ASCLS selected to partner with CDC, Stop Lab Cuts Advocacy Day, new and improved ASCLS Connect, and more.

ASCLS Selected to Partner with CDC on Workforce Development

ASCLS is one of four organizations selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS) to partner with the agency on enhancing clinical laboratory workforce capacity.

The three-year cooperative agreement will support CDC’s OneLab Initiative to help build laboratory preparedness and response competencies among clinical laboratory professionals under a set of “bridge, train, and sustain” strategies.

  • Bridge: strengthening essential links between clinical laboratory and public health laboratory training and continuing education officials and CDC
  • Train: developing and evaluating education and training resources for clinical laboratory professions
  • Sustain: expanding the reach of CDC’s training and workforce development resources

“ASCLS has worked closely with CDC on other initiatives over the years and we’re honored to support this effort,” said ASCLS President Kimberly Von Ahsen. “This agreement will provide the resources to begin addressing the most critical issue facing our profession: our workforce.”

The initial focus of the agreement will be on compiling and analyzing a database of more than 6,000 P.A.C.E.®-accredited CE programs from more than 250 providers in 2020 and 2021 to identify gaps and provide a foundation for areas of future development. ASCLS will also aid with growing the OneLab Network and the new OneLab REACH learning management system hosted by CDC.


Small Window to Permanently Fix Laboratory Reimbursements

Stop Lab Cuts Advocacy Day Sept 20Stop Lab Cuts Advocacy Day on Twitter, Tuesday, September 20

What laboratory professionals are paid is profoundly influenced by reimbursement rates, which are driven by Medicare.

ASCLS and 25 other healthcare groups have signed onto a letter to Congressional leaders calling for the passage of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA/H.R. 8188/S.4449).

This new law would fix the worst elements of PAMA, which has led to disastrous cuts to laboratory reimbursements. SALSA is a permanent solution that would set Medicare reimbursement for lab services on a sustainable path forward and give CMS new authority to collect private market data through statistically valid sampling from all laboratory segments for the widely available test services where previous data collection was inadequate. The bill ensures true private market rates are included, provides a much-needed reduction in reporting burden, and protects labs and Medicare from dramatic rate increases or decreases with a gradual phase-in approach going forward.

Laboratory advocates in Washington have been laying the groundwork for years to bring this bill to the floor and there appears to be a narrow window for us to push for passage this fall. It will require everyone in the laboratory community to push in unison.

Members of ASCLS and the broader laboratory community will begin to see a noticeable ramp-up in advocacy over the coming weeks.

To that end, the Stop Lab Cuts campaign is hosting an Advocacy Day on Twitter on Tuesday, September 20, to raise awareness of the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA). Here are ways you and your organization can support this effort and encourage Congress to enact SALSA this year:

  1. Post this tweet (or a variation of your choosing) on your Twitter handle on Tuesday, September 20 (not before): Passing the Saving Access to Laboratory Services Act (SALSA) would help protect access to the most common laboratory tests that America’s patients depend on. Congress: Please pass SALSA and #StopLabCuts. Learn more:
  2. Or select a tweet and graphic from the social media toolkit
  3. Or create your own tweet and use the #StopLabCuts hashtag
  4. And monitor @ASCLS on Twitter and the #StopLabCuts and #Labvocate hashtags during the day and retweet posts from ASCLS and other organizations

We need everyone to be engaged on this, including every co-worker you have. If this law doesn’t pass, the impact on the laboratory workforce will be devastating.


Visit the New and Improved ASCLS Connect

ASCLS ConnectWe are excited to announce the launch of our updated ASCLS Connect communication and engagement platform. ASCLS Connect is an online space for discussion, collaboration, and expanding your professional network.

With this update, we now offer a personalized homepage (login required) where you will find content from all of the communities to which you belong on one streamlined page. Easily engage in online discussions ranging from getting advice from other laboratorians in your discipline, to learning about the latest news from your local society, to continuing discussions with fellow attendees of a recent event, and more. Each private community allows you to collaborate, share documents, and accomplish your goals more easily.

We look forward to your feedback and suggestions on how we can make ASCLS Connect an integral part of your day.


2022 Joint Annual Meeting Educational Sessions Available On Demand

2022 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting Educational Sessions On DemandIf you missed out on attending the 2022 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting this past June, you’re in luck. We captured the educational programming at the meeting, and it’s now available to stream online through JAM On Demand. You can watch as many sessions as you’d like when it’s convenient for you and claim P.A.C.E.® credit at the same time.

  • All individual sessions are $10 ($15 for non-members).
  • The All Access bundle of 53 sessions (up to 52 hours of P.A.C.E.® credit) is $250 for ASCLS members/$375 for non-members.
  • The Best of 2022 JAM bundle, containing 11 sessions distilled from attendees’ favorite sessions with just the right mix of scientific topics, is $80 for ASCLS Members/$120 for non-members.

Three Sessions Available FREE to All

Access national education on a full range of topics conveniently available to you at home, work, and on the road.


Call for 2023 Joint Annual Meeting Session Proposals

Jessica Lawless presents at 2022 ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual MeetingThe 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. 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.


Ask Me Anything: Different Professional Routes for Medical Laboratory Professionals

Ask Me Anything: Professional Routes for Medical Laboratory ProfessionalsIf you missed the recent Ask Me Anything (AMA) from the ASCLS Ascending Professionals Forum, you can catch a recording of the inspiring conversation. Hear from a panel of medical laboratory professionals who have followed their passions and taken non-traditional jobs outside the lab.

