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 Comments or Post a Comment and add to the Post a Comment box. We hope you will enjoy this new form of communication and look forward to any feedback!

President's Welcome

on Monday, 31 December 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

To My Medical Laboratory Science colleagues:

To My Medical Laboratory Science colleagues:

It has been my distinct pleasure to represent you as ASCLS President this past year. I truly believe that medical laboratory professionals are among the most dedicated individuals in the health care system, and you deserve to be commended for the work you are doing to maintain the health of the nation. The culmination of the year for medical laboratory professionals will be the Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Atlanta from July 26 to July 30. The meeting starts with the "Dueling Doctors”, pathologist, Dr. Michael Laposata, facing off with well-known internist Dr. James Meisel to discuss the sometimes competing challenges in optimizing patient care. The meeting ends with a promise by Emory Austin to "make the odd twists on your life route positive, and move forward with confidence as you re-draw your map with the pen of reality”.

When you attend a conference related to your area of expertise, you will get opportunities to interact directly with nationally known leaders of your profession--colleagues you recognize by reputation and through their articles and books. I know that we are good at what we do and that we know where to find information on how to do things a little differently or where to find resources to help us learn something new. The human interaction of discussing these issues, however, makes them clearer and gives us a variety of new ideas that we don't necessarily receive by merely looking for information in books or on the web. Even though we can get information and feedback from online meetings, we need to remember how powerful personally attending these conferences can be, because we can meet a wide range of people face-to-face and forge more permanent bonds with them. I cannot overstate the positive aspects I have gained as a result of networking at annual meetings. Attending the national ASCLS annual meetings has provided me with a vast new collection of friends and associates from around the country who have been and continue to be valuable resources throughout the year. I look forward to seeing each and every one of these friends for a few days in July every year. They say it's not what you know, it's who you know. I like to think that what you know is pretty important too, but who you know can't hurt either.

In addition to the people you meet and the knowledge you obtain, there is FUN associated with attending the annual meeting. I hope to see you at the ASCLS President's reception on Wednesday, July 27, because there is no better way to get to know your colleagues than in a casual setting with refreshments, entertainment and a little competition to buy the best items at the E&R silent auction. So, come on down to Atlanta and see how "Southern Hospitality Meets Best Practice”.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the ASCLS 2011 Annual Meeting in Atlanta

on Monday, 31 December 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

Anyone who as attended the ASCLS Annual Meeting can tell you there are countless benefits to attending a meeting of this scale. In addition to a week away from the stresses of work, here are the top 10 reasons you should attend the ASCLS 2011 Annual Meeting.

1) Clinical Laboratory Expo- View the largest exhibit of clinical laboratory products in the world with over 600 companies present. Learn about the newest technologies and cutting edge instruments before anyone else!

2) Governance- Attend ASCLS governance sessions and get the opportunity to take an active part in your organization.

3) Socialize and Network- After a long day of learning, take advantage of the social events such as the ASCLS President's Reception and network with old friends, make new friends, and just have fun.

4) Get Up to Date- get the most recent information on key issues affecting the clinical laboratory through the Healthcare Forum where topics will be discussed such as Medicare reimbursement for laboratories as well as regulatory and legislative challenges for laboratory practitioners from CLIAC to healthcare reform.

5) Professional Society Development- attend practical "how-to” sessions on all the major functions of society management including membership, meetings, newsletter, government affairs, and leadership of your professional society.

6) Scientific Assembly Meetings- get together with other members that share a special interest or expertise in a clinical laboratory discipline and discuss problem solving, share information, talk about trends, and learn about new methods and technology.

7) Get involved- attend one of the many open committee meetings and see how to get involved in a number of different areas in ASCLS such as Promotion of the Profession Committee (PPC), Political Action Committee (PAC), the Patient Safety Committee, and many more.

8) Research- Learn about cutting edge research and interesting case studies through the Oral Research and Case Study Presentations as well as the Poster Presentations at the Convention Center during the Clinical Laboratory Expo.

9) Southern Hospitality- Enjoy the beautiful city of Atlanta and all that it has to offer such as the Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the world), Atlanta Braves baseball, Centennial Olympic Park, and Zoo Atlanta.

