branding the new direction of ASCLS. Put your artistic and creative minds to work!  And win a free registration to the ASCLS 2015 Annual Meeting.  Click here for more information.

Happy Holidays!

The leadership and staff at ASCLS wish all of you a very happy holiday season, and a very prosperous 2015!

Society News Now, Issue #3

on Thursday, 13 November 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science



ASCLS One Voice, One Vision

Society News Now

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Issue 3 November 2014

In this Issue:

Liaison to IFBLS  Membership Committee CCCLW   Advocacy E & R Fund  

Student News Product Development Committee Consumer Information Web Team

Liaison to IFBLS
Cathy Otto attended the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science 31st World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan October 3-7, 2014 and presented two posters on the ASCLS Patient Safety Education Tips and Competencies Needed by Laboratory Professionals.  Cathy represented the U.S. at the General Assembly of Delegates, where Maria Nora Roald, Norway was elected President-elect, and Board members from United Kingdom, Cameroon, Croatia, Italy, and India were elected.    The site for the 2015 Chief Delegate meeting will be Portugal.  Brunei Darussalam, Namibia, and South Africa were admitted for membership in IFBLS.  IFBLS will be working with the World Health Organization (WHO) on biosafety, biosecurity, core competencies, and quantitating the number of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists in the world.
Membership Committee
The Membership Committee encourages state leadership to conduct lapsed member campaigns.  Hopefully the majority of our lapsed members have been contacted, and the value of their membership communicated personally.  We are interested in learning the reasons that people are not renewing.  Have you talked to someone in your workplace about membership? Communicating the value of membership can be difficult.  Need help in answering the tough questions? The Membership resource page at as a wonderful document to help –“What to Say When You Don’t Know What To Say”. Go to ASCLS website → Leadership → Committees → Membership Committee. Then go to the section entitled “Membership Recruitment Documents” and you will find this under “General Recruitment Documents”.

The Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce continues its mission of being a united voice of clinical laboratory organizations and stakeholders, focusing our collective efforts to:
•    Increase the number of qualified clinical laboratory professionals.
•    Increase healthcare and public awareness of our value in achieving positive patient outcomes.
•    Enhance the image of clinical laboratory professionals.
Rick Panning is our current representative to the CCCLW this year, and Susan Morris will become Chair in January 2015.

The ASCLS Strategy Canvas has us striving to strengthen our government and legislative advocacy.  ASCLS recently signed on to a letter from the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC) urging the House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee leadership to provide full funding for Title VII and Title VIII programs in FY 2015.  These federal programs focus on improving the supply, distribution, and diversity of the health professions workforce. By providing educational and training opportunities to aspiring and practicing health professionals, the programs also play a critical role in helping the workforce adapt to meet the nation’s changing health care needs.

E & R Fund
Did you know that the Silent Auction held at the Annual Meeting raised over $6000 for the Educational & Research Fund?  The E & R Fund provides scholarships, research grants, and professional awards that assist in the growth of the Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science profession and enhance the essential services provided by laboratory professionals.  Check out the different funding opportunities at

Student News
At the October 2014 G2 Laboratory Institute, Jazmen Myers, a CLS senior at Texas State University and the 2014-15 ASCLS Student Forum Vice Chair, was awarded the 2014 G2 Intelligence Scholarship Award. Jazmen was the sole winner of this nationally competitive $2500 scholarship, sponsored by McKesson Business Performance Services, which is awarded annually to help develop future leaders and qualified medical technology professionals.  Congratulations to Jazmen and the Texas State program.  

Don’t forget to help the Student Forum raise funds to support future activities and student scholarships for 2014-15. Check out the details in the recent ASCLS e-mail – it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Product Development Committee
The Product Development Committee has just released a Survey Monkey survey for members to determine which educational products ASCLS should concentrate on producing.  Do you have some ideas?  Be sure to take the survey and provide your input!

