Our Role with the Federal Government
Annual Legislative SymposiumASCLS is proud to work with Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT), American Medical Technologists (AMT), and the National Society for Histotechnology (NSH) on the Legislative Symposium each year.
Though this ASCLS tradition that originated in 1989, the members of these organizations meet with their Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill as a unified front on behalf of our profession. Each year these leading organizations urge their members and leaders to come to Washington to provide a visible and informed voice, and make our concerns known inside Congress.
Education, Experience, LeadershipThe Legislative Symposium provides a great education on the how-to's of lobbying. Attendees are coached on presentation techniques so they can effectively talk to their congressional representative during their appointments. They are well received in the congressional offices. Attendees return home from Washington with first-hand knowledge of the political system in action and confidence that they make a difference.
The 2019 Legislative Symposium will be held March at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, VA. Each attendee will receive pre-meeting emails describing the issues to be discussed with their Congressional representatives as well as extensive information to be left with each office.
Wondering what the Legislative Symposium is like?Laboratory professionals at all stages of their careers attend the Legislative Symposium. Programming is built to accommodate everyone's experiences, from first time attendees to those who know all the secret passages to get around The Hill. Here are three views of last year's Symposium.
- Government Affairs Committee Chair Linda Goosen provides a recap of last year's event.
- University of Cincinnati student member Erin Barger provides her impressions about attending the Legislative Symposium for the first time.
- University of Deleware students Jessica McMahon, Maeve Montesi, Sara Downie, share their thoughts on the experience of attending.
Our Role with the State Government
Within a state, to safeguard the public good in areas such as nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, funeral directing or hair dressing, an agency of government can grant a license to those persons who have attained the degree of competency necessary to ensure that the public health, safety and welfare will be reasonably well protected. States which have mandatory personnel standards for clinical laboratories (such as California, Florida, Tennessee) can document that such licensure:
- Improves the quality of laboratory testing
- Is the simplest form of regulation for laboratories because it does not require the state to spend large amounts of money, time and data collection to monitor every laboratory in the state.
- Protects the public from untrained individuals who make critical mistakes because they do not have the scientific background to evaluate results.
Personnel licensure will assure all Pennsylvanians that qualified individuals will be performing their lab test in whatever setting those laboratory tests are run. It will also insulate our Commonwealth from less stringent federal regulations that may not be appropriate for Pennsylvania in the first place, and which may also be removed or altered without our control at any time.
Pennsylvania State Bureau of Laboratories
The Pennsylvania Bureau of Laboratories provides a "facility license" to those institutions in the Commonwealth which perform laboratory testing. This license stipulates personnel requirements for the laboratory director but not for any testing personnel. It also excludes any requirement for personnel standards for laboratory testing done in physician offices.
Therefore, at this time, if you have laboratory testing done in your doctor's office, it may be legally performed by someone with no formal laboratory training in quality assurance or quality control. Therefore, even in Pennsylvania which has "facility licensure", there is no guarantee that a qualified laboratory professional will perform your lab work in all settings.
There are over 5,000 facilities in Pennsylvania which are designate "clinical laboratories." They range in size from the smallest physician office laboratory, to those in any size hospital as well as large commercial labs. They even include testing being done in shopping mall health screenings.