ASCLS Objects to Proposed CMS Rule, New Improving Patient Safety Toolkit Available, Upcoming Events, Volunteer Opportunities, and more.
ASCLS Objects to Nursing Rule for High Complexity Testing Personnel
Yesterday, in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, ASCLS has raised serious objections to a proposed federal rule that would allow individuals with bachelor’s degrees in nursing to serve as high complexity testing personnel under CLIA without any additional training or experience.
Noting the proposal “opens a new vector for diagnostic error,” the Society called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) “reckless” for advancing this harmful proposal over many years based on a foundation of “unwritten rules” allowing nurses to perform this kind of testing in the early years of CLIA implementation.
CMS justified the proposal by pointing to widespread waived testing in point of care settings performed by nurses.
Laboratory professionals are strongly encouraged to add their voices by commenting on the rule and sharing their experiences and expertise on the subject.
ASCLS has setup an easy way for laboratory professionals to submit comments the the Labvocate Action Center, but strongly urges those who have the time, to submit comments directly to CMS by 5 pm EST on Thursday, August 25.
Now Available: Improving Patient Safety Using Quality Indicators – A Toolkit for Medical Laboratory Professionals
The ASCLS Patient Safety Committee, through its Benchmarking Workgroup, is proud to introduce the new Improving Patient Safety Using Quality Indicators – A Toolkit for Medical Laboratory Professionals.
The toolkit was developed by ASCLS peers to support laboratory professionals to be advocates for patient safety and improve patient outcomes in healthcare delivery. The toolkit is a practical guide with many tools, resources, and examples to facilitate implementation of a patient safety improvement program utilizing patient safety indicators.
The product is available in both an online version and downloadable PDF format.
The Patient Safety Committee is also excited about a companion product and program that is currently being developed. The upcoming program focuses on improving patient safety using benchmark peer reporting and best practice sharing. Look for more information to come.
2022 Joint Annual Meeting a Record-Breaking Success
For a second year, ASCLS, the Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT), and the Society of American Federal Medical Laboratory Scientists (SAFMLS) held a Joint Annual Meeting (JAM), both in-person and virtually. This year’s event, held June 26-30, set new records for attendance with nearly 900 registered attendees; about 600 were in Grand Rapids, and about 300 attended online. The event also included more than 50 industry partners, 63 educational sessions, over 100 speakers, and nearly 40 poster presentations.
Overall attendees loved the meeting and the chance to connect with laboratory professionals from three organizations and across the country. They were also grateful for the two options to attend and access to the session recordings. Attendees shared these comments in their JAM evaluations:
- “The conference appealed to individuals at all points on the career ladder from novice to department supervisor to advanced practitioner/lab manager. Great job … I didn’t feel left out at all like many other ‘over my head’ conferences.”
- “Seeing fellow lab techs that I haven’t seen in awhile always refreshes my ‘cup,’ if you will, and allows me to go back to work feeling empowered.”
- “I enjoyed having members from all three organizations come together. It was nice to get a different perspective.”
- “The love of the profession was interwoven in all of the sessions. It meant a lot to see professionals that still love their job.”
- “The first meeting that I attended was the Developing and Ascending Professionals Forum. That was the first real interaction I had with other Developing Professionals (as I’m the only one for my state). There, some of us exchanged numbers and we continued to contact each other (and still do) and attend events together.”
- “The most meaningful moment for me was attending the House of Delegates meeting. I had no idea that students and new professionals had a voice in ASCLS until I saw that they were included in voting committees. I think it’s amazing to be a part of an organization that values the perspectives of new generations instead of discrediting them due to lack of experience in the work force.”
- “Thanks for providing the meeting in a hybrid format. If not for the virtual offering, I would not have been able to participate this year. Being remote did not detract from my ability to learn, network, and participate.”
Additional JAM Highlights
- The ASCLS Education & Research (E&R) Fund Silent Auction and related activities raised nearly $5,800, allowing the E&R Fund to fully fund a research grant for next year.
