Volume 35 Number 2 | April 2021
Deb Rodahl, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM
ASCLS recognizes Cheryl Caskey for nearly 20 years of service as ASCLS Today editor. In January, ASCLS President Maddie Josephs posted an item in the ASCLS Open Forum:
For as long as I can remember, and certainly for my entire tenure on the ASCLS Board of Directors, our society newsletter, ASCLS Today, has been quietly, thoughtfully, and competently edited by our member and Past President Cheryl Caskey of Louisiana. While I am certain it has not always been easy having to often chase down assigned authors to submit their articles, Cheryl has always been patient and kind, gently reminding those who were tardy with their submissions. I can personally attest to this! Yet, throughout her tenure as editor of our informative newsletter, Cheryl never lost sight of the purpose and certainly the value of the newsletter in providing news, opinions, stories, case studies, and so much more for our members. She worked to diligently comb through the submitted articles, making suggestions and corrections before the newsletter went to print. After many years of service to ASCLS in this capacity, Cheryl has decided to step down as editor. I am sure I speak for our entire membership when I express my gratitude and appreciation for a job well done. While she is handing over the reins of the newsletter, I am heartened to know that Cheryl will continue to remain active in ASCLS and look forward to her participation in our inaugural PRISM events this week.
Many of our members may not know much about Cheryl, but first and foremast she has been a champion for our profession and for ASCLS. She has served and continues to serve in many roles across our organization.
“[T]hroughout her tenure as editor of our informative newsletter, Cheryl never lost sight of the purpose and certainly the value of the newsletter in providing news, opinions, stories, case studies, and so much more for our members.”
Cheryl is a past president of ASCLS, and during her terms as president-elect and president, she became keenly aware of the need for ASCLS to broaden its diversity, particularly in leadership. She worked with the Forum for the Concerns of Minorities to make those concerns more prominent to the general membership. She chaired the 2015 ASCLS Diversity Task Force and interviewed Glenda Price (first African American president of ASCLS) then to get her thoughts and perspectives on the Forum for the Concerns of Minorities, which was originally formed for political reasons to provide more visibility of the African Americans in ASCLS.
Glenda’s perspectives provided guidance on questions to explore to bring more diversity and inclusiveness to ASCLS. The task force brought several action items to the ASCLS Board of Directors to move ASCLS forward with a broadened scope for diversity and inclusiveness in the organization. One of the action items was to change the Forum name to the Diversity Advocacy Council (DAC).
Through the death of George Floyd, our ASCLS members have been asking how we can make a difference in the many aspects of diversity, racism, and inequity in our country. Professionally, this includes areas like implicit bias and a lack of equitable care for the patients we serve. To that end, Cheryl continues to work with the DAC, which recently established the Glenda Price Diversity in Leadership Award and the inaugural launch of PRISM: Pride, Respect, Inclusion, Support, Momentum in January 2021, during which she had a chance to interview Glenda Price for a second time.
When asked what she will remember most about being the ASCLS Today editor, Cheryl noted that this role gave her an opportunity to work with a number of ASCLS presidents over the years, as well as many of our talented members as they submitted articles for the newsletter.
Cheryl, thank you for your many years of service and dedication to ASCLS!
Deb Rodahl is Vice President of Hospital Operations at M Health Fairview St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.