2023 Joint Annual Meeting connects and inspires, sign up for the 2023 Laboratory Legislative Symposium, PRISM events, free webinars, congrats to newly elected ASCLS officers for 2023-24, new director named, two July episodes of Off the Bench Podcast, and more.
Medical Laboratory Professionals Connect and Inspire at the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting
For the third 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, included nearly 900 registered attendees; over 700 were in Providence, Rhode Island, and about 200 attended online. The event also included more than 50 industry partners, 57 educational sessions, one pre-conference workshop, 97 speakers, and 46 poster presentations.
Overall attendees loved the chance to meet laboratory professionals from three organizations and around the globe, as well as re-connect with colleagues, students, and mentors. They were also grateful for the two options to attend and access to the session recordings. Attendees shared these comments and meaningful interactions in their JAM evaluations:
- “The networking with professionals from other parts of the country was the most significant laboratory experience I have had in 25 years.”
- “Taking some me time away from the lab and connecting with lab professionals and supporting each other with our challenges that we all share.”
- “Becoming inspired to pursue a masters degree by the universities tabling at the event.”
- “High quality speakers and seeing new technology was great!”
- “I got to see our students get very excited about the lab profession.”
- “I LOVE that I can attend the meeting virtually. I will try to do it in person sometime again, but financially and health-wise, virtual is great.”
- “I am empowered professionally more than ever.”
- “It never fails to reignite my passion and sense of purpose when surrounded by community.”
Additional JAM Highlights
- The Developing Professionals Forum held the inaugural Race to JAM Trivia Contest in the spring. Rush University and Houston Methodist Hospital MLS Program went head-to-head in the finals at JAM. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Houston Methodist Hospital MLS Program.
- The ASCLS Education & Research (E&R) Fund Silent Auction and related activities raised over $4,500, allowing the E&R Fund to fund scholarships for medical laboratory students and research grants.
- Region VII won the ASCLS Political Action Committee (PAC) donation contest again this year with more than $3,500 in total donations!
- The ASCLS House of Delegates voted to approve three revised ASCLS position papers: Licensure of Medical Laboratory Professionals, Healthcare Reform, and Patient Safety and Clinical Laboratory Science.
Select JAM educational sessions that were recorded will be available for individual purchase or as bundles. Stay tuned for more information about the 2023 JAM On Demand coming to ASCLS Labucate this fall.
ASCLS Leader Resource: Marketing and Communication Handbook
The ASCLS Marketing and Communications Committee is excited to provide ASCLS leaders with an online Marketing and 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 was updated this past year and includes seven sections with guidance and templates for marketing and communication planning, as well as tips, an extensive list of communication options, and additional resources.
2023 Laboratory Legislative Symposium
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. Come away with first-hand knowledge of the political system in action and confidence that you make a difference.
This year’s event will be held October 23-24 at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. In-person and virtual attendee options are available. Sign up by September 11 and save $100 off the late/onsite 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 is available until September 28 or when the block is full.
Registration and Travel Scholarships Available for Legislative Symposium
The Ascending Professionals and Developing Professionals Forums will award at least two $750 scholarships per forum to be used towards travel and registration for Ascending and Developing Professionals attending the Laboratory Legislative Symposium, either in-person or virtually. The exact breakdown of these scholarships 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 15.
Free Webinar: Promoting the Profession by Aligning Educational Program Titles to the Medical Laboratory Science Career
Wednesday, September 13, 12-1:30 pm ET | Virtual
Explore the current landscape of educational programs and degree titles as this webinar presents the case for MLS nomenclature alignment. Learn about the experience of changing from clinical laboratory science (CLS) to an MLS program with a focus on university-based programs, consideration of best practices, stumbling blocks, and finding support.
After the presentation, the webinar will be opened to discussion amongst speakers and attendees to field questions and share experiences.
- Susan M. Harrington, PhD, D(ABMM), MLS(ASCP)CM, Cleveland Clinic
- Kathy Doig, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM,SHCM, Michigan State University
- Marisa James, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
- Sue (Susan) T. Johnson, MSTM, MLS(ASCP)SBBCM, Marquette University
- Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, SM(ASCP)CM, SVCM, MBCM, FACSc, Texas State University
- Linda A. Smith, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM, BBCM, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Instruction Level: Basic
This webinar is co-sponsored by ASCLS, American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), ASCP Board of Certification, and NAACLS and is available for P.A.C.E.® credit.
ASCLS is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.
PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum
Every year the ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) hosts a series of activities and events as part of 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 organizes virtual activities, including movie nights, book clubs, and conversations with featured guests. All activities are free and held virtually through Zoom.
PRISM Movie Night: Neurodivergent
The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) invites you to attend a viewing party for the movie, Neurodivergent, to watch it together virtually with other ASCLS members.
Neurodivergent is a profoundly personal mixed media experience inside the ADHD mind of director Afton Quast Saler. Follow the filmmaker’s journey as she discovers her ADHD diagnosis during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. From Post-it notes to magnets, keys, pens, rubber bands, and receipts, the unorganized chaos of a junk drawer is the perfect representation of what Afton’s brain feels like every day.
The movie runs 25 minutes. There will be opportunities to chat during the movie, as well as a brief follow-up discussion at the end.
Save the Date for 2024
January 19-20, 2024 | Virtual
The Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2) is designed specifically for laboratory professionals to help you 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 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 July.
Thursday, September 7, 12 pm ET | Virtual
This presentation will provide information on the CLIA Proficiency Testing (PT) Final Rule which was published in the Federal Register Notice on July 11, 2022. The presentation will describe the required PT added and deleted analytes (substances), the criteria for acceptable performance, and PT program administrative processes.
- Identify educational and other resources available through the OneLab Network.
- State the effective dates of the PT Final Rule provisions.