- Region VII won the ASCLS Political Action Committee (PAC) donation contest this year!
- The ASCLS House of Delegates voted to approve several position papers, including Point of Care, New Levels of Practice Levels and Model Career Ladder, and Independent Practice in Clinical Laboratory Science. The House also approved the DCLS Body of Knowledge, and approved several amendments to the Bylaws which will encourage constituent society collaborations by expanding the potential number of regions to more than 10.
All educational sessions and pre-conference workshops were recorded and will be available for individual purchase or as bundles. Stay tuned for more information about the 2022 JAM On Demand coming this fall.
Participate in a Survey about Leadership Development Needs
The Leadership Academy Committee is conducting a . The ASCLS national has been struggling to receive applicants for the program. A few years ago, a taskforce completed an in-depth analysis of the academy and recommended a more advanced academy with revised content and structure. The advanced academy would be designed for laboratory professionals that seek to advance their leadership skills and empower them to become prominent leaders within the profession.
Your input is vital to the success of an advanced academy. Please take five minutes to by September 1.
2022 Laboratory Legislative Symposium
September 26-27 | Alexandria, VA, or Virtual
The annual Laboratory Legislative Symposium gives you the chance to join together with medical laboratory professionals from six organizations to meet with your representatives and senators on Capitol Hill as a unified front on behalf of our profession. Each year these leading organizations provide a visible and informed voice and make our concerns known inside Congress.
The Legislative Symposium provides a great education on the how-tos of lobbying. Attendees are coached on presentation techniques so you can effectively talk to your congressional representatives during your appointments. Return home from Washington with first-hand knowledge of the political system in action and confidence that you can make a difference.
This year’s event will be held September 26-27 at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. In-person and virtual attendee options will be available. Sign up by September 6 and save $100 off the final registration rate.
All Symposium events will take place at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town. A block of rooms has been set aside for Legislative Symposium attendees and will be held until August 31.
Registration and Travel Grants Available for Legislative Symposium
The Ascending Professionals and Developing Professionals Forums will collectively award over $2,000 worth of travel and registration grants to Ascending and Developing Professionals attending the Laboratory Legislative Symposium, either in-person or virtually. The exact breakdown of these grants will be determined by the number of applicants and their preference of attendance.
To be considered, you must be a current ASCLS member and be registered for the Laboratory Legislative Symposium, either virtually or in person, at the time of application. Apply by September 1.
Ask Me Anything: Professional Routes for Medical Laboratory Professionals
September 11, 7 pm EST | Virtual
Join the Ascending Professionals Forum for Ask Me Anything about Different Professional Routes for the Medical Laboratory Professionals to discuss opportunities for medical laboratory professionals beyond traditional career paths.
Panelists will include:
- Samantha Salm, Industry
- Dre Mercado, Start-up Healthcare B2B Consultant
- Stephanie Noblit, Law
- Sophia Chandrasekar, Artist
- Vera Chu, Infection Prevention
- Dr. Constantine Kanakis, Pathology Resident
Sign up for the free virtual event on Sunday, September 11, at 7 pm EDT.
The Developing and Ascending Professionals Forums host bi-monthly AMAs on a variety of career-related topics to help answer all your burning questions. View a playlist of previous career advice AMAs on the ASCLS YouTube channel.
DAC Movie Night: Mixed Match
September 17, 6 pm EST or September 18, 3 pm EST | Virtual
The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) invites you to attend a viewing party for the movie, Mixed Match, to watch it together with other ASCLS members. The movie runs for about 90 minutes. There will be opportunities to chat during the movie as well as a brief follow-up discussion at the end.
Mixed Match is an important human story told from the perspective of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a nearly impossible search to find bone marrow donors, all while exploring what role race plays in medicine.
