The 2021 Tri-State Meeting will be held April 5-8 in New Orleans and will host ASCLS-Mississippi, the Louisiana Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, and the Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science. Photo credit: Eric Gross https://www.flickr.com/photos/hozho/15975312841

 The ASCLS-Mississippi and Louisiana Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (LSCLS) constituent societies have been cohosting their annual meeting for several years. The societies alternate which state hosts the meeting each year with the host society assuming the meeting planning responsibilities when it is their turn. The relationship has become very communal—we share knowledge, labor, attendees, profits, student bowls, volunteers, and more.

In 2021, the bi-state meeting will be hosted by LSCLS. Since James Gardner will serve as LSCLS president during that time, he will be the person who is ultimately responsible for the success of this meeting. If you know James, you know that he is a team player. You also know that he is very passionate about our profession and ASCLS.

Also in 2021, the ASCLS Annual Meeting will be held in Addison, Texas. The Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science (TACLS) members will be called upon to help as host liaison for this meeting. James saw this development as an opportunity for our bi-state meeting, and our Mississippi neighbors agreed. To lend a helping hand to our Texan friends, our 2021 meeting has officially transitioned from being a bistate meeting to a tri-state meeting. Welcome, TACLS!

The First Tri-State Meeting
We are very excited to announce that the 2021 Tri-State Meeting will be held April 5-8 in New Orleans at the JW Marriott located at 611 Common Street. This location is ideal for enjoying everything that New Orleans has to offer. It is across the street from the upriver boundary of the French Quarter. The infamous Palace Café is within a few steps from the hotel. You can also hop on a streetcar in front of the hotel and travel throughout the city.

The planning for this event will be different than previous years. Our steering committee is composed of the presidents and president-elects from each state. We have agreed on equal representation for all committees to ensure we are meeting the needs of attendees from each state. If you are a TACLS, LSCLS, or ASCLS-MS member and are interested in serving on a committee, please reach out to a member of the steering committee. By sharing the duties of meeting planning, it will be manageable for all.

With a bigger meeting comes bigger responsibilities. We anticipate that our exhibit hall will be bigger than ever with vendors being able to reach customers from three states at one place. Our MLS and MLT student bowl competition is guaranteed to be fierce. Between LSCLS and ASCLS-MS, this competition has the tradition of being cutthroat. With the addition of the TACLS students, the level of rivalry will be unmatched to previous years.

Southern Hospitality, Good Food, Fun Times, and Great Education
We are only in the beginning phase of planning the tri-state meeting, but we are looking forward to the journey. For LSCLS, our neighbors to the east and west are committed, and we have a common goal—to produce an annual meeting like no other! We hope that our meeting will attract our ASCLS friends from other states as well. One thing that can be expected is southern hospitality, good food, fun times, and great education! In fact, our opening keynote speaker will be Sten Westgard from Westgard QC. Thank you to our friends at Audit MicroControls, Inc., for this generous sponsorship.

“We anticipate that our exhibit hall will be bigger than ever with vendors being able to reach customers from three states at one place.”

As for the future of the tri-state meeting, we are only looking at 2021 right now. The LSCLS, ASCLS-MS, and TACLS members have pledged their support to make this meeting a success. We are looking at innovative ideas for sharing knowledge, engaging attendees, and networking. Stay tuned for more information on sponsorships, exhibitors, registration, and socials.

Go ahead and mark your calendars now—April 5-8, 2021! Celebrate science with us in the Big Easy. Laissez les bons temps rouler, a.k.a., let the good times roll!

Karrie Hovis is lab education coordinator at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.