Inspiring 2019 Joint Annual Meeting, What 50 Years of Active ASCLS Membership Looks Like, Apply for the New Position Paper Taskforce, and more!


Inspiring 2019 Joint Annual Meeting


ASCLS and the Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT) held a very successful 2019 Joint Annual Meeting in Charlotte, June 23-27. We hosted 685 registered attendees, which is the highest ASCLS Annual Meeting attendance in more than a decade. In addition, we had 41 industry partners, 70 educational sessions, and 36 poster presentations. It was the first time ASCLS and AGT partnered to hold our meetings jointly, which resulted in expanded educational and industry opportunities for both organizations. View photos taken during the conference and check out the JAM19 Highlights Video.

Attendees were energized and inspired by the superior educational sessions and the connections they made with fellow laboratorians and long-time friends.

  • “I enjoyed being combined with AGT this year. I met some members from this group and it was interesting talking to them about the genetic side.”
  • “Speakers were all fantastic … by far my favorite professional meeting.”
  • “I loved the vendors being present all of the time and easy availability.”
  • “Meeting up with old friends reignited the fire for me to want to make a difference at my hospital despite the resistance.”
  • “[T]his conference is a place where dreams are realized. … One day I hope to stand on a big stage in a session at an annual meeting and talk about how much ASCLS has advanced since my first attendance in 2019, speaking on how much we have grown the organization, what I’ve done to promote the profession and how my DCLS is being applied every day.”
  • “Being a part of ASCLS has connected me with countless professionals, all of whom have taught me so much about becoming an ascending professional, as well as introducing me to some fellow MLS students that are just as passionate as I am about this field.”

We’ve already begun plans for the 2020 Joint Annual Meeting, which will be held at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, June 28-July 2, 2020.

The deadline to submit session proposals for the 2020 meeting is extended to Monday, August 12. All confirmed speakers are eligible for substantial registration discounts and some can earn honoraria, so send in your session proposals and plan to join us next summer.

JAM19 PosterPhoto PulkkilaCongratulations to Poster and Oral Presentation Winners

The following presenters won top honors in the ASCLS Poster Competition.

Professional Category: Kathryn Golab and Luis Carrillo-Polanco, An Unusual Presentation of Smoldering Multiple Myeloma in a patient with End Stage Renal Disease

Graduate Category: Kelissa McCullar, Amanda Phillips, and Mayra Gonzales, Rapid Molecular Detection of Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Using High-Resolution Melt Analysis

Student Category: Brittany Pulkkila, Cost-Effectiveness of LAMP Test for Molecular Diagnosis of Human Schistosomes (co-authors: Nilanjan Lodh and James Mwansa)

New this year, all poster and oral presenters received registration discounts to attend the Joint Annual Meeting, and the best oral presentation winners won a $500 cash prize.

Best AGT Oral Presentation: Connie Monroe, Evidence of Paraprotein Interference with the CD138+ Enrichment Technique (co-author: Holli M. Drendel)

Best ASCLS Oral Presentation: Jason Evans, Innate Errors of Quantitative Streaking Methodologies (co-authors: Kyler Bankhead, Justin D’Agostin, and P. Rocco LaSala)


What 50 Years of Active ASCLS Membership Looks Like

LeclairCaskey50YearMembersAt the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting, ASCLS recognized 22 members who achieved the 50 Years of ASCLS Membership Milestone. This impressive list includes Susan Leclair and Cheryl Caskey, two members who personify the meaning of #Lab4Life.

Susan was a founder of and currently directs the Consumer Information Response Team, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary. Cheryl is a past president of ASCLS, current ASCLS Today editor, and the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Thank you, Susan and Cheryl, for your 50 years of dedication to ASCLS and your continued active involvement!


Apply for the New Position Paper Taskforce

The ASCLS Board of Directors recently approved the formation of the Position Paper Taskforce. The purpose of this taskforce is to review and update ASCLS Position Papers to ensure they are current and relevant for our members to utilize.

Taskforce members will review the existing ASCLS position papers, starting with the papers that have not been touched in more than five years with the following possible actions:

  • Recommend for board approval with no recommended changes.
  • Recommend to sunset as no longer being relevant.
  • Recommend for board approval and submission to the HOD with the recommended changes.

Learn more and applyLearn more and apply by Sunday, August 11.

