Kristen Croom, MLS(ASCP)CM, MB(ASCP), ASCLS Region X Director

I want to start by saying a huge MAHALO to our laboratory teams working to care for our patients during this pandemic. We have seen unprecedented changes to our healthcare system and our entire way of life. Our laboratory family has the opportunity to come together and provide an important voice to the healthcare team. It is during these times that we can rely on our ASCLS family and colleagues to provide a unified voice.

This quote by Marge Kennedy makes me think of our ASCLS family:

In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.

Ms. Kennedy’s words speak to our shared commitment to each other and our patients. Our family is incredibly lucky to have each and every member. Our family includes the generations that came before us and built the foundation we are now standing on. These individuals play an important part in our rituals and help us ensure we do not forget our past. They also provide insight into our future by reminding us why we are here and what we have done.

“Our family is amazing when we work together. Gathering information from all generations and deciding how to move forward.”

Our family also includes the younger generations that are eager to get started. These individuals are the future of our organization, and we want to help them succeed and keep the family name alive. As with most families, we worry about their futures and how they will help create future generations.

Our family is amazing when we work together. Gathering information from all generations and deciding how to move forward. In the end, we all care for each other and reinforce our commitment to our fellow family members and the ultimate commitment of caring for our patients.

Our ASCLS rituals help keep the family connected and the commitment alive. Our rituals include our family reunions at our various national and local events. They also include passing our knowledge base to the next generation through formal education and informal relationships. As with most families, the rituals should change to meet the needs of the expanding family. ASCLS has changed the face of its rituals strategically over the last few years. We want to maintain our rituals and meet the needs of our family members.

This year has been personally tough, not having our family reunions at the Laboratory Legislative Symposium, the Joint Annual Meeting, and most of our state meetings. We are entering a new world post-COVID-19, and our family will be together to adjust our rituals and expectations. Our overall goals have not changed; we strive to provide the best care for our patients and ensure that future generations of our family are equipped to handle the job.

Kristen Croom is Director of Laboratories, Pathology and Molecular Services, at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.