Advocacy Win in Final Personnel Regulations Published by CMS, Nominations Deadline Extended, ASCLS Awards and Scholarships Season, CLS Journal Updates, Last Chance to Attend CLEC 2024 at the Regular Registration Rate, Check out Upcoming Events, and more.


Final Personnel Regulations Published by CMS Influenced by Medical Laboratory Professionals

On December 28, 2023, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules related to personnel regulations under CLIA. The proposed rules were published in 2022 and generated thousands of comments back to the agency. The entire community of medical laboratory professionals had a significant impact on the final outcome.

“Because of the work of so many within our community to protect patients, our demands for higher standards were heard and will be implemented,” said ASCLS President Claude Rector, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM. “This would not have occurred without ongoing investment and commitment of groups like ASCLS and our dedicated members.”

In the final rule:

  • CMS has changed its proposed rule that would have defined a nursing degree as equivalent to a biological sciences degree, which the clinical laboratory community, for many years, has demonstrated was incorrect.
  • Affirmed that the Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science (DCLS) degree will be accepted as qualifying for High Complexity Laboratory Director. ASCLS has been a long-time advocate for the Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science degree beginning with the ASCLS House of Delegates approval of the concept in 2016.
  • Expanded the definition of continuing education beyond the physician-centric term “CME.” This recognizes the growing role and influence of non-physicians within clinical laboratories.
  • Strengthened and clarified requirements and documentation for training and experience for those working in moderate and high complexity testing.
  • Removed “physical science” as a qualifying degree type from the existing regulations that have included “chemical, physical or biological science or medical laboratory technology” degrees.
  • Helped to advance the profession’s efforts to bring standardization to our nomenclature. “Several commenters noted the 2022 decision by AMT, ASCP, and ASCLS to change the MT certification designation to MLS. The commenters suggested that medical laboratory science should be used in addition to clinical laboratory science throughout the CLIA personnel qualifications. We agree with the commenters that medical laboratory science should be included in the revised personnel qualifications. We are incorporating the change suggested by the commenters where applicable in revised § 493.1405 and other applicable sections of subpart M.”

The new rules will become law on January 28, 2024. Read more.

Nominations Deadline Extended

Submit Nominations for National Positions by January 31

The Nominations Committee is seeking qualified members interested in serving in an elected national position (term to begin on July 12, 2024). If you or someone you know should be nominated, contact Nominations Committee Chair Demetra “Toula” Castillo by next Wednesday, January 31.

  • President-elect (three-year commitment, automatically succeeding to President and Past President)
  • Director (four positions, three-year term; one position, one-year term)
  • Judicial Committee (one position, five-year term)
  • Nominations Committee (five positions, two-year term)

Learn more about each position’s eligibility requirements and duties.

2024 ASCLS Awards and Scholarships Season

2023 Constituent Society Members of the YearSubmit Award Nominations by February 15

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for an ASCLS award? Submit your nominations for the following awards by February 15.

  • Ascending Professional Leadership Award
  • Developing Professional Leadership Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • State Society Website Award
  • State Society Publications Award (for both print and web-based publications)
  • Scientific Research Award
  • Theriot Award (for media and equipment development)

Details for applying for these awards and the link to submit applications are on the Awards and Scholarships webpage. Questions can be addressed to awards@ascls.org.

Nominating a worthy member for one of these awards is a great way to recognize the valued work of our dedicated members and to honor them at the Awards Ceremony at the 2024 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting, on July 10 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Volunteer Opportunity: Help Judge ASCLS Awards

ASCLS is seeking members to assist in reviewing and scoring entries for the 2024 ASCLS Awards. Judges will review the applications/nominations for one or two of the awards listed above. Judges will receive their assignments by the end of February, and all work is done independently during the month of March. This short-term volunteer opportunity gives you an inside look at the ASCLS Awards Program and the outstanding work of ASCLS members and constituent societies. Learn more and apply by February 15.

