ASCLS Today Volume 33, Number 2

ASCLSToday Masthead 680

Volume 33, Number 2


Roslyn McQueen, PhD, CCRC, ASCLS President

Roslyn McQueenASCLS is a premier organization whose mere existence enhances the quality of laboratory medicine and the quality of healthcare. We are the “best and the brightest,” yet we still struggle with membership participation. We are not unique with this problem, as other scientific and professional organizations also cite lack of recognition and membership apathy as major problems.

An essential responsibility of our organization is to provide timely, accurate, and essential communication to keep our membership informed and involved. I am a true believer that a dedicated member is one who is actively involved in the organization, informed about its business, and committed to the ideals of the organization. Therefore, communication is an essential responsibility of the national organization to maintain continuous participation of our members. ASCLS has been working hard to enhance and expand modes of communication to the membership. This column will highlight the “Communication” target identified in the Sustainable Excellence program.

The Role of Communication
We frequently hear that our profession does not receive the desired respect from members of the healthcare environment, that there is a lack of recognition by the public, and that we face threats from other professionals. We must be our own advocates for the profession. Therefore, we must tell our story of what we do, who we are, and how we benefit the healthcare profession. We must promote our profession within the organization and externally to the public.

An excellent project to gain this awareness was the “Road to Understanding” project initiated by Alice Hawley and the Promotion of the Profession Committee. They are to be commended for sparking the support and participation from the membership. Additionally, the Story Slam initiated at the 2018 Annual Meeting was extremely successful and will be repeated at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 23-27.

The fundamental principal for creating an informed, active membership begins with member contact from, and connection to, the Society. ASCLS has been actively working to enhance and expand our avenues of communication, both internally to our membership and externally to the public. As stated above, communication is essential for the success and recognition of our organization. In this time of social media, instant messaging via the internet allows for real-time, quick, meaningful communication. We no longer must wait days for letters and written documents to be delivered.

In the last two years, ASCLS has implemented new membership software, rolled out communication projects, and hired a director of marketing and communication to provide information to meet the needs of our diverse members. The diversity I’m referring to is our members’ preferred methods of contact. The diverse communication needs of the membership range from:

  • the tech-savvy, text and Twitter group; to
  • the email me only group; to
  • the “I want to speak with someone live” on the telephone members.

Estimably, I have observed a tremendous improvement in the level and scope of communication within the organization. Thanks to Executive Vice President (EVP) Jim Flanigan, ASCLS members can communicate freely and immediately through the ASCLS Open Forum or ASCLS Connect. ASCLS members can ask questions about pay differences, new procedures, roommates needed for hotels, and have real-time conversations across the country. We will continue to fully use these programs and make these avenues available to our officers, committee chairs, and staff to provide our “loyal and faithful” members with quick, accurate, and meaningful information.

Director of Marketing and Communications
Last year, the 2017-18 ASCLS Board authorized the hire of a director of marketing and communications. Unfortunately, the first director had to resign, but another was quickly hired, and we welcomed Julia O’Donnell as our new director of marketing and communications at the July 2018 ASCLS Annual Meeting. She was only on the job a few days before the national meeting. She “hit the ground” running and has been a tremendous asset to ASCLS. She assembles the Society News Now e-newsletter, publishes the ASCLS Today newsletter, and authors many other forms of communication to the membership.

Marketing and Communications Committee
Even more exciting, the board approved the creation of a Marketing and Communications Committee. Dr. Kyle Riding was appointed the chair with Rebecca Rogers as vice chair. This was a remarkable step in furthering our level and quality of communication to our membership.

The Marketing and Communication Committee assists the Society with identifying and implementing marketing and communication strategy. Committee charges include:

  • To equip all members with tools to promote ASCLS and the profession.
  • To build the ASCLS brand around the value of the organization and the profession.
  • To effectively leverage professional networks and integrate marketing and communication across all platforms

Zoom Meetings
Our committees are comprised of members who geographically reside across the United States. Our ASCLS national committees/boards/forums can now have monthly, face-to-face meetings. This is achieved not by boarding an airplane and traveling to a meeting site, but rather through Zoom teleconference meetings. “Zoom offers communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.”

Every regional director and ASCLS committee chair received Zoom accounts. Through Zoom, committee members can see everyone in the committee via their computer. Members can work on a document during the meeting, have everyone view and edit the document, and provide feedback. Additionally, free conference calls and webinars are also an option.

Higher Logic Marketing
ASCLS has a contract with Higher Logic, a broadcast email/digital marketing platform that will provide several important benefits. Our organization uses Higher Logic software for a variety of things. According to our EVP, “we will have the ability to create highly customized, automated emails similar to what we are doing now in the community, with automatic welcomes and member onboarding. The new platform will be able to customize who the emails come from.” It can send out customized emails to new members, inactive members, and serves as an excellent recruiting tool.