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.


Upcoming Events

2022 Laboratory Legislative Symposium

September 26-27 | Alexandria, VA, or Virtual

There’s still time to sign up for the annual Laboratory Legislative Symposium. Register by Tuesday, September 20, and 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. Attend either in-person or virtually and 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. You will be 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 20 and save $50 off the final registration rate.


Virtual Movie Night: Mixed Match

September 17, 6 pm EST or September 18, 3 pm EST | Virtual

Mixed MatchThe ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) invites you to attend a viewing party for the movie, Mixed Match, to watch 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.

Sign up to attend on Saturday, September 17, at 6 pm EST or on Sunday, September 18, at 3 pm EST.


Free Member Webinar: A Day in the Life of a Laboratory Leader

September 21, 7 pm ET

Stephanie Guidry, Melody Boudreaux Nelson and Ian WallaceThe Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2) is warming up for the 2023 event with A Day in the Life of a Laboratory Leader, a live event which will explore the typical day-to-day activities of a laboratory leader. This webinar features a panelist of laboratory professionals who are currently working in leadership roles at a variety of levels. The audience is encouraged to ask questions to the panelists as time allows.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the typical day and work expectations of a laboratory leader.
  2. Identify the challenges and barriers of leaders working in the clinical laboratory.
  3. Recognize the skills and mindset needed to be successful as a laboratory leader.

Panelists: Stephanie C. Guidry, MHA, MLS(ASCP)CM, Core Laboratory Manager; Melody Boudreaux Nelson, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, Laboratory Informatics Manager; and Ian Wallace, MLS(ASCP)CM, Laboratory Supervisor

All attendees will be awarded one hour of P.A.C.E.® credit. This webinar is free for ASCLS members and past ELMC2 attendees, but does require pre-registration.


DAC Book Club

Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, by Rebekah TaussigOctober 15, 2 pm ET | Virtual

The ASCLS Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) is pleased to announce the book for this year’s book club: 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.

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, once each month: October 15, November 19, and December 10. Sign up for the book club today and get a copy of the book through your library or bookstore.

The first discussion on October 15 will focus on chapters one through three, defining and discussing ableism and Dr. Taussig’s attempts to teach ableism to high school students.


PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum

January 16-18, 2023 | Virtual

PRISMThe 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.


ELMC2Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2)

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 2023 New OrleansMarch 2-4, 2023 | New Orleans, LA, or Virtual

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.


New Episode of Off the Bench Podcast

Off the Bench PodcastSubscribe 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 August 26 episode, host Sophia Chandrasekar explores Dr. Alan H.B. Wu’s mind to find out about his speculative science fiction lab novel, Mind Portal, and learn about speculative fiction, the creative process for the book, preparing it for a movie, and just talking about the impact that the lab had, and has. Dr. Wu is a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.

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


Voices Under 40

Spotlight: Aaron Odegard, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, Jacksonville, Florida

Aaron is employed by Baptist Health Jacksonville (BHJ) as a medical technologist. In his role with BHJ, Aaron serves as an important member of the Infectious Diagnostic Team. He also devotes efforts toward training and mentoring new and future laboratory professionals.

Aaron serves ASCLS in many capacities, including serving on the Florida Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (FSCLS) Board of Directors related to social media, chairing the FSCLS Scholarship Committee, and being part of the Clinical Laboratory Educator Conference (CLEC) Host Committee in 2020. A significant achievement has been Aaron’s involvement in FSCLS Spring Symposium planning, including leading the first-ever career development panel for student members. Aaron continues to be active in ASCLS because he feels that “ASCLS offers the chance for laboratory professions to connect on not only a national level, but with laboratory professionals in your community.” Read more.


Spotlight: Crystal Paul, MLS(ASCP)CM, Rosemount, Minnesota

Crystal is employed by HealthPartners as a regional clinic laboratory supervisor (RCLS). HealthPartners is a nonprofit, integrated care delivery and financing system based in Bloomington, Minnesota. In her role as an RCLS, Crystal oversees five clinic labs and four Well@Work sites along with her duties on various technical teams, which will include a technical team that finds ways to promote the medical laboratory profession. Crystal notes that “without the connections I have made through ASCLS, I highly doubt I would be in the position I am today.”

Crystal serves ASCLS in many capacities. She has been significantly involved with the Region V Leadership Academy and served as ASCLS-Minnesota secretary for many years. Notably, she has been involved with leading the Clinical Laboratory Collaborative (CLC) at the state level. The CLC meeting brings together multiple lab organizations and societies to help promote the profession. Of her involvement with the CLC and being significantly involved in the planning of the 2021 virtual CLC meeting, Crystal said, “While it has been one of the hardest things I have done in my time in the professional society, it has also been very rewarding. We [were able to] reach so many more lab professionals with the virtual platform.” 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.

Fall Meetings

Come together with medical laboratory professionals in your local area, either online or in-person, for CE and networking.

Region V 2022 Fall Symposium
September 29-30
Mankato, Minnesota

Intermountain States Seminar (IMSS) 2022
October 6-8
Jackson, Wyoming

Northwest Medical Laboratory Symposium
October 12-14

Region III Triennial Meeting
October 21-22
Atlanta, Georgia

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:


Key Dates

Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC) Movie Night:
Mixed Match

September 17
September 18


Day in the Life of a Laboratory Leader Webinar
September 21


2022 Laboratory Legislative Symposium
September 26-27