The newly elected president of ASCLS offers her vision for the organization.
I would like to share my journey to becoming your ASCLS president. During my school experience, I enjoyed a music, math and science curriculum. In 1982, my high school counselor shared a book with me about careers in healthcare. When I found medical technology (MT), now known as medical laboratory science, I knew I had found my calling. I am a proud Wichita State University Shocker and a 1986 graduate of the medical technology program.
Becoming Involved in KSCLS and ASCLS
In 1986, I accepted a position at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Southwest Kansas. This first year of employment solidified my technical expertise and was my first opportunity to become involved in the Kansas Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (KSCLS). I volunteered to serve as a district representative, then as a board member followed two terms as president.
As KSCLS president, I became aware of opportunities at the regional and national levels serving on the Region VI council. I have served on the national leadership development committee and the nominations committee. I was elected as Region VI director in 2012.
My professional career consists of six years of employment in the clinical laboratory setting. Since 1992, I have been the director of the medical laboratory technology program at Seward County Community College (SCCC). In September, I will complete a 5 year assignment as the project director of a $4.2 million STEM grant. Most recently, I assumed the role of the dean of Allied Health. I have completed a master’s of science degree in educational administration from Fort Hays State University and a doctorate of philosophy in educational administration with a focus on higher education leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Three C’s
In my president-elect candidate speech, I presented the platform of the three C’s or C3. Those three C’s are commitment, communication and collective responsibility. I addressed the commitment we must have to ensure the support of the Leadership Academy and the formal mentoring program. We must commit to growing our own leaders and providing them with the necessary learning tools. The formal mentoring program ensures the ability to pass along best practices that will serve to strengthen the future of our professional organization.
Communication is the key to the success of the organization. Regular, informative dialogue drives the mission and vision of ASCLS. To strengthen our position within the profession and the healthcare environment, we must educate others about our role in providing quality healthcare, provide new ideas founded on evidence based practice and remain current on all issues impacting the laboratory community.
Collective responsibility encompasses all of the above, as well as realizing our successes and challenges as a team effort. We have a responsibility to our profession, our organization and our patients.
ASCLS Strategic Map
During the Long Range Planning Day, the board of directors embarked on the development and implementation of a new strategy map, which identified a unique critical objective and the supporting pillars for that objective. Our unique critical objective is to “actively engage and prepare medical laboratory professionals to meet the demands of the evolving healthcare environment.” The pillars are marketing, membership, organizational efficiency and internal communication, advocacy and professional promotion, collaboration and education.
The 2016-2017 critical priorities are marketing and membership. These strategies will focus on building the ASCLS brand for laboratorians positioned around the concept of a professional family. Marketing efforts will demonstrate the value of ASCLS by effectively leveraging professional networks and social media. We will fully utilize the influential position of laboratory science educators to promote ASCLS and the profession.
With an eye on membership, we will grow the number of members and membership revenue. Promotion of a diverse membership will be addressed. Leadership will evaluate the base of active members to ensure they remain active volunteers.
Organization efficiency, internal communication, advocacy and professional promotion comprise the important pillars. Organizational efficiency will target leadership best practices. We will ensure a strong culture of mentorship and integrate that culture into continuing education programs. Systems that foster a culture of accountability will be developed. Data-driven management platforms to evaluate and manage activities will be developed and maintained. Engagement between national, regional and state levels will support the communication pillar.
Advocacy and professional promotion will offer opportunities for ASCLS to work with partner organizations to maximize efforts on federal legislative and regulatory advocacy. The focus on advocacy will define the role of the laboratorian in the evolving healthcare environment. We will work to expand and strengthen the role of laboratorians as advocates for patient centered services.
Collaboration and education round out the pillars of the strategic map. Collaboration will strengthen the ties between ASCLS and other laboratory organizations. Working inter-professionally, we will improve diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention modalities. We will take full advantage of our affiliation with NAACLS and the Board of Certification.
The education pillar is supported by strategies to expand continuing education opportunities, as well as promoting professional development beyond continuing technical education. We will facilitate a culture of lifelong learning along a continuum of education that supports career advancement. Educational activities on leadership and mentorship will be developed, supported and maintained.
I believe in you and ask that you believe me in as your next ASCLS president. Thank you for your support. It is an honor to work with so many dedicated, passionate members of this premier organization. As your servant leader, I invite you to join me in moving ASCLS forward.