During my president’s speech I suggested that we improve the existing new member’s welcome package. Through Higher Logic we can develop a customized welcome message, a new member orientation, a welcome telephone call from the Membership Committee, and new member listing in the constituent society’s newsletter.

We also use Higher Logic to manage our online forums and our volunteer application process. The volunteer module was implemented last year. It allows members to select the committees/forums they which they would like to participate on. There are many more functions we will roll out with Higher Logic soon. Currently, we are using Higher Logic to make indexing compatible for PubMed.

Cvent is new software that we used for abstract submission, review, and acceptance for the Annual Meeting. Currently two of our constituent societies have already used it and have given their affirmation of the program. According to our EVP, “we are negotiating a master agreement that would give all our constituent groups access to the lower national pricing. At a national level, the system will allow us to directly link to our member management system and upload membership lists from partner societies for the meeting, allowing us to offer member and non-member pricing for all attendees.”

ASCLS Connect Mobile App
The ASCLS board approved a mobile app for ASCLS Connect. This new mobile app will be used for the ASCLS Connect communities. Rollout should occur before the end of 2019.

Traditional Communication Continues
Society News Now:
We have re-instituted the Society News Now as one means of increasing communication to our membership. Former ASCLS President Susie Zanto established the e-newsletter to address the question of, “What is ASCLS doing for me?” My goal is to continue her legacy and communicate activities that occur on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, to provide information about what ASCLS is doing on behalf of our membership.

New Clinical Laboratory Science Platform: We are happy to report that our Clinical Laboratory Science journal is live and available for every member to access. Articles have been published ahead of print and are available on the website. Editor Perry Scanlon and his editorial committee have done a fantastic job making the journal relevant, timely, and internet-accessible. We still have some challenges integrating the journal in all the available scientific indexes. We have applied for recognition on PubMed, which is the final step. I hope that by the time you read this newsletter this problem will be resolved.

ASCLS Today Newsletter: As evidenced by this document, we are also happy to report that the ASCLS Today newsletter is being printed on a regular basis and distributed to our membership both through the mail and online. We are grateful to our devoted Editor Cheryl Caskey for her solicitation and gentle nudging of articles for each issue.

Personal Contact is Still Important
Internal communication also involves ancient forms of communication, such as telephone calls, to members. Maintaining personal contact with all members is vital to sustaining the commitment and support of our organization. Each of us must make the commitment to communicate with our members in whatever format is most acceptable to them, including telephone calls, visits, and hand-written notes.

Personal Contact – The ASCLS Family Reunion: ASCLS is the oldest professional organization for the medical laboratory scientist. The Society is indeed growing at a rapid pace due to changes in technology, medical advancements, and higher educational opportunities. I am supportive of the enhanced use of social media for our professional organization to strengthen communication of our message, BUT we cannot forget the importance of in-person meetings. Our ASCLS Annual Meeting, the regional conferences, and annual state and local meetings provide the “face” for the profession and offer networking and educational opportunities not available at our work environments.

The nickname of an ASCLS family reunion has become an unwritten marketing and meeting recruitment tool for our Annual Meetings. The Annual Meeting has a dual purpose for me and for many of us. We attend because of the ability to obtain continuing education from experts presenting cutting-edge information and to participate in the governance of the organization. We also come to renew friendships and acquaintances, to network with our peers, and to become recharged and revitalized.

I offer my personal invitation to everyone to attend our 2019 ASCLS Annual Meeting, June 23-27, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Be part of ASCLS history, as we embark on a new meeting format that we are excited to present.

I believe in ASCLS and that we speak with One Voice, One Vision for the medical laboratory scientist and the profession. Through enhanced communication, let’s strive for the “Sustainable Excellence” of the profession!

Roslyn McQueen is a research doctor at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.


Jean Bauer, MLS(ASCP)CM, ASCLS Region V Director

Fresh talent brings in fresh views. It invigorates an organization. And in our current healthcare environment, the importance of developing laboratory leaders is vital to ensure we have a voice at the table when decisions are made about our profession.

The question is, how do we prepare new professionals to become leaders and take on roles within ASCLS and in the workplace? Many societies struggle to identify, prepare, and support new leaders. This results in some groups recycling leaders year after year. While this suffices for the short term, it is not good for the long term.

The ASCLS Leadership Academy, started more than a decade ago, was successful in recruiting and graduating a number of future leaders. But those numbers have decreased, due to a decline in applicants for the program. The Leadership Academy was recently updated and will debut with a new class for 2019-20. A few states and regions have also developed leadership academies to encourage those interested in seeking leader roles. All of these have had success, but we still fall short of the number of new leaders needed.

