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, 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 www.ascls.org 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”.

CCCLW  
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.

Advocacy
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 http://www.ascls.org/about-us/education-and-research-fund

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!  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2015PDCSurvey

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Past issues of Society News Now can now be found at http://ascls.org/about-us/voice-your-opinion/the-ascls-connection-blog


 

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.
 

What’s it like to be a Clinical Laboratory Science major?

on Tuesday, 05 August 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Promotion of the Profession

Check out the Bobcat Blog!

Lindsey Coulter tells us what it's like to be a CLS major in the Bobcat Blog.  The Bobcat Blog contains news on people and events at Texas State University, the Rising Star of Texas.

Check it out here:

http://txstateu.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/exploring-majors-clinical-laboratory-science/

2014 AM Awards Ceremony

on Tuesday, 05 August 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

2014 Awards Ceremony

2014 AM Awards Ceremony

The 2014 Members Awards and Industry Awards were wonderful. I am not just saying that because of the mimosas or champagne that was given to us either! Thank you to our wonderful emcees for the events, Paula Garrott for the Industry Awards and Barbara Brown at the Members Awards.

There were many students, professionals, and others given very deserving awards.

Chicago 2014!

on Tuesday, 05 August 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Society News

New beginnings

Chicago 2014!

Submitted by Andrea Hickey, ASCLS Staff

From the opening keynote with Dr. Walter "Sunny" Dzik explaining the laboratory's response to the Boston Marathon Bombing to the installation of our new President Susie Zanto, I don't think there was a single attendee that wouldn't agree that the 2014 ASCLS annual Meeting in Chicago was fantastic!

The annual meeting is sort of bittersweet for many people in leadership roles in ASCLS and ASCLS Constituent Societies.  It serves as the turning point for many as they leave one role and transition into another.  For President JR Constance, he was welcomed back by his Colorado contingency as he transitions to his role as ASCLS Past President.

Threre are many society presidents who do the same.  At the 2012 meeting in Los Angeles, I was at the end of my tenure as Michigan Past President and ready to settle into a less demanding role.  In Michigan, it is the Past President's job to plan the state meeting. At that time I transitioned into my favorite role, which is mentor.

You see, everyone should take a turn, do their part, and keep the state and regional grassroots efforts going strong.  As that happens though, the rest of us need to stick around and mentor those that follow. Douglas Adams once said 'I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be'.  I think this is so true for many of us. I know personally, I am exactly where I need to be.

A great article about the MLS Profession

on Tuesday, 01 July 2014. Posted in The ASCLS Connection: , Promotion of the Profession

The hidden profession that saves lives!

A great article about the MLS Profession

Check out a great article from Elsevier Connect about the Medical Laboratory Science profession

http://www.elsevier.com/connect/the-hidden-profession-that-saves-lives