Region VIII Director’s Spring Message

Still waiting for Spring in Region VIII!

My last newsletter was titled Looking ahead to Spring in Region VIII. It seems we are STILL looking ahead to Spring! As I write this, snow is once again flying. This has been a very wet and cool spring. I know that many of you are in areas being hit by flooding while others are seeing warmth and sunshine. That’s springtime in Region VIII.

Spring meetings are behind us and now we look forward to summer happenings. If you have any events planned in the next few months, let’s get those posted on the Region VIII Website for all to see. I know that Colorado has a CE Event coming up on June 10th and Idaho has one on June 24th. These are open to all members in the region so check them out and if you’re in the area, join in the fun!

The next big event on the national calendar is the ASCLS national meeting in San Diego July 30-August 4. Early registration ends June 16 so get registered today while you’re thinking about it. We are fortunate this year that the meeting is on the west coast so airfare is cheaper. This will be another wonderful opportunity to get together and network while getting the latest information on what’s happening in our profession. The Region VIII Council meeting will take place at the Omni Hotel in San Diego the day before the national meeting begins. We will call the meeting to order at 11 am on July 29.

Sunday, July 30 is devoted to ASCLS Governance activities with the ASCLS Board of Directors meeting running from 8:30 am to noon. I strongly encourage anyone attending the national meeting to attend the BOD meeting Sunday morning. This is your opportunity to take part in your organization and speak up if you have something to say. Sunday afternoon has many scheduled meetings including the Outgoing State Presidents seminar and Incoming State Presidents orientation. Also, national committee meetings are scheduled for Sunday afternoon and again, plan to attend any of these meetings as a guest even if you’re not on the committee. Take the time to see what’s going on with our national committees. Committee meetings include Membership, Leadership, Government Affairs, Promotion of the Profession, PAC, Patient Safety, Awards, Bylaws, to name a few. If you’re interested in serving on any of these committees this is a chance for you to see first-hand what they’re all about as well as bring information and ideas home to share with your state committees. There is so much to take in during the week: governance activities, professional development sessions, scientific sessions, clinical expo, networking opportunities, and Awards ceremony.  Also, there are many scheduled events for the Student Forum and the New Professional New Members Forum.

Speaking of Awards, congratulations to all of our award winners across Region VIII. We have many recognized awardees for Key to the Future, Member of the Year, and State, Regional and National Omicron Sigma. We also have individuals nominated for Lifetime Achievement, ASCLS Voices Under 40, New Professional of the Year, and Student Forum Leadership awards. Don’t forget to submit your fundraising totals by June 10th to get in the running for the state Promotion of the Profession competition.

On the national scene, the ASCLS Membership committee has been looking at the membership categories and associated dues. They have done an extensive job on this project reviewing other professional society structures and evaluating the needs of ASCLS. Abou Drammeh, ASCLS-MT is a member of the subcommittee that has been researching this project. Franciszka Wriborg, ASCLS-WY is our Region VIII Representative on the Membership committee so we are fortunate to have 2 Region VIII members working on this project. The ASCLS Board of Directors held a teleconferenced meeting on April 25 to discuss the Membership Committee project. We reviewed a preliminary proposal and agreed that the ideas presented represent a positive move to better situate our Organization.

We also discussed a proposal by George Fritsma to approve the use of a task force to “determine the role of ASCLS experts in the Choosing Wisely campaign.”  Mr. George Fritsma has agreed to chair the task force.  The following is an excerpt from the memo that Mr. Fritsma provided to the board. “Choosing Wisely recommendations and interventions are directed towards physicians and patients in the form of literature, continuing education offerings, and small clinical studies. None have been implemented for formal application in entry-level or advanced educational programs in medical laboratory science. I propose that ASCLS develop an ad hoc committee composed of Scientific Assembly representatives to explore a partnership with the Foundation. While our task force will be in a position to add recommendations and interventions, we may also wish to prepare grant proposals for developing materials for entry-level and advanced medical laboratory science education. The materials will be generalizable to fellow health professions and to pathology residencies and fellowships.” Task force volunteers have been identified; stay tuned for more information on this exciting initiative.

We will be holding another teleconferenced meeting on May 25 to further explore the Membership Committee recommendations. Any changes to the categories and fees will not take effect for at least a year due to changes requiring Bylaws updates. Of course, that also means all of our constituent societies will need to update Bylaws and SOPs to reflect any changes in membership categories.

I’ve heard a rumor that the sun will be coming out by next week. Time for planting the garden which means it is also time to RENEW my membership. I just did – have you? If you haven’t renewed, do it now before you forget. If we can get everyone renewed before August 1, we can get started on exciting projects right away rather than spend the first quarter contacting lapsed members. Just think of the things you can accomplish! Charity runs, Paint the Town, Rake up the Town, Habitat for Humanity, Brewery Tours, the list is endless. Renew now, reach out to your fellow members and get them to renew. Hold a competition to see who can get the most renewals by July 15th. Summer is just around the corner, so the rumor goes…………


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