The Leadership Development Committee will prepare new modules that provide information on general leadership, as well as ASCLS-specific topics. For some individuals, this will be enough to give them the background and education to move forward. For others, however, a personal hand is needed to encourage and guide them. To meet this need, ASCLS has developed a mentorship program that pairs up mentors and mentees who have similar interests.

In spite of these ASCLS programs and structures, many laboratorians do not see the potential in themselves to become leaders. Therefore, it is incumbent upon current leaders to identify people with leadership potential. Those potential leaders should be encouraged to take part in the mentor/mentee program and/or volunteer for some opportunity within the organization. This starts with reaching out to our members individually and showing interest in them. Asking new people to get involved demonstrates that they are important to us and that we will stand by to help them succeed.

Leadership Development in Region V
In Region V, a leadership academy (LA) was started six years ago. Many of the graduates have gone on to lead committees and become officers in their local constituent societies, as well as participate or take on leadership roles at the regional and national levels within ASCLS. A number of instructors in the LA program have served as mentors to the participants during their program year and after graduation. Graduates themselves have also become mentors to others over the years.

In surveying the states in Region V, there is variation in how each is currently engaging and supporting new leaders:

  • Wisconsin provides incoming leaders with an orientation packet. It is a basic guide that helps them learn what their role entails. Any mentoring that takes place is done on an informal basis.
  • South Dakota has utilized mentoring and leadership succession planning in the past. However, its current process primarily consists of providing position descriptions to incoming leaders. A little more detail on how to complete tasks and associated timelines has been suggested to improve the success and transition for members into new roles.
  • North Dakota provides informal mentoring to all incoming board members from past board members. A more formal mentoring process is on their agenda for their next board meeting.
  • Minnesota has tried a formal mentoring process in the past but that has fallen by the wayside. However, in 2018, the Clinical Laboratory Collaborative (CLC) (state) Meeting Committee recognized that the chairs of various committees were mainly people that had been doing this work for years. The benefit of “recycled” leaders is that they need very little information to do the tasks of the committee, but these are also the seasoned professionals who are retired or are planning to retire in the next few years. Each committee chair, including the CLC Meeting co-chair, was charged with finding a new person to mentor into that role. Most of the committees engaged new people, resulting in new ideas and challenging the way things have been done in the past to improve the process. These new committee members are now participating in the 2019 planning process, with some taking on the chair role and their mentors acting as advisors.

In all of these states, basic information is being provided to people as they begin their new roles as leaders. There are many opportunities to augment the process via more focus on mentorship. When utilized, mentoring has proven to be rewarding for individuals on both sides of the relationship. For the mentee, it provides them with the support and tools to be successful leaders. And for the mentor, it is much like watching your children grow and learn to fly on their own.

In summary, we have a number of avenues to develop leaders:

  • Identify potential leaders either by self-selection or by encouraging someone
  • Education through ASCLS leadership academies, on-line modules, and/or sources outside ASCLS
  • Practical experience in serving on a committee from local and state societies to regional and national committees
  • Formal and/or informal mentorship

By utilizing these components as a complete package, we can provide the knowledge and ongoing support that will help these new leaders be successful. Let us cultivate the potential in others, develop laboratory leaders for the workplace and ASCLS, and ensure the future.

Jean Bauer is instructional designer/research assistant at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Meet the Candidates 2019

The ASCLS Nominations Committee is pleased to present the following candidates for office in the 2019-20 Society year. Candidates selected by the House of Delegates will take office at the 2019 ASCLS Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Maddie Josephs


Member Since 1997

BS, Medical Technology, Salve Regina University
MS, Clinical Laboratory Science, University of Rhode Island


Professor/Department Chair, Community College of Rhode Island, Lincoln, RI


2013-2018 – Chair, ASCLS-CNE Annual Convention

2014-Present – Director, Region I

2013-Present – Attended National Meeting as Delegate or Director
2017 – Co-Chair, Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC)
2018-2019 – Member, Long Range Planning Committee
2017-2018 – Member, Appointments Committee
2015, 2016 – Member, Executive Committee

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”
- John F. Kennedy

I have been a member of the ASCLS Board of Directors since 2013 and it has been an honor and a privilege to serve this organization as Region I Director. These years, for me, have been a period of immense personal and professional growth. I have learned so much about ASCLS from my fellow board members and the membership alike. I believe that education is lifelong, and good leaders who listen will learn from those they lead.

The viability of this organization is dependent on our dedicated members. While there may be challenges ahead for ASCLS, I believe I have the passion and desire to help see this organization through those challenges. The ASCLS Board of Directors has laid some very important groundwork concerning the future of ASCLS, and through our shared vision and philosophy, we can see this Society through these challenges. Together, we can build our membership, continue to advocate for our profession, and bring recognition to our members and to our profession as a whole. Our shared vision will lead to a stronger and more viable Society and it would be an honor to lead the way.

