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.