Scholarships Available for Undergraduate and Graduate CLS Students

The Alpha Mu Tau Fraternity and ASCLS Education & Research (E&R) Fund, Inc., support the advancement of medical laboratory professionals through graduate and undergraduate scholarships for clinical laboratory science students. Applicants for all scholarships must be ASCLS members. Applications are due by April 1. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Clinical Laboratory Science Journal Updates

Marcia FirmaniNew Editor in Chief Appointed

Congratulations to Dr. Marcia Firmani, chair of the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences at The George Washington University, on being appointed the new Clinical Laboratory Science Journal editor in chief. Dr. Firmani brings a wealth of experience related to publishing her own work, as well as reviewing and serving on editorial boards of professional journals. Her appointment began January 1, and during this transition period, ASCLS leadership will continue to work on the journal and support Dr. Firmani as she identifies her new journal staff.

Volumes 33 and 34 are now available online. More articles will be posted online for Volume 35, Issue 1, as they are ready. Thank you to our members for your patience as the ASCLS leadership and Dr. Firmani work together to revitalize this critical piece of the Society.

Last Chance to Attend CLEC 2024 at the Regular Registration Rate

2024 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference, Feb 22-24, Las VegasSign up by Feb 1 and Save

February 22-24 | Las Vegas or Virtual

Reserve your spot now for the 2024 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC), which will be held February 22-24 in Las Vegas. The regular registration rate ends next Thursday, February 1.

CLEC speakers will engage and inspire:

To provide you flexibility to participate in CLEC, you have the option to attend in-person at the Westgate Las Vegas or virtually through the streaming device of your choice.

All educational sessions will be streamed live and recorded. Both in-person and virtual registrants will have access to all session recordings for 30 days after the event—about 40 hours of P.A.C.E.®-approved credit.

Upcoming Events

2024 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, July 8-12Save the Date: 2024 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting

July 8-12 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or Virtual

Plans for the 2024 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) are well underway. Again this year JAM will offer flexibility with two attendee options—in-person and virtual. Registration opens in March.

In-Person Attendance: JAM will be held at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to the educational program, poster presentations, industry partner exhibits, and networking activities, you’ll also receive access to all recorded JAM educational sessions for 30 days after the event, providing you with about 50 hours of P.A.C.E.®-approved credit.

Virtual Attendance: You will have access to the nearly 50 educational sessions, either streamed live or recorded; industry partner virtual activities; virtual poster presentations; and virtual networking events. You will also have access to all recorded JAM educational sessions for 30 days after the event. You get to choose which sessions and events you want to attend live and which recordings you will view later when the time is right. Create a personalized JAM experience that fits your life.

Submit a Poster Presentation Abstract for the 2024 JAM by March 20

Poster Presenter at 2023 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual MeetingThe 2024 JAM poster presentation abstract submissions are currently open! Make an impact on the future of medical laboratory science by sharing your research and case studies with peers from across the nation.

All posters will be showcased digitally (both onsite in Pittsburgh and via the meeting app). Submissions will be accepted from both in-person and virtual attendees. In-person attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the poster competitions for cash prizes and may also be asked to make oral presentations. All accepted primary poster presenters will receive $100 off registration for the meeting. The deadline for abstract submissions is March 20.

Race to JAM Student Trivia Competition

ASCLS Race to JAMSign up by February 24

Race to JAM is a national student trivia competition hosted by the ASCLS Developing Professionals Forum. Preliminary rounds are conducted over Zoom on Saturday, April 13, between 10 am and 4 pm ET.

The final two teams will go head-to-head in-person on Monday, July 8, 5 pm ET, at the 2024 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting (JAM), held July 8-12 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The winning team will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at JAM on Wednesday, July 10.

Learn more and sign up by February 24.

9th Annual ASCLS Lab Week Run

2024 ASCLS Lab Week Run and Race BibApril 14-20 | Virtual

Registration is now open for the 9th Annual ASCLS Lab Week Virtual Run. Step out of your labs and into your communities to help spread the word about the medical laboratory profession and have fun with friends and co-workers.

This virtual race can be run at any time during Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 14-20, 2024) and can be run anywhere. Participants can walk, use a treadmill, run outside, or even ride a bike to complete the 5K distance (or 3.1 miles).