Kyle Riding


Member Since 2004

BS, Medical Laboratory Science, UMass Dartmouth
PhD, Public Health, Walden University


Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL


2012-2013 – President Elect, ASCLS-CNE
2013-2014 – President, ASCLS-CNE
2006-2015 – Attendee/Speaker, ASCLS CNE Annual Spring Convention
2015-Present – Board Member, FSCLS
2016-Present – Program Chair, FSCLS Spring Seminar
2016-Present – Attendee/Speaker, FSCLS Spring Seminar

2018-2019 – Program Chair, Region III Triennial Meeting

2006-2017 – Attendee/Speaker, ASCLS Annual Meeting
2008-2014 – Member and Co-Vice Chair, Government Affairs Committee
2014-2017 – Member, Nominations Committee
2015-2016 – Co-Chair, Entry Level Curriculum Update Task Force
2015-2017 – Vice-Chair and Chair, Leadership Academy
2018-Present – Chair, Marketing and Communications Committee

I have had the distinct honor and pleasure to serve ASCLS in a variety of capacities over the last 14 years. My passion and belief in ASCLS are firmly rooted in the fact that it has been the leading voice in our profession’s growth over multiple generations and has a legacy of leadership. Serving as secretary-treasurer will provide me with the chance to continue this legacy. It is my hope that I will be able to use my experiences to help us navigate this rapidly-changing era where how we communicate with each other, our partners, and the public-at-large evolves on a seemingly daily basis. With so many various society functions being shared with the secretary-treasurer on a routine basis, I would be in an ideal position to help communicate meaningful details to our members and allow them to see our collective vision in action. Furthermore, I would be able to provide unique perspective to the ASCLS Board of Directors. A perspective that is forever grateful to a generation that paved the way for our association’s success but is firmly committed to a continuing evolution of ASCLS. An evolution that helps it best meet the demands of tomorrow’s laboratory professional.

Lisa Hochstein

Member Since 1970

MS, Medical Technologist, St. John’s University
BSMT, Medical Technology, Richmond College/CUNY
AAS, Medical Lab Technology, NYC Community College


Associate/Professor/Program Director Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program, St. John’s University, Queens, NY



2015-2017 – Chair, Nominations Committee

2013-2018 – Secretary-Treasurer, Region I Council
2016 – Co-Chair, Region I Seminar

2012-2018 – Member, Vice-Chair, Education and Research Fund
2011-2017 – Members, Awards Committee

As a member of ASCLS since my days as a student, I have made a commitment to be involved in my professional organization. I see value in belonging to ASCLS and believe we should all advocate for both our organization and our profession. Clinical laboratory professionals are sometimes taken for granted and not regarded as a member of the healthcare team. I would encourage collaborating with members of the region and ASCLS for increasing awareness of our profession. I want to work with the members of my region to strengthen our numbers, provide continuing education and advocacy, and provide the benefit of our knowledge to the public.

Claude Rector


Member Since 2008

BS, Microbiology, University of Arkansas
MS, Microbiology, University of Arkansas


MLT and Phlebotomy Program Director, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas



2011-2013 – President Elect, ASCLS Arkansas
2013-2015 – President, ASCLS Arkansas
2013-2015 – Co-Chair, Arkansas State Laboratory Conferences
2013-2015 – Co-Chair, Arkansas Laboratory Student Quiz Bowls

2017-2018 – Chair, Region VII Caucus Meetings
2017, 2018 – Attended and Presented at Region VII State Meetings

2016-2019 – Member/Delegate, ASCLS Board of Directors, Region VII
2018-2019 – Appointments Committee/Choosing Wisely Taskforce
2018-2019 – Board Liaison, E&R Fund, PAC, SA
2017-2018 – ASCLS Finance Committee/Policy and Procedures
2017-2018 – Board Liaison, Bylaws, Choosing Wisely, Patient Safety
2016-2017 – Board Liaison, Membership, Leadership Development

First, I would like to say what an honor it is to be asked to seek a second term as the Region VII director. I have enjoyed meeting and collaborating with all who serve on the ASCLS team: ASCLS EVP and staff; ASCLS Board of Directors; Society leaders, committee chairs, and members; state society leaders; ascending members; and developing members. I consider myself very fortunate to belong to such a wonderful team.

During my second term I would like to focus on what I feel is our biggest strength as a professional society. ASCLS members make up a group of professionals united by certain convictions and a common affiliation. This is a definition of family. The ASCLS family has many wonderful activities and events all leading to collaboration between members and developing relationships across the country.