- Describe the finalized requirements for Microbiology and Non-Microbiology changes.
- Describe the finalized requirements for PT referral for waived test changes.
- Describe how to apply the regulatory changes to their work.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
This webinar is offered as part of the CDC’s OneLab Network. This network provides opportunities for education and training, as well as a space for collaboration between clinical, public health, and CDC laboratory education and training professionals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Laboratory Systems is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.
Post-Event Resources: Recognizing, Identifying, and Reporting the Identification of Select Agents and Toxins
Session materials from two recent webinars are available on OneLab REACH.
On April 26, 2023, John McQuiston, PhD, and Susanna Schmink, MPH, CPH, presented to clinical and veterinary laboratory professionals on reporting select agent and toxin identifications and recognizing and reporting exposure incidents. This presentation also addressed biosafety and other considerations when identifying bacterial select agents and toxins using Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS).
On May 31, 2023, Tarsha L. Harris, PhD, and Michael J. Perry MS, MS Ed, facilitated a part two of this series.
New Episode of Off the Bench Podcast
Subscribe to the Off the Bench Podcast for discussions on scientific and not-so-scientific ideas in laboratory medicine. New episodes drop the last Friday of each month.
The July 4 episode featured a live recording from the 2023 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of Off the Bench’s first ever JAM Query Check (QC). The live show focused on questions related, and somewhat related, to medical laboratory science. Three contestants went buzzer-to-buzzer in friendly competition in categories both scientific and not-so-scientific. Audience members even got in on the action as lifelines for the contestants.
On the July 28 episode, hosts Sophia Chandrasekar and Doryan Redding spoke with Luis Plaza, MLS(ASCP)CM, the host of the Let’s Talk Micro podcast. Hear how Luis got started, his motivations, and more!
Voices Under 40
Cheyenne is an Associate III in the Diagnostics Manufacturing Division of the American Red Cross. Formerly, Cheyenne worked for Fusion Medical Staffing as a travel Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Cheyenne has served in several leadership roles in ASCLS since 2018. Some of her most recent include serving as the Ascending Professional Director on the ASCLS Board of Directors for 2022-23.
Cheyenne has shared her voice over the years by writing about her unique perspectives and experiences in ASCLS Today, The Labora-Story blog, and the Louisiana state newsletter. Cheyenne feels her crowning accomplishment was the article, “The Relationship Between Medical Laboratory Scientists and Phlebotomists.” Based on the responses she received, this article made people feel seen and gave a voice to a group so often ignored. It brought to light one of the most important relationships in the laboratory. She says she will never forget how honored she felt to bring not only awareness, but also a new perspective to this vital partnership. 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 2023-24 Society Year
During the 2023 Joint Annual Meeting, the ASCLS House of Delegates, Ascending Professionals Forum, Developing Professionals Forum, and Diversity Advocacy Council elected new officers, who took office at the close of the meeting. Congratulations, and thank you to all the candidates who ran this year.
Pat Tille, South Dakota
Board of Directors
Nick Moore, Illinois
Alexandra “Ali” Nussbaum, Wisconsin
Josh Pulido, California
Developing Professionals Director
Aditi Sarkar, New York
Ascending Professionals Director
Heather Herrington, Pennsylvania
Maddie Josephs, Rhode Island
Mark DeLuna, Florida
Stephanie Jacobson, South Dakota
Floyd Josephat, Alabama
Tripat Kaur, Florida
Kemorine Roberts, Georgia
Developing Professionals Forum Vice-Chair
Katherine Guise, Florida
Developing Professionals Forum Secretary
Paige Snyder, New York
Ascending Professionals Forum Chair
Jesse Day, Tennessee
Ascending Professionals Forum Vice-Chair
Ogechi “Ogee” Ohaeto, Florida
Ascending Professionals Forum Secretary
Sarah Steinberg, Wyoming
Diversity Advocacy Council Chair
Ryan Tom, New York
Diversity Advocacy Council Secretary
Ogechi “Ogee” Ohaeto, Florida
New Director Named
A vacancy on the ASCLS Board of Directors was created when Jessica Lawless chose to leave the board last month. Jessica served on the board as our ascending professional director before being elected as the director representing Region VIII. We thank Jessica for her extraordinary service to ASCLS and will miss her perspective during our discussions.
After considerable deliberation, the ASCLS Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Stephanie Noblit to fill the open director position the rest of the 2023-24 Society year until the House of Delegates Meeting next July can fill the position for the balance the unexpired term ending in 2025.
Stephanie brings a unique perspective to the board. Not only is she a medical laboratory scientist but also a lawyer.
Stephanie graduated with her bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. After working in the laboratory for two and half years, Stephanie enrolled at Drexel University where she received her Juris Doctor in Health Law.
Stephanie is currently employed as an associate senior legislative attorney for the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association in Philadelphia.
She considers herself an MLS first and is a wonderful advocate for our laboratory profession. She serves as a member on the Government Affairs Committee and loves participating in the Laboratory Legislative Symposium each year. Stephanie is the co-creator of the ASCLS Mentorship Program, recently served as chair of the Healthcare Position Paper Taskforce, and is a graduate of the ASCLS Leadership Academy.
We welcome Stephanie to the Board of Directors and look forward to working with her this year.
Check out events happening in ASCLS constituent societies.
Connect: The Community Conversations
ASCLS Connect is an invaluable platform 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. A recent question was:
- Members paid tribute to Dan Southern, a longtime ASCLS member, educator, and mentor who passed away on June 22.
- Members shared advice on hiring MLS applicants internationally, specifically from the Philippines.
- In the Clinical Laboratory Educators Forum, members discussed ways to orient the newbies in their programs.
- Members also gave guidance on applying for the MLS(ASCP) certification via Route 2.