ASCLS Applauds CMS Proposed Rule Interpretation, Laboratorians Advocate on Capitol Hill, Fall Board Meeting Actions, and more.
ASCLS Applauds CMS Proposed Rule Interpretation Making DCLS Eligible for High Complexity Laboratory
In comments submitted on September 26, ASCLS provided a ringing endorsement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed intent to consider the Doctor of Clinical Laboratory Science as a qualifying degree for High Complexity Laboratory Director under CLIA.
“DCLS degree-holders are laboratory leaders that recenter the clinical laboratory’s work on patients and more closely integrate the work of clinical laboratories into the broader patient care team. In addition, this change will expand pathways within clinical laboratories to utilize the knowledge, skills, and experience of our most talented and diverse laboratory professionals more effectively,” ASCLS President Kim Von Ahsen wrote in a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
Answering the objections and misinformation from other groups opposing the move, Von Ahsen wrote, “We note with some concern that those who have traditionally objected to recognizing the DCLS as a qualifying degree do so without any reference to patients or the impact the clinical laboratory’s work has outside its walls. This sclerotic perspective minimizes the impact of clinical laboratory professionals, leading to underappreciated value and exacerbating long-term workforce shortages.”
ASCLS Labvocates on Capitol Hill
2022 Laboratory Legislative Symposium
On September 26, nearly 120 medical laboratory professionals from six organizations joined together in Alexandria, Virginia, and virtually for the 2022 Laboratory Legislative Symposium. Members from ASCLS, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT), American Medical Technologists (AMT), National Society for Histotechnology (NSH), and the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists-USA (PAMET-USA) learned about the legislative issues impacting medical laboratories and how to be labvocates and make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.
The day-long program included presentations, special guest speakers, and role playing how to meet with members of Congress. On September 27, attendees met with their respective members of Congress to advocate for bills and issues discussed the day before.
Read the issue briefs that were shared during the visits.
- Clinical Laboratory Medicare Reimbursement: Support SALSA!
- Clinical Laboratory Workforce: Mission Critical
- Draft Bill: Medical Laboratory Personnel Training Grant Program
For more from 2022 Laboratory Legislative Symposium attendees, sign up for the virtual Ask Me Anything: Legislative Symposium 2022 on Sunday, October 23, 7 pm ET.
Fall Board of Directors Meeting
The ASCLS Board of Directors met on September 25 in Alexandria, Virginia, for its fall meeting and engaged in strategic discussions centered on strategically focused solutions to address the laboratory workforce shortage; mental health and the medical laboratory workforce; and attitudes of ASCLS members to research and scholarship. The meeting included the following actions.
- The Board approved four presented Choosing Wisely recommendations for submission to ASCP.
- The Board approved the updated position paper titled, “Patient Safety and Clinical Laboratory Science,” which will be forwarded to the January House of Delegates for approval.
- The Board commissioned a specialized task force to develop a position paper regarding medical laboratory professionals’ ability to impact specific patient populations and the social, behavioral, and cultural determinants of health. This paper should be drafted from a broad perspective that would include specialized patient populations such as geriatric, pediatrics, obstetrics, LGBTQ, and other populations where outdated laboratory testing methods, normal ranges, calculations, and access can have a negative impact. Subsequently, the Board approved retiring the position paper titled, “Role of the Clinical Laboratory in Response to an Expanding Geriatric Population,” which will be forwarded to the January House of Delegates for approval.
- The Board approved providing resources or educational opportunities to help constituent society treasurers so they have a better understanding of the required documentation and actions needed to maintain the constituent society’s good standing with the IRS.
- The Board will form a task force or host an event focused on mental health and burnout that identifies strategies to cultivate resilience, supportive workplaces, and mental health support networks that serve our exhausted laboratorians.
- The Board will form a task force to review the Entry Level Curriculum, make necessary edits, and add clinical competencies that programs can use to design the clinical educational experience.
Call for 2023 Joint Annual Meeting Session Proposals
The Joint Annual Meeting Steering Committee is now accepting scientific session proposals for the 2023 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting (JAM), to be held June 27-29 in Providence, Rhode Island. Submit your session proposals by October 31.
All confirmed speakers are eligible for registration discounts. You do not have to be an ASCLS, AGT, or SAFMLS member to submit a proposal, and multiple proposals may be submitted per speaker.
