At the start of a new year and new decade I am pleased to update you on the progress AACC has made in the past 12 months and on what we look forward to in 2020.
Our new strategic plan—debuted at the 2019 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting—features five goals collectively aimed at ensuring that the association keeps meeting the needs and professional interests of our diverse membership base.
One of those goals—building advocacy and influence—emphasizes AACC’s visibility in modernizing regulations, limiting cuts to laboratory reimbursement, and ensuring laboratory medicine has a crucial place in evolving payment methods. In 2020 we will continue our multi-year efforts to obtain funding to develop pediatric reference intervals, to increase funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s test harmonization initiatives, limit Food and Drug Administration regulation of lab developed tests, and revise the Protecting Access to Medicare Act methodology for Medicare lab payments. AACC members strongly supported the association’s efforts around the latter in 2019 by contacting their congressional representatives through our Laboratory Voice program.
In the area of scientific advancement—another strategic plan goal—AACC has a robust agenda to engage the association’s divisions in fulfilling members’ needs and interests, in collaborating with other disciplines, and in broadening delivery of research and practice developments to wider audiences.
Lab medicine underpins patient care by developing and performing diagnostic tests at the highest level of quality and evidence and by providing trusted guidance to clinicians interpreting these tests. Our strategic plan calls for AACC to highlight this essential value of labs, and we will do so in projects that augment the evidence base linking lab tests, lab data, outcomes, and costs. We also expect to offer members tools to better serve as healthcare consultants in their organizations.
Another vital aspect of the new strategic plan is for AACC to include, serve, and represent the broader laboratory medicine community, while preserving its role as the professional home for clinical chemists.
Perhaps the most ambitious aspect of our strategic plan concerns data analytics in laboratory medicine. As we increase member awareness and build relationships with important stakeholders in this burgeoning field, we also will promote scientific discussion and development around data analytics and artificial intelligence. And we will ensure that members can successfully incorporate these emerging technologies in ways that truly improve patient care.
The latest research and best practices involving not only data analytics but also all aspects of laboratory medicine will be front-and-center at the 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo taking place July 26-30 in Chicago. Our Annual Meeting Organizing Committee, chaired by Dr. Paul Jannetto, plans to build on past successes while keeping the content of this peerless event timely and relevant and the overall experience fresh and vibrant.
Effective January 1, 2020 our scientific journals, Clinical Chemistry
and The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine
, joined Oxford University Press’s world-class science portfolio. This partnership will increase scientists’ and healthcare practitioners’ access across the globe to the notable research published in the journals. In addition, The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine
was accepted in 2019 for indexing in PubMed, one of the largest and most respected databases of medical research in the world.
As point-of-care testing proliferates globally, AACC’s investment in the first and only point-of-care testing professional certification remains even more relevant now than when we launched this program in 2018. So far 32 individuals have passed the two-hour, 175-question exam, earning the professional designation as a Certified Point-of-Care Testing Professional. The next application window will be open January 16 to March 27, 2020, and I encourage anyone who wants to convey his or her knowledge in this area to consider obtaining this distinguishing credential.
Our AACC Awards Program celebrates laboratory professionals who have made outstanding contributions to medicine, and the call for nominations is open until February 1. I hope you will take the opportunity to nominate a colleague
who inspires you, has shaped your career, or is a visionary you admire.
All of AACC’s programs and initiatives depend vitally on the energy and insights of our members. I encourage you to become involved in the association -- there are so many ways to do so. For more information on how you can participate, explore the Membership & Community section on aacc.org or check out the Artery
, AACC’s online member community.
We also count on our members to select the association’s leaders, particularly the Nominating Committee, which is still chosen through a competitive election. Our voting cycle changes this year, with the next election being held in May for terms to begin with the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting. Look for updates as the election nears, and please participate.
As an AACC member, you are making a difference every day in the lives of patients. In the remaining seven months of my presidency (ending after the 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting), I look forward to meeting many more of you and learning of your ideas about and hopes for our association and our profession.
Carmen L. Wiley, PhD, DABCC, FAACC