10) Education, Education, Education! Choose from over 57 hours of P.A.C.E. approved continuing education programming that span the broad range of clinical laboratory science disciplines from world renowned speakers.

ASCLS Annual Meeting: The Student Experience

on Monday, 31 December 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

Considering I had only recently joined ASLCS, and was a student at that, I really had no idea what to expect as I flew from North Carolina to California for the 2010 ASCLS Annual Meeting. I had glanced over the program and wondered where exactly a student fit in at the meeting with CEs, committee meetings, issues updates, etc. dominating the schedule. However, all of my worries disappeared as soon as the meeting started, and I quickly learned what an incredible opportunity attending the meeting as a student was. The Annual Meeting is the perfect place for students, because it offers amazing chances to learn, network, and have a blast.

Of course, the meat of any professional meeting, the Annual Meeting included, is the CE. Don't let the fact that you're a student deter you from participating in as many CEs as you'd like – you'll be surprised at the amount that you have learned in your programs in just a few semesters. And with the new information you learn, you can impress your professors and clinical instructors (and make the rest of your classmates who have forgotten everything over the summer look bad) when you start back in the fall! With countless sessions covering all the disciplines of laboratory science, you'll easily find a few topics that sound interesting to you. However, as soon as sitting in a windowless room becomes too much to bear, there's always the Clinical Laboratory Expo, which I promise will blow your mind. Here you'll have the opportunity to interact with just about every company that provides services for the laboratory, and the exposure you gain to the various automated instruments and suppliers will only make you a more valuable addition to a laboratory upon graduation.

I'm sure you've heard the saying before, "It's not what you know – but who you know.” Networking is such a vital part of establishing a successful career for students and professionals alike, and attending the Annual Meeting offers the chance for you to begin forming the connections that will benefit you for the rest of your career. With several Student Forum events held throughout the week, you'll have the opportunity to meet other students. These events are a great way to meet your peers and have a fun time getting to know each other. Throughout the week you will have many chances to meet professional ASCLS members as well. Laboratory professionals from across the country converge on the meeting, so if you were thinking of moving after graduation network with members from that state or region. As well, each of the members in attendance at the Annual Meeting have varying interests and positions within the field of Clinical Laboratory Science, allowing you to begin making the connections that could lead to advancing your career later. Networking at the Annual Meeting is so incredibly easy because everyone there shares a common interest – plus the fact that you're a student and attending the meeting will automatically impress everyone you speak with!

It may seem that the Annual Meeting is all work and no play, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. There are so many opportunities throughout the week to just let your hair down and have a great time. Two events in particular come to mind – the First Timers and Student Reception and the President's reception. Both events allow you to mingle with friends, while enjoying great food and drinks (and even a DJ at the President's reception). However, some of the best times you'll have at the Annual Meeting aren't even sponsored by ASCLS. Every night there will be somebody inviting you to the bar, to dinner, or sightseeing. So take up as many of the offers as you can! The best stories and funniest memories from your trip to the Annual Meeting will most definitely come from time spent outside of the hotel and the convention center.

Hopefully I've debunked any fears you may have had about attending the Annual Meeting as a student. It is a great event that balances opportunities for learning and fun perfectly. Attending the Annual Meeting is an incredible way to begin your involvement in ASCLS, and will make your transition from student to professional so much easier!

ASCLS - CLMA Announcement

on Monday, 31 December 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

The Boards of Directors of theAmerican Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) are excited to announce their mutual support for the concept of merging the two organizations. Both boards are entering into a period of final due diligence, outlined in further detail below.

Members of both organizations were notified by their respective boards in March, 2011 of the formation of the CLMA/ASCLS Strategic Alliance (CASA) task force. The 10 member task force, 5 fromASCLS and 5 from CLMA, studied how such a combined organization might operate – including areas such as (but not limited to) programs, services, governance, culture, and mission. CASA delivered their final report to the boards of ASCLS and CLMA on June 24.

The CLMA Board voted unanimously, on June 27, to accept the findings of The CASA Report. During the week of July 25th, the ASCLS Board of Directors and the House of Delegates voted unanimously to accept the findings of the CASA Report.

As indicated above, both boards have entered into individual final due diligence efforts. These efforts include a detailed review of financials and a review and consideration of a legal opinion on how to best effectuate a merger.

