Members maintain their ASCLS membership through state and local societies.

Within these constituent societies, members are able to discuss local and statewide problems, compare and contrast issues, standards and methodologies of their respective laboratories, and stimulate local/regional interest in the profession. Constituent state societies produce journals or newsletters to facilitate communications among their members. Workshops and seminars are sponsored to provide continuing education. State societies also sponsor their own annual meetings, usually held in late winter or spring of each year.

State Societies generally maintain local chapters or districts. This national to chapter structure has proven successful in having the Society address the concerns and needs of its members at every level.

As required by the ASCLS Bylaws, an individual must hold membership at the state and national levels. It is this organizational structure that allows for appropriate channeling of local needs to the national level and national activities and programs back to the individual members.

State society dues are used to finance state society activities.

State Revitalization Resources

The State Revitalization Task Force characterized successful and at-risk state constituent societies, identified strategies for mentoring an at-risk society and developed a “Toolbox.”

The Toolbox contains resources for building and/or strengthening state society infrastructure. The Toolbox provides a “one-stop-shop” that includes information, templates, and websites to aid state societies if searching for a specific resource.

If you are concerned that your state society is in danger of folding, or you need to strengthen certain elements of your infrastructure, the following information is found on this website. Click on each link below for more information.

Successful State Society Traits

Characteristics describing a successful constituent state society

  • A membership roster that includes significant numbers in all membership categories
    • Each state society will determine its own significant membership numbers based on the number of hospitals/clinics and student programs in the state. The membership chair will be responsible for tracking this information on a yearly basis.
  • Composition and activity of the Board of Directors (BOD)
    • All BOD positions, determined by state Bylaws, should be filled and there should be both an Ascending Professional and Developing Professional Forum representativeon the BOD.
    • The BOD will conduct at least quarterly meetings each year. The format can be in-person, virtual, teleconference, etc.
    • A House of Delegates and/or business meeting open to the members at large should take place once per year. The meeting should include a State of the Society address.
    • For the office of president, a different individual should have held the office in each of the last five terms without repetition.
    • Attendance of the president and president-elect at the ASCLS Annual Meeting to include the House of Delegates is mandatory.
    • Adequate state delegate representation at the ASCLS House of Delegates is paramount.
    • Ideally, there should be more than one candidate for each office on the election ballot each year and the candidates should include new professional members of the organization.
    • The BOD should conduct a yearly leadership/planning meeting open to the members at large that results in a strategic plan that is reviewed annually.
    • The SOP for the organization must be thorough, organized, and revised yearly to reflect changes made in the practices of the organization.
    • A review and revision of the Bylaws is completed on a yearly basis.
  • Communication with society membership
    • Evidence of a written and/or electronic newsletter that is disseminated to the membership at least bi-annually.
    • An active website that is updated quarterly and links to the ASCLS website and other websites such as AABB, AACC, NCA, ASCP-BORASM, etc.
    • A mechanism (example: list serve or email blast) to enhance communication between the hospital/clinical laboratories and educational programs in the state should be in place.
    • There must be an electronic means to communicate with members.
  • Continuing education offerings
    • In addition to an annual meeting/symposium, there should be continuing education offerings in local chapters or geographical regions of the state.


Warning signs that a constituent state society is in danger

  • Recycling leadership within the organization
    • Repeating more than two terms in a row as a major officer of the organization e.g., president or vice president.
    • Lack of volunteers for vacant leadership positions during the next business year(s).
    • A single individual is consistently doing more than one task or holding more than one position within the organization.
  • Decreased offerings and/or participation in society sponsored continuing education programs
    • Organization is unable to hold at least one annual meeting where continuing education programs can be offered.
    • Decrease in attendance at local annual meeting/symposium.
    • Chapters/districts within the state become inactive.
  • Significant decline in membership numbers
    • A 10 percent drop in membership in a single year.
    • Consistent steady decrease in membership in the last three to five years.
    • Steady decrease in active members attending local monthly meetings.
    • Lack of interest in active members to be involved in their local society.
  • A state society requesting guidance from national ASCLS regarding survival information for the organization

Strategies for mentoring an at-risk state constituent society

In cases where there are warning signs that a constituent state society is in danger of inactive status, establish a program where a nearby state would act as a mentor.

  1. The primary contact for this mentoring task is the regional director in which the troubled society resides.
  2. The state society leadership along with the regional director will develop a procedure to guide the at-risk society.
  3. Utilize the hierarchy of the regional structure of ASCLS with the regional director as the point person. Other regional officers will be called upon as needed.
  4. Contact the ASCLS National Office at if you need to know regional and national contacts who can assist your regional director and the at-risk society leadership.

If individual states cannot sustain independent constituent society status, develop a mechanism for combining more than one state in a particular geographic location.

  1. President, treasurer, and membership recruitment person are key personnel in developing an alternative governance structure with the organization.
  2. Provide communication to all members of the society with the minimal effort being an email or paper notification to the membership stating the status of the society and the request for alternative governance structure.