My stance three years ago has not changed. I still believe the future of ASCLS begins with the clinical laboratory students. They are still our best hope to change the future direction of our Society. My goal is still to mentor them, be an example to them, and challenge them to make the future of our profession stronger.

Stephanie Mihane


Member Since 1991

CLA, Scott Community College, Bettendorf, IA
AS, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
BS, Medical Technology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA


Point of Care Coordinator, Kaiser, Permanente, Denver, CO


2006-Present – ASCLS-CO Activities to Include:

President Elect, President, Past President, Membership Chair, Student/New Professional Chair, Newsletter Editor, Secretary CLCC State Meeting: Planning and Committee Co-Chair, Social Chair, Program Committee Member, General Chair, Attendee

2010, 2011 – ASCLS Region VIII Activities to Include:
2014-Present – Membership Chair, Secretary, Leadership Academy Instructor
2014-2018 – IMSS: Social Chair, Exhibit Liaison, Silent Auction Co-Chair, Attendee
2010-2014 – Elected Member of Coordinating Committee
2017 – IMSS Speaker
2015-Present – Region VIII takes over IMSS: Speaker, Silent Auction Co-Chair, Social Co-Chair, Planning Committee Member, Attendee

2011-2016 – Member/Co-Chair, Awards Committee
2011-2014 – Members, Leadership Academy Committee
2011-Present – Credentials (Chair 2018)
2017-Present – Member, Diversity Advocacy Council
2017-2019 – Elected to Nominations
2016-Present – Chair, POC Scientific Assembly
2013 – Speaker at National Meeting

ASCLS has been pivotal in my growth as an individual and a professional. The need for life-long learning and to represent my profession has led me to be a graduate of the first National Leadership Academy and hold numerous committee and leadership positions at the state, regional, and national level. I was a member of the IMSS Coordinating Committee and transition team to Region VIII ownership and a faculty member for the Region VIII Leadership Academy for six years. I have served as chair of the national Awards Committee and a member of Credentials for many years, moving to chair in 2018.

As a point of care coordinator for the past nine years at Kaiser Permanente, I am a visible and an integral part of the healthcare team assuring compliance, education, and collaboration. I work specifically with the nursing staff and providers, but also touch the departments of IT, Revenue Cycle, Purchasing, and Professional Education, providing the face and voice of the profession. I also completed the AACC Point-of-Care Specialist Certificate Program.

Revitalization of the Utah society and continued growth of the other four state societies, as well as, engagement with our developing and ascending professionals will help to assure the future success of Region VIII, ASCLS, and the profession.

Suzanne Campbell


Member Since 1996

PhD, Educational Administration, University of Nebraska
MS, Educational Administration, Fort Hays State University
BS, Medical Technology, Wichita State University


Dean of Allied Health/Director of Medical Laboratory Technology, Seward County Community College, Liberal, KS


2012-2015 – Region VI Director, Quarterly Region Council Meetings
2011-2013 – Co-chair, Great Plains Regional Laboratory Meeting

2012-2015 – ASCLS Region VI Director
2013-2015 – ASCLS Executive Committee
2012-2015 – ASCLS CLEC Planning Committee
2014-2015 – ASCLS Finance Committee
2015-2016 – ASCLS President-Elect
2016-2017 – ASCLS President
2017-2018 – ASCLS Past President
2018-2019 – ASCLS Lab Week Run Committee
2018-2019 – ASCLS Awards Committee
2018-2019 – ASCLS Mentor

I would be honored to serve as a member of the Judicial Committee. I believe my 32 years of experience as a medical laboratory professional and 22 years of experience as an active member of ASCLS provides me with the knowledge and skills to serve as a member of the ASCLS Judicial Committee. Having served in multiple roles at the state, regional, and national level, as well as holding the position of ASCLS president, I possess the in-depth knowledge of policy, by-laws, and standard operating procedures of the organization to benefit this committee. If elected to this committee, I will serve with integrity, honesty, and an open mind.

Holly Weinberg


Member Since 2000

BS, Biology/Chemistry, Whitworth University
BS, Medical Technology, Whitworth University






2008-2014 – Coordinator, Idaho PACE Coordinator
2013-Present – Member, Attendance at State Annual Meetings
2018-2019 – Chair, Membership Committee

2012-2016 – Chair, Region VIII Membership
2016-Present – Chair, Region VIII Council
2013-2016 – Chair, Region VIII Leadership Academy
2013-Present – Member, Region VIII Leadership Faculty
2013-Present – Chair, Region VIII IMSS Planning Committee/Programs
2013-Present – Member, Attendance at Regional Conference, IMSS

2016-Present – Officer, Region VIII Director
2018-2019 – Chair, ASCLS Policies and Procedure Committee
2018-2019 – Member, ASCLS Executive Committee
2014-2016 – Chair, ASCLS Membership Committee
2013-2016 – Member, ASCLS Judicial Committee

I became active in ASCLS in 2000 because I feel strongly about giving back to a profession that I love and that has served me so well through the years. I have served in many capacities at the state, regional, and national levels, including six years on the ASCLS Bylaws Committee, the last two as the chair which has given me the opportunity to learn about and understand the workings of ASCLS. I have had many wonderful mentors guiding me through the process and helping me gain a firm understanding of the building blocks of our Society as well as an appreciation for the uniqueness of our organization. ASCLS is the premier laboratory organization that represents all of its members equally.

