Susan Naka MT(ASCP)CM, MS, ASCLS-Hawaii Past President
Kristen Croom, MLS(ASCP)CM, MB(ASCP)CM, ASCLS-Hawaii Past President

The ASCLS-Hawaii society decided to take a different approach to activities for the 2015-2016 year. At an annual board meeting in early 2015, some members said the biggest issue in Hawaii was members and prospective members not seeing the “value of ASCLS membership.” The few people that can attend the national ASCLS meeting are board members as per our by-laws and that doesn’t appear to impact the majority of the Hawaii membership. At this meeting the membership voted to allocate $100 per member to “give back” to the ASCLS-HI members. The board asked for a special committee to look at what could be done that wouldn’t jeopardize our non-profit status and would work best for most of our members. When Kristen Croom was installed as the 2015-2016 Society President she asked the Board to support more activities aimed at showing the membership the value of ASCLS. Kristen had learned through the ASCLS Leadership Academy that this issue was not unique to Hawaii, but common throughout the country.

ASCLS-Hawaii “Road Show”
The board realized how invigorated we all felt after the national meetings. We also realized the huge value in the continuing education sessions available at the national meeting. The special committee and the Board had the idea to see if we could present recordings from the national ASCLS meeting for continuing education credit. The $100 per member would be used for food and drinks for the individuals that would attend the sessions. We wanted to share these recordings at individual laboratories throughout the state and take ASCLS to members’ and potential members’ work sites. We named it the “ASCLS-Hawaii Road Show.” ASCLS National had agreed to offer Professional Acknowledgment for Continuing Education (P.A.C.E.®) credits to those that attended the recordings. 

Our first ASCLS-Hawaii Road Show was at the largest laboratory company in the state, Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS). A well-known microbiologist, Dr. Matt Bankowski, was their medical director, so we chose a microbiology topic and asked him to be the onsite expert to answer any questions after the session. We chose the topic of Dengue fever and, by coincidence, there was a Dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii Island within a couple of weeks. About 20 people attended this conference with good feedback. 

Our next road show event took place at Tripler Army Medical Center. We were able to show two recordings back-to-back, allowing day shift and evening shift employees to attend. We had a great turn out and a positive response from the group.

We hope to continue the ASCLS-Hawaii Road Show this year. We feel this is one way of giving back to our members directly at their workplaces by offering P.A.C.E.® approved programs. 

Hawaii Clinical Laboratory Conference (HCLC)
The Hawaii Clinical Laboratory Conference is the largest annual conference held in Hawaii and attended by over 200 clinical laboratory professionals. It has been co-sponsored by ASCLS-Hawaii and the Clinical Laboratory Management Association Aloha Chapter for over 10 years. For the 2016 meeting, the board decided to give members a $25 rebate on their registration when they stopped at our booth during this conference. It was one of the busiest booths at the meeting and generated a lot of interest from non-members. In the past we had a $100 difference between member and non-member rates, but the 2016 HCLC planning committee decided to offer one price regardless of membership status to boost attendance. Although we did not get a bump in our membership numbers like we had in the past, the Board felt the face-to-face interaction with our members was worth it. Members were able to meet the ASCLS-Hawaii Board members in person. We also collected over $600 for ASCLS/PAC. 

This is just one more example of what Kristen had learned at the Leadership Academy – the value of face to face contact with our members. It’s easy to send an e-mail or post a message on Facebook that can be deleted, but meeting members in person is much more enduring and satisfying.