Consumer Information Web Team
As part of the ASCLS Strategic Canvas, we want to enhance our consumer advocacy role through outreach to patients and members of the healthcare team.  Are you interested in helping patients understand their laboratory test results?  The Web team continues to answer up to 75 questions a day from consumers and healthcare providers who ask questions over the internet, usually through the Lab Tests Online website.  Susan Leclair who oversees this effort, is always looking for volunteers.  You don’t need to be an expert in your discipline, and you will be trained and mentored.  If you think this might be a way you can give back, contact Susan at

Past issues of Society News Now can now be found on the website under The ASCLS Connection.

Society News Now, Issue #2

on Wednesday, 22 October 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

ASCLS One Voice, One Vision

Society News Now

A monthly update on activities occurring on behalf of the members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science 

Issue 2 October 2014

In this Issue:


Membership Committee Liaison to IFBLS  Government Affairs Committee  Annual Meeting Steering Committee and Advanced Management Institute ASCLS Executive Committee Meeting and Upcoming ASCLS Board of Directors Conference Call

Membership Committee

Call to Action!  The Membership Committee is focusing their time on encouraging the contact of lapsed members.  There are a significant number of our members that have not renewed, and we need to remind them of their importance to ASCLS.  The Membership Committee has updated the scripts that can be used to reach out to these folks; the scripts are available on the Leadership Resources page.  Reaching out by e-mail can work, but nothing beats that personal touch – a phone call or in person conversation with the member on the Lapsed list.  We want to know why people are not renewing – hopefully they just forgot, but we might learn what drives our membership to believe in ASCLS (or not) if we make a personal contact.


For those of you that have already renewed, please take a few moments to log onto the ASCLS website and check your member profile to be certain it is accurate. This is how we communicate with mass e-mails, and we don’t want you to miss out.

Liaison to IFBLS

 ASCLS is the U.S. member of the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science, and ASCLS Past-President Cathy Otto represents the interests of ASCLS and the U.S. clinical laboratory science community on this Board.  Cathy attended the IFBLS meeting in Taiwan the first week of October.  What a great opportunity to interact with our international colleagues! Look for a short report from the IFBLS meeting in an upcoming issue of this e-newsletter.


Government Affairs Committee

  Congress is adjourned until after the Elections, but there is still activity.  

  •  LDT (Laboratory Developed Tests):   On September 9, the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Lab Developed Tests (LDT) and the FDA issued LDT Guidance the end of September.  FDA is issuing this guidance because of the many labs using LDT and risks associated with this practice.  They question patient safety and are issuing the guidance to insure these tests are appropriate and doing what they are intended to do.  There is a 120 day comment period, and ASCLS is working on a statement.  If you would like to contribute to this response, please contact the ASCLS office. 
  • Workforce:  ASCLS worked with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to schedule a meeting dealing with funding allied health care education. We are working with AACC, PT, OT, SLP, Audiology, Respiratory Therapy, and Registered Dieticians. 

Get involved with Legislative and Governmental Advocacy!  Attend the Legislative Symposium March 16-17, 2015 and help ASCLS conduct visits on Capitol Hill to lobby for issues that affect the laboratory community.

Annual Meeting Steering Committee and Advanced Management Institute

Members met in Atlanta, the site of the 2015 ASCLS Annual Meeting, the end of September to plan the program for both of these events.  The Abstract and Program Proposal Review Committee and Scientific Assemblies actively solicited proposals, and over 150 proposals were reviewed and ranked as part of the process for determining the educational offerings for both the AMI and the Annual Meeting.  The AMSC members are now working to solidify the proposals and develop speaker contracts.  I think you all will be pleased with the quality of the sessions planned for Atlanta!  Stay tuned for more information.


ASCLS Executive Committee Meeting and Upcoming ASCLS Board of Directors Conference Call

The ASCLS Executive Committee, a subset of the Board of Directors, met in Atlanta the end of September.  Many issues were discussed, including the progress on the final version of the Body of Knowledge, our social media presence, the Coordinating Committee for the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW), and the establishment of some new task forces.  The full Board of Directors will meet by conference call on November 14.  It is Fall BOD report time when constituent society presidents, Regional Directors, ASCLS National Committee chairs and ASCLS representatives to affiliated organizations provide reports of their activities, and bring forth grass roots concerns and requests for BOD actions.   These reports were due October 20th.