Save the Date for 2023 Events
PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum
January 16-18, 2023 | Virtual
The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) invites you to participate in the third annual PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum. Join medical laboratory friends and colleagues as we celebrate and ignite discussions regarding diversity in the profession and the inequities in our healthcare system.
As leaders and members, we understand that the most uncomfortable conversations can be the most educational, productive, and inspiring. With this in mind, the DAC organized PRISM, a series of virtual activities that culminates with a candid conversation with a featured guest. All events are held virtually through Zoom.
January 20-21, 2023 | Virtual
The Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2) is designed specifically for laboratory professionals to help them transition into and thrive in management roles.
ELMC2 provides two days of virtual programming (live and streamed for up to 30 days after the live event), up to 20 hours of P.A.C.E.® credit, networking and social events, access to an attendees-only online community, and follow up programming expected to take place 6-12 weeks after the conclusion of the virtual conference, as well as special meet-ups at the Joint Annual Meeting in June.
The steering committee planning the 2023 ELMC2 is currently accepting session proposals for the meeting through September 1.
Topic areas include Personnel/Human Resources Management, Culture and Ethics, Operations, Financial Management, Legal and Ethics, Informatics and Automation, and Compliance and Accreditation.
New Resource: Communication Handbook
The ASCLS Marketing and Communications Committee is excited to provide ASCLS leaders with an online Communication Handbook. This resource is intended for use by members of the ASCLS Leadership Community, such as: ASCLS constituent society leaders; ASCLS committee, task force, and forum leaders; and other leaders in the Society.
The handbook includes four sections with guidance and templates for communication planning, as well as communication tips, an extensive list of options, and additional communication resources.
Ascending Professionals and Developing Professionals Forums
Would you like to take on an active role in setting direction for the ASCLS Developing Professionals Forum (DPF) or the Ascending Professionals Forum (APF)? The forums are each seeking 10 committee volunteers.
This opportunity exposes you to different assignments to get involved in the Society. You have the opportunity to be a Laboratory-story Blog contributor, Connect Community ambassador, social media content creator, or to connect with your local constituent society leaders.
Through volunteering you can establish new skills such as, organizing forum events, publishing in ASCLS Today, being a student representative on various committees, and more. These roles allow students and new professionals to voice concerns, as well as vote on forum matters. Apply today.
Contribute to ASCLS Today
Editor Deb Rodahl is currently planning out the November/December issue of ASCLS Today, which has a Patient Safety and Ethics Theme. This issue of will reflect on the importance of patient safety and ethics for medical laboratory practitioners. Medical laboratory science professionals are responsible for developing a culture of safety as defined by the National Academy of Science. How do laboratory professionals prevent errors to improve patient safety? What technological advances have been implemented to ensure safety in all phases of laboratory testing, including pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical? What has been done to develop a laboratory culture that focuses on patient safety? Ethics is being added to the BOC as part of MLS recertification. How are we teaching or training laboratory staff on their role related to ethics?
If you are interested in submitting an article regarding a project or story that connects to this theme, please email Deb at email@example.com. Articles are due by October 1, 2022.
New Episode of Off the Bench Podcast
Subscribe to the Off the Bench Podcast for discussions on scientific and not-to-scientific ideas in laboratory medicine. New episodes drop the last Friday of each month.
On the June 24 episode, host Sophia Chandrasekar and fellow medical laboratory professional Mackenzie Edwards talked about the benefits of networking, including tips for introverts.
On the July 29 episode, hosts Galina Dronova and Sophia Chandrasekar spoke with Dr. Alan H.B. Wu, chief of the clinical chemistry and toxicology laboratories at San Francisco General Hospital, regarding his efforts of bringing the clinical laboratory to the public spotlight using books, a television series, and a movie.
