Virtual 2020 Joint Annual Meeting a Success
ASCLS and the Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT) held a very successful 2020 Virtual Joint Annual Meeting (JAM), June 28-July 2. The online event included 828 registered attendees, which exceeded last year's attendance by nearly 150. We also had 10 industry partners, 60 educational sessions, five pre-conference workshops, and 39 poster presentations. In addition to valuable CE, attendees were able to socialize and have fun during virtual happy hours, Kazoom sessions, and yoga breaks.
Overall attendees were extremely happy with the Virtual JAM experience and found the online platform to be convenient and enjoyable.
- "I LOVED the fact that I could 'attend' in real time or via a recording of a session. The flexibility was very much appreciated."
- "While I missed in person networking, the quality and accessibility of this meeting was first rate."
- "Ability to participate in excellent scientific lectures from the convenience of my home. Yet was able to view attendees during the virtual cocktail party."
- "I am retired, and 77 years of age. I 'attended' this meeting because of the virtual access. I truly enjoyed all of the 12 sessions I participated in. I realized that I still know foundational things allowing me to add to my base. I also realized the extent to which I have always enjoyed medical laboratory science! Thank you for this affordable opportunity."
Additional Virtual JAM highlights include:
- The Closing Keynote featured Dr. Leonard Egede of the Medical College of Wisconsin, who discussed Understanding Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Health: A New Era for Health Care Professionals. As part of the Society's commitment to address social disparities in healthcare, the keynote was livestreamed for any interested laboratory professional to watch. The recorded session will be available free to anyone through June 30, 2021.
- The ASCLS Education & Research Fund Silent Auction and related activities raised more than $10,000 for scholarships and grants that support students entering the profession and assist medical laboratory professionals conduct important research.
- Region V won the PAC donation contest for the 2nd year in a row, raising $2,465! In total, ASCLS regions raised nearly $6,000 for the ASCLS Political Action Committee (PAC) during the Virtual JAM.
All educational sessions and pre-conference workshops were recorded and will be available for individual purchase or as bundles in August. Stay tuned for more information about the 2020 JAM On Demand coming next month.
SAFMLS Joins 2021 Joint Annual Meeting
Next year's JAM will be even bigger and better! ASCLS and AGT are excited to welcome the Society of American Federal Medical Laboratory Scientists (SAFMLS) as a co-sponsor of the 2021 Joint Annual Meeting, to be held June 27-July 1 in Louisville, Kentucky. We are delighted to add our colleagues who care for America's men and women in uniform and veterans to this meeting. They bring both scientific knowledge and deep expertise in leadership to our annual event.
ASCLS, AGT, and SAFMLS will soon begin work to plan the 2021 JAM. The educational session proposal site will be available next week, and the deadline to submit your proposals is August 31. All confirmed speakers are eligible for substantial registration discounts and some can earn honoraria, so send in your session proposals. Presenters will be able to indicate if they are able to present in person or virtually.
Congratulations to the Newly-Elected Officers for the 2020-21 Society Year
During the 2020 Joint Annual Meeting, the ASCLS House of Delegates, Ascending Professionals Forum, and Developing Professionals Forum elected new officers, who took office at the close of the meeting. Congratulations, and thank you to all the candidates who ran this year.
Region II Director
Region IX Director
Region X Director
Judicial Committee Member (two-year vacancy)
Judicial Committee Member (five-year term)
Nominations Committee Member
Nominations Committee Member
Ascending Professional Forum Vice Chair
Ascending Professional Forum Secretary
Developing Professionals Forum Chair
Developing Professionals Forum Vice Chair
Developing Professionals Forum Secretary
ASCLS Free Monthly Webinar
Laboratory Monitoring of COVID-19 Patients
July 29, 8 pm Eastern
- Alan Elliott, MT(ASCP), Laboratory Director, Norton Hospital and Norton Children's Hospital
- Joshua Hayden, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, Chief of Chemistry, Norton Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in almost half a million deaths and over seven million cases worldwide. While a great deal of focus has been placed on COVID-19 diagnostic testing, far less attention has been given to prognostic testing. This testing is especially important given that COVID-19 outcomes range from mild/asymptomatic to death. This session will discuss our health system’s experience with prognostic markers in COVID-19 patients. This will include inflammatory markers (CRP, IL6, Ferritin), markers of coagulopathy (D-dimer, PTT), and cardiac dysfunction (BNP, troponin). Special attention will be paid to the implementation and utility of interleukin-6 (IL6) in these patients and how it has allowed us to risk stratify patients and make decisions on use of limited-availability, novel therapeutics. Register now.
If you can't attend live, register anyway—those who pre-register will receive access to the webinar recording.
ASCLS is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.
Career Advice "Ask Me Anything"
What is the best advice you received to advance in the field of medical laboratory science? What is your advice for feeling more prepared when you start a new job? Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently? How do you negotiate your salary after a job offer? Get answers to these questions and more!
The ASCLS Ascending Professionals Forum (APF) and Developing Professionals Forum (DPF) hosted an Ask Me Anything on June 27. Participants asked questions of a group of panelists who are in the field in different points in their life and career. Panelists included representatives from industry, those that serve in management, or those who have pursued advanced degrees:
- Kathryn Golab, MLS(ASCP)CM, Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories
- Justin Hanenberg, MLS(ASCP)CM, ZEUS Scientific
- Stephanie Noblit, JD, MLS(ASCP)CM, Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association
- Miles Tompkins, MLT(ASCP)CM, DLO at Integris Baptist Medical Center
Watch the video recording and get tons of great career advice.
