Lab Organizations Onboard for Legislative Day
The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) announced that it is being joined by sister organizations CLMA, ASCP, and AMT to observe the 2011 Legislative Symposium. Observed by ASCLS since 1989, Legislative Symposium (or Legislative Days, as it is commonly called) will be observed March 21-22, 2011.
This is a couple of days when laboratorians from all over the country descend on Washington. They engage in discussions, workshops on the political system, and talks from experts on the major legislative and workforce issues facing laboratorians. A part of this initiative is to have members meet with key legislators and their own representatives. Most legislators are more than happy for the photo-op of meeting someone from "back home." It is also a great way to educate legislators about who we are and what we do.
It is very gratifying that these organizations are joining ASCLS. For way too long, our professional organizations have battled each other and jostled for dominance. The loser has been the profession as a whole. Many professions have generalist and specialist organizations with members often belonging to several, based on interest, specialty and level of practice. Why don't laboratorians do the same?
In most states where personnel licensure has gone down to defeat, it has been largely because of professional infighting where some laboratory group muddies the waters by suggesting licensure is costly and unnecessary. Legislators, unaware of our value and education, just see the dissension and division.
Our organizations have also been mute and apparently disinterested in larger healthcare issues while every other professional and consumer group weighs in.
The Legislative Symposium is a good thing and we should tell our professional organizations that working together will benefit all of us. We can win together, instead of lose individually.