The JAM Steering Committee is looking for proposals that cover a diverse group of topics related to medical laboratory science, such as scientific advancements, best practices, management, and professional development. Review a list of topic ideas submitted by 2022 JAM attendees. Send in your session proposals and please invite laboratory professionals and colleagues who are compelling presenters and leaders in their field to share their expertise as well.
Free Webinars for ASCLS Members
One Night In the Blood Bank: Case Studies from the Transfusion Service
November 2, 7 pm Eastern
Blood bank case studies will be presented to address different types of challenges which can occur in the blood bank. At the end of this presentation the participant will be able gain a better understanding of how to respond to common blood bank challenges in an efficient and timely way.
Speaker: Jayanna Slayten, MS, MLS(ASCP)SBBCM, Indiana University Health AHC Blood Bank Supervisor
- Identify options for response to case study scenarios presented.
- Apply deduction and logic to resolve a case study from the blood bank.
- Review and respond to the case study material for serologic troubleshooting and provision of blood.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing in Microbiology: Methods, Breakpoints, and Beyond
December 20, 1 pm Eastern
This session will review core concepts of antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) in the microbiology lab, including methods of testing, how interpretive criteria (breakpoints) are determined and updated, and how AST plays a role in public health.
Speaker: Andrea Prinzi, PhD, MPH, SM(ASCP)
- Describe at least two different types of antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) performed in the microbiology lab.
- Explain the process for AST breakpoint determination and updates.
- Communicate the role AST plays in public health and antimicrobial resistance prevention and control.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
These P.A.C.E.®-accredited webinars are free for ASCLS members ($10 for non-members). Preregistration is required. If you can’t attend live, register anyway—those who pre-register will receive access to the webinar recording.
ASCLS is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.
Ask Me Anything: Legislative Symposium 2022 – Perspectives from Capitol Hill
October 23, 7 pm ET | Virtual
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to attend the Laboratory Legislative Symposium? Here’s your chance to ask questions of some newcomers who attended this year. How did they go about making appointments to speak with Congresspeople/staffers? Did they feel prepared after the sessions on Monday? Who did they get to talk to—staffer, representative, senator? How long were their meetings? Come with questions and hopefully you’ll feel comfortable joining us on The Hill next year!
Our panelists include:
- Aditi Sarkar, MLS student, Rutgers University
- Jesse Day, MHA, MLS(ASCP)CM, Cell Therapy Scientist
- Carlee Roberts, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM, Medical Laboratory Scientist
- Heather Santaniello, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM, Evening Core Lab Supervisor
Sign up for the free virtual event on Sunday, October 23, at 7 pm ET.
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.
Virtual Book Club: Sitting Pretty
November 19, 2 pm ET | Virtual
The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) kicked off this year’s book club on October 15 with a first discussion of Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, by Rebekah Taussig. In the book, Dr. Taussig frankly discusses her life experiences as an individual reliant on a wheelchair for mobility. She takes her readers through her childhood, high school, and into adulthood, navigating a built environment designed for able-bodied.
There’s still time to join the DAC in opening your mind to the hidden struggles of the disabled, in ways that will make you reflect on your past approaches to the disabled and appreciate a new perspective.
The book club will meet virtually in Zoom on Saturday afternoons at 2 pm ET on November 19, and December 10. Sign up for the book club today.
The next discussion on November 19 will focus on content in chapters four through six, including how society assigns each of us a “role,” as if we are each an actor on a stage; the media (mis)representation of disabled individuals; and that disabled people are not all the same, with needs and desires greatly impacted by intersectionality.
ASCLS Education & Research Fund Silent Auction Handmade for the Holidays
November | Virtual
Raise money for medical laboratory science scholarships and research grants this November. Start your holiday shopping with the ASCLS E&R Fund’s 2022 Handmade for the Holidays Silent Auction. Win unique and lab-themed items while raising money for an important cause.
The E&R Fund is currently seeking crafty donations from our very talented members and friends of members. They are also looking for state-themed baskets or gifts.
Have you been gifted something that is just not your style or you cannot use that is handmade? Donate it! Are you extra crafty and have a few things that you have not gifted yet? We sure could use them! All donations will be accepted beginning early November. Please contact Barbara Snyderman with questions.
All money raised through the silent auction goes to the ASCLS Education & Research Fund, which provides scholarships, research grants, and professional awards that assist in the growth of the medical laboratory science profession and enhances the essential services provided by laboratory professionals. Thank you for your support!