Should the final due diligence yield favorable information, both boards will likely vote on a proposition to merge the associations into a new or combined organization – it is presumed that final due diligence will require approximately 3-4 months.

Membership, local leaders, sponsors/supporters, partners, and all stakeholders are being notified of the recent 'official' decisions by each board. Based on the CASA report, there is a presumption that the news will be received VERY favorably by all. Both boards are fully committed to maintaining an open and transparent dialogue with membership and stakeholders as discussions progress.

Specific statements and issues from The CASA Report:

ASCLS and CLMAshare a vision that the combined organization will be the premier resource for medical laboratory professionals and laboratory leadership to maintain and enhance their knowledge of medical laboratory science and best practices. Its mission will be to promote the practice of excellence in medical laboratory medicine through education, advocacy, and networking.

The combined organization would remain international in scope, with a national governing board, and have local representation. There would be significant opportunities for member engagement via committees, task forces, volunteer involvement and advocacy. Membership would be open to: scientific and technical personnel; laboratory managers and administrators; students; educators; and all those who support medical laboratories and medical laboratory professionals.

The mission and goals of the new combined organization would also include publications such as a peer-reviewed journal, regularly scheduled newsletter, weekly e-newsletters, the Body of Knowledge for Clinical Laboratory Professionals and the Body of Knowledge for Medical Laboratory Management. It would also be the intent to convene a general annual meeting and specialty meetings such as a Legislative Symposium, a Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference, a Clinical Laboratory Administrators and Managers Meeting, and Chapter Constituent Society and Regional Meetings with ample opportunities for vendor exhibits.

Media Inquiries:

ASCLS:
Catherine Otto, ASCLS President
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CLMA:
Rod Forsman, CLMA President
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ASCLS Members “Provide the Face” of Lab Professionals in Washington D.C.... want to join the fun in 2012?

on Tuesday, 06 September 2011. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

During my year as ASCLS President, my theme was "Provide the Face,” in which I encouraged laboratory professionals nationwide to share their story of the critical role they play in patient care.

On October 23-24, 2010, ASCLS members provided "face-time” with young people interested in careers in science with a hands-on exhibit booth at the USA Science Festival, a month-long event designed to stimulate interest and excitement in science careers. The Festival activities culminated during last weekend of the month on the National Mall and nearby plazas in Washington D.C., where it is estimated that over 500,000 participants visited over 1500 exhibits.

The ASCLS booth, titled "Solving Medical Mysteries,” told the story of a young boy, Joshua, who came to the emergency room with fever, headache, runny nose and seizures. Displays were set up for Microbiology (streaking on agar plates, match the culture and microscope field to the picture), Urinalysis (dip-and-read), Hematology (match the microscope field to the white blood cell in the spinal fluid), Blood Bank (typing with very realistic artificial blood) and Chemistry (red, green or blue colors). An artificial but very realistic blood for typing was a hit with visitors and worms caused a number of groans and "ooooohs.”

Handouts were provided from the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee on "Venipuncture Safety Tips” and "Do I Need to Fast?” as well as "Who Does My Lab Tests?” An elementary school teacher won the drawing for a "Medical Mysteries Prize Package” which included The Adventures of the Lab Explorers, books 1 and 2 and three CDs: "A Life Saved,” "Careers in Clinical Laboratory Science," and "Diagnostic Detectives."

The ASCLS members who volunteered their time over one or two days of the weekend were Mary Ann McLane (DE), Mary Gourley (PA), Jean Bauer (MN), Marguerite Neita (D.C.) and her students from the Clinical Laboratory Science program at Howard University. They braved 5 a.m. darkness, wind, uncooperative flagpoles, tired feet, snaking electrical cords, power outages, hoarse voices, fainting 12-year-olds, and barely visible Wright stain cytospins to provide a wonderful "Provide the Face" experience to at least 700 people who came through the ASCLS booth. We plan to exhibit again at the next Festival which will happen April 27-29, 2012. Volunteers to staff the booths are needed, and anyone able to commit to the weekend event can contact me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . It will be the most exhausting and wonderful experience you will ever have!

Mary Ann McLane
ASCLS Past President

**picture 1 shows Jean Bauer from Minnesota (foreground) and Ashley Collins in the background, a junior at Howard University's Clinical Laboratory Sciences program
**picture 2 gives an idea of how busy the booth got during the festival         **picture 3 shows another Howard University student (do not have his name, unfortunately!)