Voices Under 40
Spotlight: Heather Kobza, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM, Tucson, Arizona
Heather is employed as an Advance Staff Medical Technologist The Southern Arizona Veteran’s Affairs Health Care System (SAVAHCS) in Tucson, Arizona. Heather’s position at the VA includes assisting the technical specialists in the Chemistry and Special Chemistry Departments with training of new employees, validation of new assays, and advanced troubleshooting. She serves as the key resource for coworker’s questions. She became part of the LEAD program at SAVI also serves on the SAVAHCS DECON Team providing rapid deployment in the case of a chemical or biological disaster.
Heather has held many roles within ASCLS-Arizona/Nevada, starting as a Developing Professional Forum representative from 2011-14 then as the Ascending Professional Forum representative from 2014-16. Heather was then elected to the ASCLS-AZ/NV Board of Directors for the 2016-18 term and then to president of ASCLS-AZ/NV for 2018-21. Nationally, Heather is a 2018 ASCLS Leadership Academy graduate and was appointed to the ASCLS Mentorship Committee for 2018-21 then to chair the ASCLS Mentorship Committee during the 2019-20 membership year. Read more.
Spotlight: Stephanie Noblit, Esq, MLS(ASCP)CM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stephanie is employed by the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) as a legislative attorney. In her role with LAPPA, Stephanie conducts legal research and analysis on topics within the area of public health and safety, substance use disorders, and criminal justice.
Stephanie serves ASCLS in many capacities including serving on the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) at national and regional levels, ASCLS Leadership Academy Task Force, and directorship for Ascending and Developing Professionals at the state level. She also has served as social media coordinator for ASCLS-Pennsylvania and authored a number of articles for ASCLS publications. Notably, Stephanie was also the catalyst for developing and implementing the ASCLS Mentor Program—a program that has continued to grow and foster meaningful relationships since its inception. 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.
Congratulations to Newly Elected Officers for the 2022-23 Society Year
Claude Rector, Arkansas
Kyle Riding, Florida
Region I Director
Frank Scarano, Massachusetts
Region VII Director
Miles Tompkins, Oklahoma
Region VIII Director
Jessica Lawless, Idaho
Cynthia Johnson, Minnesota
Deb Rodahl, Minnesota
Ian Wallace, Colorado
Developing Professional Director
Ivann Martinez, Arkansas
Ascending Professional Director
Cheyenne Reyes, Louisiana
Ascending Professionals Forum Chair
Heather Harrington, Pennsylvania
Ascending Professionals Forum Vice Chair
Jesse Day, Tennessee
Ascending Professionals Forum Secretary
Ogechi Ohaeto, Florida
Developing Professionals Forum Chair
Ivann Martinez, Arkansas
Developing Professionals Forum Vice Chair
Katelynn Farrar, Michigan
Developing Professionals Forum Secretary
Jeremiah Oh, Georgia
Diversity Advocacy Council Chair
Letycia Núñez Argote, Kansas
Diversity Advocacy Council Vice Chair
Stephanie Whitehead, Texas
Come together with medical laboratory professionals in your local area, either online or in-person, for CE and networking.
Region V 2022 Fall Symposium
(ASCLS-MN, ASCLS-ND, ASCLS-SD, and ASCLS-WI)
Intermountain States Seminar (IMSS) 2022
(ASCLS-CO, ASCLS-ID, ASCLS-MT, ASCLS-UT, and ASCLS-WY)
Northwest Medical Laboratory Symposium
Connect: The Community Conversations
ASCLS Connect is an invaluable way to ask questions, share feedback, and stay connected with your community of laboratorians. Here are some of the recent discussions you may have missed:
- The Membership Committee posts “Membership Mondays” questions each week to spur discussion and get to know fellow ASCLS members. Recent questions were:
- ASCLS shared information about New Proposed CLIAC Regulations, including Recognition of DCLS and how and why you should comment on the proposed regulations.
- Members shared memories of and tributes to Karen Karni, past president of ASCLS, who died on July 26.
- ASCLS continues to share CDC alerts and updates for laboratories through the Open Forum.
Download the MemberCentric App on your mobile device to get the community conversations and more in the palm of your hand.