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Monday, September 9, 2013

CLowerCongrats to MLS Student Courtney Lower! Clinical Laboratory Science major Courtney Lower was elected to a national leadership role after only a year at the University of Illinois Springfield. During a trip to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science conference, Lower successfully ran for the position of Student Forum Secretary against three other students from around the country. Lower is also chair of the ASCLS-Illinois Student Forum and student representative for ASCLS Region VI.

Monday, October 8, 2012

On Thursday, October 4th, Elissa Passiment, Executive Vice President of ASCLS, sent out an email (see below) to the membership letting us know that talks between CLMA and ASCLS had come to an end. The leadership at CLMA decided to discontinue negotiations and end the merger. While this is not the outcome that the membership of ASCLS desired, the leadership of ASCLS and CLMA will continue to collaborate on many events and issues in the laboratory community. We encourage everyone at ASCLS to continue and maintain any and all collaborations with CLMA at the state and local level.

Hi Everyone,

We want to share this letter that we received a little after noon today with all of you.  Normally two organizations who are cooperating as much as ASCLS and CLMA were, would have put out a joint press release and sent it simultaneously to the members of both organizations.  However, CLMA chose to send this letter to us and within 2 and a half hours, send a similarly worded message to their members.  Therefore, we want you all to know about this as soon as possible since we know that many of you are working with, and might be meeting with, CLMA members and we do not want you to be caught unaware.  We are very sorry that the CLMA board reached this decision but we in ASCLS will always stand committed and ready to work to bring the laboratory community together and we hope that you will all continue your collaborations at the state and local level.  Please let me or any member of the Board know if you have any questions.  Thank you.

Click here for letter.

Elissa Passiment
Executive Vice President
1861 International Drive, #200
Tysons Corner, VA 22102
571.748.3771 (direct)
571.354.7570 (fax)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dear ASCLS-IL Member,

ASCLS is urging you to contact your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor or vote for H.R.6118 and S.3391, the "Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act of 2012 (TEST)," introduced by Representative Grimm and Senator Klobuchar respectively.

This legislation amends the Public Health Service Act to revise sanctions for laboratories that intentionally refer proficiency testing samples required for certification to another laboratory for analysis by:
(1) giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) discretion to substitute intermediate sanctions for such violations instead of the two-year prohibition against ownership or operation which would otherwise apply, and
(2) making the one-year certificate revocation for such a laboratory optional rather than mandatory.
Now the agency has to revoke the laboratory's license and bar the laboratory director from directing a laboratory for two years, even if the referral was accidental. The TEST bills would give CMS the flexibility to use some judgment in determining the penalty.

Call, Tweet, Facebook or email your Members of Congress today to let them know that they need to vote for this legislation.  Sample talking points, Tweets, and information about how to contact your Members of Congress are included below to help you advocate for the flexibility that CMS needs to better enforce PT sanctions!

Suggested Talking Points

For use on Facebook, email and calls to congressional offices:
Essential laboratory services could be jeopardized as laboratories try to comply with the requirement to handle PT samples and not inadvertently send a PT sample to another laboratory when such a referral would be part of the process for a patient specimen.

  • There is bipartisan agreement that these changes need to be made to help CMS and the nation's clinical laboratories
  • CMS has expressed a need for more flexibility when considering sanctions for proficiency testing referrals.
  • [INSERT YOUR STORY HEREā€”if you know of an accidental mishandling of a PT specimen]
  • I ask that you vote for this important and necessary legislation that will continue appropriate oversight of clinical laboratories while ensuring appropriate and reasonable sanctions when necessary.

How to Call Your Members of Congress:

  1. You can call the Capitol Switchboard and asked to be connected to your Members' offices. The phone number is (202)224-3121.
  2. You can also go to to find the office's direct line and to look up your Members of Congress.

How to Email Your Members of Congress:

  1. To locate the emails of Members Congress, please visit and click on your state. A list of your Senators and all of the Representatives in your state will appear with all of their contact information.
  2. If you do not recognize your representative, please visit and enter your zip code under "Join the conversation" on the right.

How to Tweet Your Members of Congress:

For a complete list of Members of Congress and their Twitter handles, as well as other social media accounts, please see these House: and Senate: lists.

Tweet Template:
Give CMS needed flexibility to match sanctions to the level of noncompliance [insert Member Twitter handle]. Support TEST H.R. 6118 or S.3391!



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