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Curious About LinkedIn? We're Here to Help!

on Thursday, 06 October 2011. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

What is LinkedIn? 
LinkedIn is a professional networking website that allows you to connect with colleagues and friends while maintaining a professional profile. For some, LinkedIn is more appealing than Facebook or Twitter because personal information is limited to career history and related activities, and the user is in complete control of all the information visible on their profile. One might even think of it as an online resume. After users input their education and work experiences they can begin to make connections with other users. You will not have to wade through photographs of your connection’s children, or have to read what they had for dinner. Instead conversations are focused on career development. LinkedIn currently touts over 120 million registered users worldwide, and you will find the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science among those ranks. 

How do I join LinkedIn? 
Signing up is easy - you only need an email address and a little bit of time. You may visit http://www.linkedin.com, select "JOIN TODAY” and start the process instantly – it is completely FREE. Create an account and then set up your profile information. You can add the degrees you've obtained, the positions you've held, the relevant work experience you've had, and you can even add a photograph (remember to keep it professional). Then you can start to build your circles. 

I have joined LinkedIn, now what? 
Connect with your coworkers. Connect with college professors. Connect with potential employers. Connect with companies and groups you are interested in. You can be as active within LinkedIn as you want. If you are job-hunting or recruiting, LinkedIn is an outstanding supplement to the ASCLS job board found at www.ASCLS.org but a user can get much more out of the service if they are so inclined. In addition, LinkedIn can be a resource for laboratorians looking for answers to specific questions such as "How do you store Compound X in your laboratory?” "What vendor/supplier do you use for your Calcium reagents?” "Does your laboratory perform HPLC testing for 5HIAA urine metabolites?” 

What does ASCLS have to do with LinkedIn? 
As your professional society, ASCLS felt the face of the laboratory profession was missing within LinkedIn. There is currently a 'group' with 1,693 members, and that number is growing every day. The ASCLS group is open to all who are interested in ASCLS or the laboratory profession to join, and we have recently created subgroups to represent each of the regional divisions within ASCLS. (Search American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science to find us, and then click on tab labeled "More" and find the link for subgroups to locate the Regional Groups) Groups within LinkedIn contain a discussion area, a job posting area, and a promotions area. There is a constant stream of information about laboratory science and job availabilities across the nation posted to our group page by ASCLS members, laboratory science students, and health science recruiters alike. By joining and posting directly to a subgroup for a specific region, users can focus on job postings or laboratory topics that are relevant to their local area, rather than all across the country. The ASCLS LinkedIn Group will be as great as its members make it. The content is completely member-driven, so join discussions and create new connections. (There is moderation of postings, and anything inappropriate will be removed.) 

Where will we go from here? 
Where ever you take us! The LinkedIn Group will occasionally have postings of important announcements or information that come directly from the ASCLS executive office, but for the most part the information shared comes from group members. Feel free to share an interesting article you read last week, announce your state or regional meetings, recognize or recommend your peers for their accomplishments, and give yourself more exposure by publicizing your own professional achievements! Please join us in making ASCLS the preeminent laboratory professional organization on LinkedIn. Recruit members into your state and local societies, help answer the questions of students, post those hard-to-fill openings within your laboratory, or search for that dream job across the country all while knowing that the information you find within the ASCLS group pages has come from other laboratorians like yourself - your online professional network.

Adventures in Planning NMLPW

on Thursday, 03 May 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

What makes National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week so special?

By Jamie Blankenship, MLS(ASCP)CM

What makes it special is YOU! It is a time to celebrate you and each of your colleagues – phlebotomists, technicians, technologists, scientists, pathologists, and non-technical laboratory staff members – who work tirelessly each day to make a difference in the lives of so many! You are one of the many Laboratory Professionals who Get Results!

This is the 37th year for the event, which provides the profession with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for medical laboratory personnel.

Thanks to each of you for all you do!

Go to http://www.ascls.org/?NMLPW to read more about the history of NMLPW

Connect Your P.A.C.E. Credits and BOC CMP Declaration

on Friday, 09 March 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

What makes National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week so special?