Ascending Professionals Forum

logo APF vertical topNew Leadership, New Opportunities to Get Involved

The ASCLS Ascending Professionals Forum (APF) elected new leadership at the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting. Congratulations to the 2019-20 officers!

  • Chair: Maria Rodriguez
  • Vice Chair: Jessica Lawless
  • Secretary: Alexandra Nussbaum
  • Board Liason: Elizabeth LeFors

The APF was created to engage and inform individuals new to the profession and ASCLS about the various opportunities that membership affords. Join the APF Facebook Group to get more involved.

ASCLS Voices Under 40

Abbey 200Spotlight: Abbey Wichman, MLS(ASCP)CM, Lewistown, Montana

Abbey is employed by Central Montana Medical Center as the laboratory manager. She manages about 11 FTEs and claims, “she leads the Best Team Ever!” Abbey is responsible for compliance, scheduling, budget, proficiency, and numerous other managerial tasks. With Central Montana Medical Center being a 25-bed critical access hospital, Abbey is also involved in several committees such as: Antibiotic Stewardship, Emergency Preparedness, ER, Surgical, Blood Management, Safety, HCAPS, and Quality Improvement. Abbey says, “I am proud of the role I have within the facility and truly believe the lab and I are continuously instituting a positive change within the organization.”

Abbey serves ASCLS in many capacities and is inspired to spread awareness of the laboratory profession. She even mentioned that her ASCLS Montana members really feel like family. Abbey served on the Region VIII Council as the IMSS 2018 General Chair and in the Montana Society as the ASCLS-MT P.A.C.E. chair. At the 2018 Annual Meeting Abbey graduated from the Region VIII Leadership Academy. In the past Abbey has served Region VIII as the IMSS programs and sponsorship co-chair and Montana as the Nominations Committee District III chair. Read more.

ASCLS Voices Under 40 honors ASCLS members who have shown exceptional commitment to the Society, the laboratory profession, and their community at large at a younger age in their professional career. Each month we spotlight one of the shining voices who were selected from many nominations across the country.

New Research Shows Misdiagnosis Still a Serious Issue

CIDimageOne in Three Malpractice Cases Resulting in Serious Harm is Due to Inaccurate or Delayed Diagnosis

Inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are the most common, most catastrophic, and most costly of medical errors. New research quantifies it with the startling statistic above, according to research appearing in the peer-reviewed journal Diagnosis.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and CRICO Strategies found that 74 percent of inaccurate or delayed diagnoses that result in permanent disability or death are attributable to three disease categories: cancer, vascular events, and infections.

This research, funded by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) through a grant, enhances our understanding of how and when inaccurate and delayed diagnoses happen, providing new insights into the most significant opportunities to improve diagnosis. If researchers and clinicians are able to develop new diagnostic approaches and disseminate diagnostic best practices for the most common diseases in these three categories, we could drastically reduce the overall number of serious harms resulting from inaccurate or delayed diagnoses.

ASCLS is committed to patient safety and improving diagnosis, which is why the Society joined the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis.


CLEC2020 palmsCall for CLEC 2020 Poster and Technology Demonstration Abstracts

ASCLS is currently accepting abstracts for either poster presentations or technology demonstrations at the 2020 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC). Submit your abstracts by October 1.

CLEC 2020 will be held February 27-29 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Florida. For abstract submission guidelines, please visit www.ascls.org/CLEC, and read the “CLEC 2020 Call for Abstracts” information. We hope to see you in sunny Orlando next winter!

Upcoming Fall Meetings

Make plans to join ASCLS members in your region for Lab CE and lots of fun.

Region III Triennial Meeting
September 25-27
Pensacola Beach, Florida

Northwest Medical Laboratory Symposium
October 9-12
Lynnwood, Washington

ASCLS Region VIII Intermountain States Seminar
October 10-12
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Add your upcoming events to the ASCLS Events Calendar:

  1. Visit http://connect.ascls.org/home.
  2. Sign in.
  3. Navigate to your state society’s community.
  4. Click on the Events Tab.
  5. Click on the green Add Event button in the upper right.

Connect: The Community Conversations

Check out the recent discussion threads on ASCLS Connect and join the conversations:

Download the MemberCentric App on your mobile device to get the community conversations and more in the palm of your hand.

Key Dates

2020 Joint Annual Meeting Session Proposal Deadline
August 12

CLEC 2020 Poster Presentation or Technology Demonstration Abstract Deadline
October 1

Fall 2019 Board of Directors Meeting
November 1