Early Bird Pricing ends February 15. All proceeds go to scholarships that help medical laboratory professionals attend ASCLS meetings, lobby representatives for the profession, and become future leaders in the field.

Thank you to our 2024 Lab Week Run Platinum Sponsors BD, Greiner Bio-One, Scopio, SEKISUI Diagnostics, and TELCOR.

January ASCLS Events Focused on Leadership and Supporting DEIB Efforts

PRISMPRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum

The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) hosted the fourth annual PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum this month. PRISM was created to celebrate the Glenda Price Diversity in Leadership Award and ignite discussions regarding diversity in the profession and the inequities in our healthcare system.

This year PRISM focused on support for DEIB initiatives, specifically within the medical laboratory profession. Activities included a Candid Conversation with Letycia C. Nuñez Argote, a Dynamic Discussion with the eLABorate Topics Podcast Hosts, and a virtual book club of The Diversity Gap: Where Good Intentions Meet True Cultural Change.

The PRISM Online Fundraiser raised about $500 for the Glenda Price Diversity in Leadership Award. Thank you to everyone who participated by donating silent auction items, bidding and voting, and by generously donating money directly to the award.

Mid-Year ASCLS House of Delegates Meeting

ASCLS held its fourth, mid-year virtual meeting of the ASCLS House of Delegates on January 14. The House engaged in a number of important discussions, which included the following.

  • Revised Position Paper—Advanced Practice: Doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Science
  • 2023 Constituent Society Health Assessment and Benchmarking
  • Potential for Constituent Society Standards
  • Amalgamation of Existing Statements into Clearer Vision, Mission and Values Statements

2024 Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2)

ELMC2 Opening Keynote

Nearly 200 medical laboratory professionals attended the fourth annual Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2), held virtually January 19-20.

The event was specifically designed for laboratory professionals in leadership roles or hoping to transition into management and included 21 sessions on topics such as, laboratory accreditation, motivating your team, time management tips, staffing to workload, fostering inclusive group decision-making, and more. Attendees also had the chance to network and talk with presenters and other attendees in virtual breakout rooms in between sessions.

Attendees found the experience to be extremely valuable and shared the following feedback:

  • “Great speakers, very positive mindset and encouraging topics.”
  • “The inclusion of resources by the presenters allows me to further my self-directed learning on subjects such as organization, time management, and quality management; the speakers distilled these topics into bite-size take home messages and strategies that I can employ right away.”
  • “I really enjoy that the sessions are accessible afterwards so I can print the handouts, also so I can watch sessions that I missed because they were concurrent to another session.”
  • “It is a virtual offering with all of the benefits and interaction of an in-person meeting.”

If you missed this year’s ELMC2, on-demand session recordings will be available to purchase in March through labucate.org.

CDC OneLabTM

CDC OneLab logoFree Webinar: Managing Burnout in a Post-COVID World Tuesday

February 6, 12 pm ET

Sign up Today

Managing burnout in a post-COVID world is essential as burnout can lead to reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. After the webinar, participants will be able to identify signs of burnout in their own lives, develop coping strategies for burnout, recognize the importance of seeking work-life harmony, and learn stress management techniques. Participants will walk away with tools that will empower, encourage, and educate them on how to navigate in a post-COVID world.

Presenter: Nancy J. Lewis MS, SHRM-CP, PHR, RCC, Progressive Techniques, Inc.

Objectives

  1. Identify signs of burnout in your life
  2. Develop strategies to cope with burnout in their life
  3. Recognize the importance of seeking work-life harmony
  4. Evaluate stress management techniques

Instruction Level: Basic

This webinar is offered as part of the CDC’s OneLab Network and OneLab TEST. They provide opportunities for education and training, as well as a space for collaboration between clinical, public health, individuals who perform or coordinate testing at non-laboratory sites, 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.

OneLab™ is a registered trademark of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

OneLab Summit

OneLab SummitApril 16-18 | Virtual

OneLab Summit is a free, annual virtual event that connects laboratory professionals in real-time to support a unified response to laboratory education and training needs. Attendance is open to anyone interested or involved in the laboratory profession. OneLab Summit programming is most relevant to people who provide education or training to clinical and public laboratory professionals.