I believe in looking at all sides of an issue and getting the input of all concerned parties before rendering a judgment in any situation. If elected to this position, I would be diligent in researching issues and working with my fellow Judicial Committee members to reach an equitable decision that is consistent with the mission and values of ASCLS. I am honored to be considered for this position and look forward to the opportunity to serve.

Joshua PulidoMember Since 2000

AAS, Clinical Laboratory Science, Weber State University
BS, Clinical Laboratory Science, Weber State University
MHA, Health Administration, Weber State University


Business Development Manager-Virapur Business Unit, Microbiologics & Microbiologics dba Virapur, San Diego, CA/St. Cloud, MN

2017-2018 – President Elect, ASCLS-CA
2016-2018 – Board, ASCLS-CA
2014-2016, 2018 – President, ASCLS-CA
2011-2013 – Secretary, ASCLS-CA

2011-2018 – Treasurer, ASCLS Region X
2011-2018 – Chair, Vice-chair, Vendor Liaison Region X Meeting Planning Committee

2013-Present – Member, Vice-Chair, CAC
2016-Present – Vendor and Host Committee Liaison, Annual Meeting Steering Committee
2015-Present – Member, Diversity Advocacy Council
2015-2016 – Member, Membership Development Committee
2010-2014 – Member, Chair, Industry Scientific Assembly

For the last 19 years, I have been fortunate to be a member of this great clinical laboratory community. I have had the great fortune to experience the field from many perspectives starting as an ER phlebotomist; transitioning to an MLT, MT, laboratory supervisor; and then to industry where I have had several roles in sales, marketing, consulting, and business development. I was fortunate to have a great mentor and friend in Dr. Yas Simonian, who brought me to my first ASCLS meeting and got me involved as a student in 2000. The opportunities I have had to progress along my career would not be possible without the great folks I have been able to network and befriend through ASCLS. I have been fortunate to have had opportunities to serve on various committees, task forces, and leadership positions at the state, regional, and national level. Furthermore, because of job opportunities, I have also been able to now experience these roles in three different states and regions. I believe the Nominations Committee plays a vital role in finding qualified members to serve and lead our organization into the future. It would be an honor to continue serving ASCLS on the national level as a member of the Nominations Committee.

Deb Rodahl


Member Since 1990

BS, Medical Technology, University of Minnesota
MBA, Cardinal Stritch University


VP Operations, Health East Care System, St. Paul, MN



2013-2015 – Job Description Taskforce
2015-2016 – Chair, PAC
2013-present – Member, Attended State Conference and Business Meetings

2013-2015 – Region V Director
2013-2015 – Region V Symposium Planning Committee
2013-2015 – Region V Leadership Academy Committees
2013-Present – Attendee and Speaker, Region V Symposium

2013-2015 – Region V Director, Attended BOD Meetings
2016-present – ASCLS President-Elect, President, Past President, Attended BOD Meetings
2012, 2014, 2016-2018 – Member, BOD Executive Committee
2013, 2016-2018 – Member, BOD Finance Committee
2013-Present – Member, Attended Legislative Symposium

ASCLS provides a critical role in the advancement of the clinical laboratory profession and for the practitioners who work in this profession, and ASCLS is the preeminent organization representing clinical laboratory professionals. The work of the Nominations Committee is vital for the future of ASCLS as we strive to find qualified members who are actively involved in the profession and in ASCLS to serve on the Board of Directors and our elected committees. It is my goal that we are able to enlist multiple candidates for our elected roles as this is a sign of a healthy organization. I believe we have many very qualified members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. My focus will be the engagement and mentorship for ASCLS members who can fill these roles now and in the future.


Maddie Josephs, MS, MT(ASCP), ASCLS Region I Director

Catie recently completed the MLT program at the Community College of Rhode Island, which changed her life.

As an educator, I have an opportunity to meet a wide variety of students, from all walks of life, at various stages in their lives and many for whom life has had its challenges. I am always in awe of the student who works full or part time, cares for a family, and who further dedicates an abundance of time to his or her program of studies. I have the utmost respect for the student who prioritizes the many responsibilities of life and who always seems to make sure education is at the forefront. I can remember my college days and my subsequent year of clinical internship. The only responsibility I had was my program of studies … I was very lucky.