Free 2020 Virtual JAM Sessions for Educators
Two of the educational sessions at the 2020 Virtual Joint Annual Meeting discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on higher education. ASCLS has made both of these sessions free for ASCLS members through August 31.
- Remote Control: How to Zoom through COVID's Impact on Higher Education
- How the Coronavirus is Impacting Higher EducationHow the Coronavirus is Impacting Higher Education
In addition, Dr. Peter Hu, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) president, provided a five-minute NAACLS Update in light of COVID-19. Watch the video recording to learn more.
Mask Up, ASCLS
Protect yourself and those around you. For a limited time, ASCLS is selling cloth face masks made from woven polyester-spandex fabric blend with white lining. Each mask is $9; shipping is $5.95 for the first mask and $1 for each additional mask. Order yours by August 3. All orders will ship on August 18.
ASCLS Publishes Choosing Wisely Recommendations
ASCLS, in collaboration with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), published a series of recommendations for the Choosing Wisely initiative, operated by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation.
The following recommendations were posted to the Choosing Wisely site on June 10:
- Do not order a factor V Leiden (FVL) mutation assay as the initial test to identify a congenital cause for a thrombotic event. First, order a phenotypic activated protein C resistance (APCR) ratio assay.
- Do not use herpes simplex virus (HSV) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for genital HSV infection screening in adults and adolescents. Real-time HSV PCR testing should only be used to confirm herpes diagnosis in patients with suspected herpes.
- Do not transfuse red blood cells as the sole intervention for expansion of circulatory volume unless deemed necessary for patients experiencing severe hemorrhage.
- Avoid using hemoglobin to evaluate patients for iron deficiency in susceptible populations. Instead use ferritin.
- Do not order a comprehensive stool ova and parasite (O&P) microscopic exam on patients presenting with diarrhea less than seven days’ duration who have no immunodeficiency or no history of living in or traveling to endemic areas where gastrointestinal parasitic infections are prevalent. If symptoms of infectious diarrhea persist for seven days or longer, start with molecular or antigen testing and next consider a full O&P microscopic exam if other testing is negative.
Founded as a task force in 2017, the ASCLS Choosing Wisely Committee develops Choosing Wisely recommendations in consultation with the ASCLS Scientific Assemblies and Board of Directors. The committee invites recommendations and suggestions from throughout the in vitro diagnostics industry.
ASCLS Voices Under 40
Spotlight: Kelcey Harper, MLS(ASCP)CM, Lowell, Massachusetts
Kelcey is currently working as an Associate Technical Service Specialist at Sekisui Diagnostics in Lexington, Massachusetts. She is responsible for supporting rapid and molecular product lines. In addition, Kelcey is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences. She continues to practice as a laboratorian, working per diem as a generalist for New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.
“I continue to be motivated by the opportunities to network with leaders in the field and to make a lasting impact on the profession,” Kelcey mentions in her personal statement when asked about ASCLS. For the past year Kelcey has been serving on the national ASCLS Board of Directors as the Ascending Professional Director. She first joined the organization as a student and was completely hooked after attending the Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Read more.
Spotlight: Joshua X. Pulido, MHA, MLS(ASCP)CM , Saint Michael, Minnesota
Josh is currently working as the Business Development Manager at Microbiologics, Inc., in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. He is responsible for the business to business relationships for the Virapur Division out of San Diego.
“When I think of ASCLS, I think of the community of dedicated laboratory professionals as my family," Josh says. "It is a place where we are able to assemble to learn, socialize, and thrive together with others who share the same passion and beliefs. I am only where I am today because of those opportunities, the nurturing provided for both personal and professional growth, and the continual mentorship provided by ASCLS.”
Since joining the organization as a student, Josh has continued to be actively involved within ASCLS, holding several positions at the state, regional, and national level. Read more.
Spotlight: Stephanie Souza, MLS(ASCP)CM, SBB(ASCP), Phoenix, Arizona
Stephanie is currently working as a Field Application Escalation Support Specialist for Grifols Diagnostic Solutions, Inc., in Emeryville, California. She is responsible for the harmonization of assay-related field applications for the company’s immunohematology instrumentation and software, in use within the United States. As part of her role, Stephanie also provides education for both internal staff and external customers by means of developing training materials, providing on- and off-site training sessions, hosting teleconferences and webinars, as well as writing and reviewing technical documentation. Additionally, she spends the remaining hours of her work week building relationships with external manufacturers and internal departments, assisting field staff with investigations, and mentoring new employees.
“My motivation for being involved with ASCLS has always been about quality: quality of skills for the student learning about laboratory science, quality of life for those medical laboratory professionals tirelessly working the bench, and quality of care for the patients at the receiving end of our services." 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.
Connect: The Community Conversations
Check out the recent discussion threads on ASCLS Connect and join the conversations:
- In the Open Forum, Cheyenne Reyes successfully applied for Louisiana laboratory professionals to receive hazard pay as front line workers.
- Members continue to share instances of ASCLS and medical laboratories in the news.
- Members also gave suggestions on preparing to challenge the ASCP MLS exam.
- In the Laboratory Administration/Consultant/Quality/Accreditation/Industry Scientific Assembly, members gave advice on what type of staff they allow to collect COVID-19 specimens.
- ASCLS continues to share CDC alerts and updates for laboratories through the Open Forum
- Scientific Assemblies (SAs) are planning virtual meetings this summer, so check your SA community for details about how to attend.
Download the MemberCentric App on your mobile device to get the community conversations and more in the palm of your hand.