Registrants are welcome to attend the entire event or only specific sessions of interest. Select sessions will offer P.A.C.E.® credit.

You do not have to be a CDC OneLab REACHTM member to attend OneLab Summit. However, you must have a OneLab REACH account to obtain ASCLS P.A.C.E.® credit on the sessions offering P.A.C.E.® credit.

Submit a poster by March 27! This year, the OneLab Summit will feature a Virtual Exhibit Hall. Attendees can use this online space to highlight their organization’s programs, resources, success stories, and more.

To submit a poster to the Virtual Exhibit Hall, download and complete the poster template and return it to OneLab@cdc.gov by March 27. Poster submissions will be capped at 25 posters for the 2024 Summit.

OneLab REACH™ is a registered trademark of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

New Episode of Off the Bench Podcast

Off the Bench PodcastSubscribe 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.

On the December 29 episode, hosts Sophia Chandrasekar and Doryan Redding reflect on the past year and share upcoming news for 2024. Off the Bench will take a short break this winter and will be back with new episodes in March.

Subscribe to the podcast through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

Voices Under 40

April NelsenSpotlight: April Nelsen, PhD, MLS(ASCP), Brookings, South Dakota

Dr. April Nelsen has served in several leadership positions within ASCLS, including recently as president-elect for ASCLS-South Dakota. Some of her other recent involvements include serving as a Region V secretary/treasurer, ASCLS-SD Nominations Committee chair, and serving on the ASCLS-SD Membership Committee.

Dr. Nelsen served on a grant project expert panel for BREATHE-SD, a $1.5 million project funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support recruitment, job placement, training, and worker development of respiratory therapists and other allied healthcare professions in rural South Dakota communities. 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. Do you know an individual that should be recognized as a 2024 Voices Under 40 recipient? Submit their name by March 1.

New Director Named

A vacancy on the ASCLS Board of Directors was created when Angela Darby chose to leave the board in October. Angela served on the board since being appointed and then elected as the director representing Region III. We thank Angela for her extraordinary service to ASCLS and will miss her perspective during our discussions.

After considerable deliberation, the ASCLS Board of Directors voted to appoint Cheyenne Reyes, MLS(ASCP), to fill the open director position for the rest of the 2023-2024 Society year until the House of Delegates Meeting on July 12.

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 2022-2023.

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’s most recent accomplishment was being named to the 2023 ASCLS Voices Under 40.

We welcome Cheyenne back to the Board of Directors and look forward to working with her this year.

Local Events

Check out events happening in ASCLS constituent societies.

2024 ASCLS-Missouri Spring Conference
March 13-14
St. Louis, Missouri

2024 LSCLS/ASCLS-MS Joint Annual Meeting
March 25-27
Biloxi, Mississippi

2024 Ohio Collaborative Laboratory Conference
March 25-26
Westerville, Ohio

2024 Minnesota Clinical Laboratory Collaborative
April 4-5
Bloomington, Minnesota

ASCLS-Kansas 2024 Annual Meeting
April 9-10
Salina, Kansas

ASCLS Connect

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. Recent questions were:

In the Hematology/Hemostasis Scientific Assembly, members provided feedback on a Choosing Wisely recommendation on von Willebrand factor testing.

The ASCLS Patient Safety Committee encourages all ASCLS members to join the Patient Safety & Healthcare Quality community where new blogs and discussions are posted regularly.

In the Clinical Laboratory Educators Forum, members shared advice on butterfly collection techniques.

Also in the Clinical Laboratory Educators Forum, a Teacher Tip Tuesday discussion focused on, how do you discuss errors in your courses/programs or with students?

In the Open Forum, members discussed a news story about what one hospital had to do when faced with a shortage of MLSs for their laboratory.

Key Dates

Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference Regular Registration Deadline
February 1

ASCLS Awards Deadline
February 15

Lab Week Run Early Bird Deadine
February 15