Dear ASCLS Member,

ASCLS has just made your life easier! You can now choose to have your CE Organizer P.A.C.E.® certificate data automatically downloaded to the Board of Certification (BOC).

The next time you log in to CE Organizer, a one-time pop-up window will ask you to enter your ASCP user ID number. Once you've entered your number and clicked submit, your CE Organizer P.A.C.E.® certificate data from January 1, 2012, and later will be transmitted to your Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) Declaration form. Certificate data downloads will be sent to the BOC on a weekly basis.

Your ASCP user ID number is the number you create when you set up an account with ASCP; it is not your certification number. The number is associated with any ASCP purchase you might make and with your Certification Maintenance Program. If you cannot remember your ASCP user ID number or do not have one, go to the ASCP Login page.

If you do not enter your ASCP user ID number when the pop-up appears, you can add it later in your CE Organizer Account.

We hope this new tool will help simplify the management of your continuing education credits.

Sincerely,

ASCLS Headquarters

ASCLS-CO Partners with HOSA for Awesome Career Recruitment Event!

on Saturday, 28 April 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

Posted By William J. Pierce, ASCLS-CO President,

Cathy McNary, ASCLS-CO past-president, is the ultimate volunteer. Everything Cathy decides to work on for ASCLS is always done with great time investment and a very high energy level. She has definitely drunk the ASCLS "KOOLAID".

Two years ago Cathy invited a director of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) to an ASCLS-CO board meeting. The meeting generated an enormous interest among our members. We purchased a booth at the HOSA state conference in 2011. Lots of work went into setting up the booth, telling the ASCLS story, and encouraging laboratory medicine as a career.

Cathy set up microscopes - one with hematology stained slides showing WBC, RBC, and Platelets, and  the other showing gram stained bacteria. We had two drawings per day to give away laboratory related gifts. It was a resounding success! Over 400 high school students with an interest in health careers visited the booth. We had general members, students and board members staffing the booth for eight hours. It was awesome!

This year, 2012, Cathy obtained two booths at the HOSA state conference and we had the same response, with another 400 high school students coming by and learning about Medical Laboratory Science. Cathy setup a new activity this year - she had a lecture for students and they participated in a session where they were judged on their laboratory skills. This was also very successful.

HOSA is a national student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of ACTE. HOSA's two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA's goal is to encourage all health occupations instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HSE-HOSA Partnership.

HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in HSE programs. HOSA is 100% health care!

Since its inception in 1976, HOSA has grown steadily reaching nearly 120,000 members through 47 chartered HOSA State Associations and approximately 3,200 secondary and postsecondary/collegiate chapters in 2009-2010.

HOSA is not a club to which a few students in school join. Rather, HOSA is a powerful instructional tool that works best when it is integrated into the HSE curriculum and classroom. HSE instructors are committed to the development of the total person. Those who join the HSE-HOSA Partnership recognize the importance of providing students with training far beyond the basic technical skills needed for entry into the health care field. The rapidly changing health care system needs dedicated workers who, in addition to their technical skills, are people-oriented and capable of playing a leadership or followership role as a member of a health care team.

HOSA's mission is especially critical when considering the acute shortage of qualified workers for the health care industry. It is essential that the HSE-HOSA Partnership maintain its momentum and encourage all HSE instructors to integrate HOSA into their curriculum and classrooms.

The most exciting part of the meeting and, especially for Cathy, was HOSA chose ASCLS-CO as their Partnership of the Year Award for 2011-12. Cathy accepted the award on behalf of ASCLS-CO. Kudos to Cathy - the ultimate ASCLS member and volunteer. She should be very proud of what she has accomplished and her story needs to be told.

ASCLS-CO website

NMLPW 2012 - You Get Results!

on Saturday, 28 April 2012. Posted in The ASCLS Connection:

What makes National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week so special?

What makes it special is YOU! It is a time to celebrate you and each of your colleagues – phlebotomists, technicians, technologists, scientists, pathologists, and non-technical laboratory staff members – who work tirelessly each day to make a difference in the lives of so many! You are one of the many Laboratory Professionals who Get Results!

This is the 37th year for the event, which provides the profession with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for medical laboratory personnel.

Thanks to each of you for all you do!

Go to http://www.ascls.org/?NMLPW to read more about the history of NMLPW