Many other Activities!  There were more reports of activities than I have room for in a one page newsletter.  Would you prefer more news, or to keep this newsletter brief?  Let me know at  Past issues of Society News Now can now be found at


Society News Now, Issue #1

on Sunday, 28 September 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

ASCLS Society News Now! Issue #1

Welcome to the first issue of Society News Now, an e-newsletter designed to provide you, the grass roots members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, a monthly update on activities that are happening in ASCLS on your behalf.
Government Affairs Committee

The GAC recently published another issue of the GAC e-newsletter.  If you missed it in your e-mail, e-newsletters can be found on the ASCLS Advocates for You section of the ASCLS website.  The GAC has been working for you on the following issues:
·         Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302)
·         Workforce Efforts
·         Veteran’s Administration legislation
·         Laboratory Developed Tests (LDT):  FDA’s notice to Congress
Details of these issues are in the e-newsletter.  Check this out, as these issues effect all of us.

Look for an article in an upcoming issue of Clinical Laboratory Science entitled “Challenges in Laboratory Coding-2015”.  Kathy Hansen has written a very helpful guide to the many coding changes for 2015 – especially in the areas of molecular and drug testing.

The Legislative Symposium will be held March 16-17, 2015 in Washington, D.C.  It’s not too early to make plans!

Patient Safety Committee

The focus of the PSC Publicity Campaign for 2014-2015 will be Laboratory Administrators.  PSC will be conducting a survey of members of the Laboratory Administration SA to find out how they would like to have patient safety product information delivered and what they might need with respect to patient safety.

Cathy Otto, Chair of the PSC, received financial support from a foundation within Salisbury University to support a validation process of the PSC’s ASCLS Patient Safety Tips.  Cathy will send actual copies of the Tips to laboratory professionals who are willing to beta test them, along with a survey to distribute to patients.

Membership Committee

Communication is one of the main themes for the MC this year.  Regional reps on the Committee will be contacting the society presidents in their region to find out when Board of Directors meetings are scheduled and phone in (or attend if local) to share membership information and communicate ideas.
There is a new Membership Matters community group available through the ASCLS website. This group has been created to disseminate information to the ASCLS community from the National Office and Board of Directors as well as share information on grassroots recruiting efforts. This is another great vehicle to communicate ideas. Members are the life blood of ASCLS.  If you haven’t already, please take the time to renew, and encourage your colleagues to become members, too.

Abstract and Program Proposal Review Committee

Proposals for the 2015 Annual Meeting are being reviewed, and the Annual Meeting Steering Committee will be meeting September 26-27 to determine the program schedule.  The 2015 meeting will take place in Atlanta, GA, July 28- August 1. It’s not too early to think about submitting a poster for the 2015 meeting.  Poster Submission Guidelines have been revised, and the word count for ASCLS abstracts will be increased to 300.
Product Development Committee

The PDC will be having their first committee meeting by WebEx rather than conference call to give all the members a chance to “see” each other.  The PDC is currently reviewing the newest MediaLab program.
Leadership Development

The LDC Regional reps will be communicating with their state leadership contacts, and will have specific items to be discussed.  One topic will be discussing ways to use state meetings to enhance leadership development efforts.   State presidents are encouraged to identify state contacts as a point of contact for the LDC.

Promotion of the Profession

It is already time to select the logo for Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, 2015.  The PPC has viewed the provided options and given feedback on behalf of ASCLS to the MLPW Committee.  ASCLS gave back to the 2014 host city, Chicago, by providing HOPE (Helping Other People Event) to the Gads Hill Center that serves low–income families with programming for early childhood education, academic support, social-emotional development and family support. Over $1600 to purchase laboratory supplies from Dove Medical and 8 boxes of school supplies was raised.  A survey will be sent out to members of the PPC, the Georgia constituent society, and the Annual Meeting Steering Committee to help select the HOPE project for the Atlanta meeting.  Do you read the ASCLS Voice column in ADVANCE magazine?  Thank the PPC for organizing these columns!  Look for the PPC to be promoting the profession in other publications.

Scientific Assemblies

Scientific Assemblies provide you with a means to interact with other members in specific disciplines.  Join the member communities of interest to you today!  Just log into the ASCLS website, click on the ASCLS Member Community link, and start participating.

[12  >>