Mid-Year ASCLS House of Delegates Meeting
January 15, 2023 | Virtual
ASCLS will hold its third annual mid-year virtual meeting of the House of Delegates on Sunday, January 15. The ASCLS House of Delegates convenes at the Annual Meeting of the Society, and has authority within the Society regarding the:
- election of the officers and members of the Board of Directors and of elective committees;
- adoption and amendment of the Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation according to the laws of the state of incorporation; and
- approval of professional practice standards, position papers and the scope and direction for the Society and the profession.
Delegates who began their term with the first session of the 2022-2023 House of Delegates on June 30 will receive information about how to attend the mid-year meeting.
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 and are free to attend.
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.
Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC)
CLEC is the most impactful annual gathering for faculty, administrators, directors, advisers, and others in medical laboratory education. The conference includes peer-to-peer learning, designed to give you take-aways that you can bring home and implement in your program.
CLEC 2023 will be held March 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Explore new ways to enhance the student learning experience, adapt your content for new learning methods and delivery systems, discover innovative teaching techniques, and so much more. Registration will open in November.
Submit Poster Abstracts by November 6
We are currently accepting abstracts for posters at CLEC 2023 in New Orleans. Influence the future of clinical laboratory science education by sharing your expertise, research, and other work with more than 500 fellow educators across the nation. Submit your abstracts by November 6.
Registration discounts are provided to the submitting author of accepted poster abstracts. Poster authors may attend either in person or virtually.
Contribute to ASCLS Today
Deadline: December 1
ASCLS Today is currently seeking article submissions for the annual Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) issue.
“Promoting diversity supports the delivery of quality laboratory service” is one of the core values of ASCLS. Diversity can encompass all those differences that make us unique, such as race, color, ethnicity, language, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender, socio-economic status, age, and physical and mental ability. Ensuring diversity and representation exists in ASCLS is critical to promoting a more equitable profession that can deliver patient-centered care. While ASCLS must strive to reflect the diversity in the profession, we must also work towards an inclusive profession that aims to fully represent the society it serves.
This issue of ASCLS Today will reflect on the importance—and sometimes confusing nature—of diversity, inclusivity, equity, and justice. What does it mean to be diverse, inclusive, and equitable? How do these concepts ensure a just culture in ASCLS? How can we set and achieve goals of promoting diversity?
If you are interested in submitting an article regarding a project or story that connects to this theme, please reach out to ASCLS Today Editor Deb Rodahl at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Articles are due by December 1, 2022.
Developing Professionals Committee Representatives
The ASCLS Developing Professional Forum (DPF) is actively recruiting Developing Professional Members to get involved with various committees as Developing Professional Committee Representatives. This position is a great introduction to taking on leadership roles, understanding how committees complete their annual charges, providing a student’s opinion on specific topics, and more.
For Developing Professionals who are interested in professional development, this is a great opportunity. You can review descriptions about various committees here, and please complete the form based on your interests, as well as apply to be a representative.
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.
On the September 30 episode, hosts Galina Dronova and Sophia Chandrasekar talk with ASCLS Executive Vice President Jim Flanigan about one of the most action-packed years for medical laboratory advocacy (aka, Labvocacy). This episode encourages you to get engaged and #Labvocate! You have the power and ability to make your voice heard.
Voices Under 40
Spotlight: John Ko, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
John was formerly the blood bank supervisor at the University of Michigan Hospital and is now director of laboratory operations at the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan. At Detroit Medical Center, he is responsible for ensuring that operations meet the needs of patients, laboratory staff, and clinicians. He does this by engaging in activities such as staffing requests, capital projects, and process/workflow improvements. One thing he feels is most rewarding about his position is being able to mentor and guide staff to realize their own goals and aspirations.
John’s ASCLS involvement has included being very active on the Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2) Steering Committee. He was a key contributor to the 2022 ELMC2 educational program and volunteered to take on any tasks that were needed. John is currently serving as vice chair for the 2023 ELMC2 Steering Committee. 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.
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:
- The Clinical Laboratory Educators Forum (formerly the Education Scientific Assembly) members had a lively discussion on how to train or teach time management/multitasking.
- In the Laboratory Administration / Consultant / Quality / Accreditation / Industry Scientific Assembly, members asked for advice on onboarding and training new MLT/MLS hires.
- In the Open Forum, Jessica Lawless shared The Lawless 5 video, a five-minute break to breathe.
- ASCLS continues to share CDC alerts and updates for laboratories through the Open Forum.