Deb Rodahl, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

"ASCLS and the entire practice field is at a time of great change. New leadership is emerging while long valued leaders are retiring; new technologies continue to drive our profession forward; and we as professionals are being encouraged to transform into a new type of healthcare provider who plays a more consultative role in patient care. What strengths do you possess that will position ASCLS as a strong, relevant professional organization leading our practice field through these exciting, yet challenging, times of change?"
There is no question that HealthCare is in a time of change and transition and I don’t believe that any of us really know what healthcare will look like in 5-10 years. We just know that it will be different.
ASCLS is at a new cross-roads in our organization. The real challenge before us and ASCLS as an organization is how to get our fellow practitioners to understand the critical importance of participating in their profession through involvement and support of a professional organization. I know I am preaching to the choir, but what would happen if no one was monitoring the legislative and regulatory arena? What would happen if we were not sharing our research and technology? How does the newer generation of laboratory practitioner get engaged in an organization that like all other professional organizations has its roots from several generations prior? 
Thanks to the great leadership before me, we have successfully engaged our student and new professional members in ASCLS. However, we need to meet the next challenge to make sure we continue to engage our newer professionals by ensuring ASCLS is meeting their needs today and in the future. Lastly, we are also in transition along with other professional organizations as we all seek to ensure we are relevant in this age of instant communication, access to e-education, and in an age where we all seem to have too much to do to volunteer with one more commitment.
To understand my ability to lead in a time of transition, it is important to understand who I am.
  • I was born and reared in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota at the tail-end of the Baby Boomer generation and as the middle child in a family of 5. This will explain some of my leadership traits…
  • I have been told that I can be stubborn. I prefer to think that I can display great persistence in a subtle way with a personal philosophy of “where there is a will, there is a way” – particularly when it comes to doing the right thing.
  • I am a long-time leader (over 30 years with the same health care organization) who has led with integrity and with a collaborative, patient/customer centric focus.
  • I have been actively involved with ASCLS since my decision to join in 1990. I have been active on the State, Regional, and National levels and last summer I completed my second term on the ASCLS Board of Directors as the Director from Region V.
  • I am a strong proponent for collaboration, whether in the patient care arena where we all need to collaborate and cooperate to ensure the best outcomes for our patients or in ASCLS where we need to continue to look for those areas where we have mutual interests and those areas for collaboration and cooperation for the best outcomes of our profession.
So – how can I help position ASCLS as a strong, relevant professional organization leading our practice field through these exciting, yet challenging, times of change? We need to look at “Strategy.” Not just a strategic plan, but also strategy for how we can continue to engage our members in ongoing change and transition as ASCLS continues to evolve as the preeminent organization for clinical laboratory professionals. We need to know where we are today to understand how to be something different or somewhere different tomorrow – and to improve our ability to track and monitor with real-time metrics. I believe we need to continue to seek out collaboration with our peers in the other professional organizations and we need to find a way to speak with a more unified voice across these organizations. I believe we need to ensure we are a nimble organization that can move quickly to respond to or adapt to change. 
I am a firm believer in the value that ASCLS brings to the Clinical Laboratory Sciences profession and to the practitioners within this profession. ASCLS has helped shape who I am professionally and personally, for which I will always be grateful. The value of membership is there for each and every one of us – simply for the taking. 
ASCLS’s One Voice, One Vision is more than a catchy slogan, and more than the sum of its parts. The Voice of our grass roots membership is the foundation of ASCLS and what makes this organization so effective. ASCLS has also clearly demonstrated the Vision to plan for the future while dealing with the reality of today.  We have proven the true power we have when we all work together for the same goals. ASCLS provides the foundation that allows us to do that. I am proud to give back to the organization that has given so much to me and I will endeavor to serve with integrity and a collaborative spirit if elected to this position.
To understand what has brought me to choose to run as candidate for ASCLS President-Elect, I also need to answer “Why ASLCS?”?  I joined ASCLS in 1990 when I attended my first State Meeting. I was an easy “sell” when the benefits of “learning and growing” in my profession resonating with me. I could choose to work in my laboratory and read the journals and think I was staying current in my profession, but I realized that I needed to get outside of my laboratory and meet others in our profession and in general act like a professional!  I was quickly enlisted to help with the state Government Affairs Committee and then branched off to be our Membership Committee Chair. I attended my first national meeting in 1994, which was held in Nashville, Tennessee. I attended my second national meeting in 1996, which was held in Chicago, Illinois.  I have gone to every national meeting ever since! Why???
  • ASCLS has become Family and I love my annual Family Reunion
  • Mentorship and Networking are Priceless!
  • I would not be where I am today in my professional career without the opportunities to learn and grow within ASCLS.  Wow – isn’t that one purpose of a Professional Organization!
At our ASCLS Minnesota Spring Collaborative Meeting we had a great Keynote speaker, Joe Schmitt, who is the Sports Director for one of our local TV stations. He spoke from his book “Silent Impact” and shared stories of Purpose, Persistence, and Passion. He challenged all of us to understand and lead with our own Purpose, Persistence, and Passion.
  • Purpose: Lead in a time of transition with a strategic plan as well as with a strategy for how ASCLS exists in an arena with multiple laboratory-based professional organizations
  • Persistence: to continue to engage our newer professionals and to ensure that ASCLS is relevant today and in the future and to adjust our rudder as needed to ensure we stay on course
  • Passion: for the profession, the professional, and my ASCLS family
I will endeavor to lead with Purpose, with Persistence, and with Passion because having a broad-based Professional Organization is critical to our profession!