One student whose story really had an impact on me—and there have been so many—completed the MLT program last May. She passed the Board of Certification (BOC) exam and obtained employment immediately after completion of the program. I sat down with her to learn more about her journey to becoming a medical laboratory technician. When I asked to meet with her, she told me that she tells everyone how the MLT program changed her life. She also works hard to educate family, friends, and other healthcare professionals about this profession. Here is Catie’s story.

Maddie: What were you doing prior to entering the MLT program?

Catie: I was a phlebotomist. I went through the phlebotomy program because I needed a profession that provided better benefits. As a single mom of two children, it was important to find a job that I could rely on to provide for us. I always wanted to do something in the medical field, and this was a quicker path to where I wanted to be. My responsibilities eventually included becoming the reference lab coordinator, where I processed the send-out tests as well as planting in the microbiology lab.

Maddie: What made you decide to further your education?

Catie: The plan was always to further my education, but as I said, I needed a job with benefits. I really didn’t know what medical laboratory science was. While I was completing the clinical rotation component of my phlebotomy program, I met a student in the MLT program, also completing her clinical rotation at the same hospital. She is the one who told me that I needed to look into this field because she saw my interest and perhaps, she realized that I was capable of more. After securing a job as a phlebotomist and getting everything settled, I applied to the MLT program.

Maddie: What impact has the program had on you, your life, your family, etc.?

Catie: I know this sounds cliché, but it totally changed my life. I can support myself and my two children. I was so lucky to find a first shift position in microbiology, but I have the opportunity to work in the core lab as well, and my laboratory director wants me to also spend some time in blood bank. I feel so fortunate to have the support of my supervisors and my director. It is so gratifying to come into work and know that I make a difference.

Maddie: What gives you the most satisfaction as a medical laboratory technician?

Catie: I love that I am physically making a difference in patient care. Of course, no one really knows what we do and how important it is, including my family, so I love educating the public. I tell everyone what I do and what a difference this profession has made in my life. I sometimes work at an urgent care center with a physician’s assistant as well as a nurse practitioner. When I help to explain a test result, or when I explain the results of an antimicrobial susceptibility test, their minds are blown when they realize what I do and how much I know about laboratory diagnostics.

The other day, I was dropping my son off at his before-school program and his little friends asked him if I was a nurse because I was wearing scrubs. He said no, that I was a scientist. Well, that explanation was not good enough for everyone, and they continued to insist that his mom was a nurse. When I went to pick him up, the teacher explained that there was a lot of discussion related to my career and she asked that I explain to the students exactly what I do. I proceeded to tell them I was a laboratory scientist and that when the doctor ordered a blood test or a culture swab, that I was the one that tested that to let the doctor know what is wrong and what is making them sick.

Maddie: I love this story … it is never too early to start recruiting!

The MLT program was very rigorous, and you had so many responsibilities while you were going through the program. Given the choice, and knowing what you know now about the rigors of this education, would you go through it again?

Catie: Most definitely, in a heartbeat! I do wish I knew about the program before going through the phlebotomy program, but in the end, being a phlebotomist really helped. Starting as a phlebotomist and then becoming a tech is a great sequence. You understand all aspects of lab, from specimen collection on, including the effects of improper collection and handling, contamination, how to process reference lab tests, and so much more.

An Example for Us All
Catie became a member of ASCLS during her first year in the program. In addition to all her outside responsibilities, she was elected president of the MLT Club and impressively led her fellow students through several on- and off-campus fundraisers to benefit a scholarship to be awarded to a student in memory of an MLT program alumna.

Catie sacrificed a lot to complete her program of studies, and I’m sure it would have been so much easier for her to just continue in her phlebotomy career, but she persevered. Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of stories just like Catie’s. And of course, many of us can relate to this story. However, what Catie is doing outside of her duties—educating the public, from a kindergartner to a physician’s assistant—is what we ALL need to be doing. We may just receive the professional recognition that we all strive for and deserve.

Maddie Josephs is professor/department chair at the Community College of Rhode Island in Lincoln, Rhode Island.


Joanna Ellis, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, CHWI

Professor Ellis at the microscope
Future Peruvian laboratory professional with Professor Ellis at the microscope.
Francisco James and Jamie Vreeland perform anemia screening
Francisco James and Jamie Vreeland perform anemia screening in Aco, Peru.
Jennifer Pemp, Ashley Wells, Professor Ellis, Ashleigh Graham, and Idahlia Bland
From left: Jennifer Pemp, Ashley Wells, Professor Ellis, Ashleigh Graham, and Idahlia Bland in Nicaragua.

Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) professionals are underrepresented in study abroad (SA) programs, public health campaigns, and medical volunteer trips. As a clinical assistant professor of CLS at Texas State (TxSt) University, I set out to change that by creating a culturally-sensitive and ethically-responsible SA program for our students.

I helped create the first interprofessional service-learning SA program in the nation that included CLS students. I collaborated with faculty from the TxSt St. David’s School of Nursing, Respiratory Care, and Mass Communication programs to add interprofessional education to the existing nursing SA program in Nicaragua.

When I began exploring this opportunity, I consulted a lab professional that has extensive experience with health clinic labs in Haiti. I read many international volunteering resources, one of my favorites being When Healthcare Hurts, by Greg Seager. I learned how good intentions often fail to achieve positive outcomes in service abroad trips. Prior to the Nicaragua trip in 2017, I gave lectures on perceptions of poverty, monochronic vs polychronic societies, photography ethics, individualistic vs collectivist societies, health clinic best practices, and other topics to optimize positive results in the local community.

Interprofessional Study Abroad in Nicaragua
In Nicaragua, we conducted house visits where we collected public health information for the household and invited the families to our clinics. We enjoyed the learning experience, but due to the challenges of bringing lab equipment into Nicaragua, the CLS students were only able to conduct urine dipstick and pregnancy tests in these pop-up clinics.

We visited two Nicaraguan labs—one rural and one urban public hospital lab. In the rural lab, there were no computers. They washed and reused blood slides, pipette tips, and gloves. They performed red and white cell counts on a hemocytometer: tap, tap, tapping ALL DAY LONG. Patients submitted stool specimens in matchboxes.

The lab manager was an unflappable woman who described every step of their spectrophotometer chemistry tests and her unusual method for never missing “hard sticks.” She let us observe as she performed a painful skin scraping on a woman with a history of leishmaniosis.

The urban hospital lab had computer systems and automation much like a small rural lab in Texas might have. In the Microbiology Department, they had much of the same media that we use, but not an identification system. We noted that they had blood culture bottles, but not the detection system. They incubated the bottles and did a gram stain every few hours to detect positives.

At our evening debriefs, the four CLS students and I relayed all the interesting experiences we had in the labs and discussed what the healthcare team should know about lab science. One CLS student even taught a local physician and the nursing students about the potential to detect advanced testicular cancer with a pregnancy test. We created an interprofessional team that achieved the goal of learning the expertise of each of the different health professions, but there were opportunities for improvement in creating a program that effectively and sustainably promoted public health, continuity of care, and empowerment for the community.

The Path to Improvement
I was determined to learn how to achieve a truly mutually-beneficial SA program. I became a certified community health worker instructor (CHWI) through the Texas Department of State Health Services and earned a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Colorado State University. I learned more tips on how to avoid competing with local practitioners or businesses and creating dependency through paternalistic practices. I looked for a service provider with a sustained, year-round presence in their communities and a willingness to implement best practice procedures in all our events.

The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) fit the bill. In collaboration with FIMRC and following the guidance of The World Health Organization to promote education before medication, I worked with local physicians to determine appropriate lab testing and develop culturally-appropriate educational materials for a “Community Health Screening and Education through Laboratory Science Workshop” (CHS&E).

CLS Study Abroad in Peru
In June of 2018, I completed the first CLS-specific SA program in the 42-year history of the Texas State CLS program. Five senior-level students, my husband, and I spent two weeks learning about the healthcare system, lab services, and culture of Peru. We helped medical students detach skin from a cadaver, observed surgeries, and toured private and hospital labs in Huancayo, Peru.

The Carrion Hospital lab is enormous and quite advanced. The small private lab had compact CBC and Chem7 analyzers they were proud to demonstrate. We worked in an existing rural clinic to provide screening tests that the tiny lab could not offer routinely. We screened over 150 people. Using a hand-crank centrifuge, we detected two cases of syphilis, over 25 UTIs, and many anemic patients! We gave all abnormal results to a local physician for follow-up and treatment.

During our CHS&E through lab science workshop, we used the Lab-in-a-Suitcase® to screen families for anemia and diabetes. We showed them Giardia in the microscope and discussed hygiene. Everyone loved the microscope!

We had interactive educational and craft stations where we demonstrated the plasma and cellular components of their microhematocrit, how sugar gets in urine, the effectiveness of their hand-hygiene, and some tests we use in diagnostics. They learned about the biological impact of their dietary choices in new and creative ways. As a bonus, they learned about the field of CLS!

I spoke about my novel CHS&E approach at the African Society for Laboratory Medicine 2018 Conference in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop was lauded as “inspirational” and a “brilliant blend of clinical and public health services.” It’s time we take our CLS skills up, up, and abroad!

Joanna Ellis is clinical assistant professor and clinical coordinator at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.