Awards and Special Recognitions
More good things have happened to some great ASCT members in Region 2 since the last Spotlight on Region 2 was published. When you happen to meet them, be sure to congratulate them for receiving these well-deserved awards.
ASCT Holmquist Achievement Award
The Marion and Nelson Holmquist Award for Outstanding Cytotechnologist is named in honor of two longtime supporters of cytotechnologists and their work. Marion Danos Holmquist, a cytotechnologist, was the first president of the ASCT. She and her husband, pathologist Nelson Holmquist, have encouraged ASCT's mission of improving the profession of cytotechnology. Since the early nineties, the Holmquist Award has been presented to a cytotechnologist who has, in turn, made his or her own significant contribution to ASCT and to the field of cytotechnology. At the 2007 ASCT Meeting at San Antonio, Texas, M. Sue Zaleski, Iowa City, Iowa was named the recipient of the Marion and Nelson Holmquist award. Then at the ASCT Meeting just held at Newport, Rhode Island, Robert "Bob" Gay was named the 2008 recipient of the same Holmquist award. Both Sue and Bob have been long-time supporters of the ASCT and are deserving of this recognition.
At Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, Iowa, Sue has served as a staff cytotechnologist, chief cytotechnologist, educational coordinator for the resident teaching program, operations coordinator, and since 2002 serves as the laboratory manager for the department of pathology. Sue has actively participated in many areas of laboratory medicine and their professional organizations. Her contributions to the field of cytology and the ASCT are exemplary.
Bob Gay received his education at the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, School of Cytotechnology between 1963 and 1967. He worked at St. Luke's Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Grand Forks, North Dakota and Associated Pathologists Laboratories (now Quest Diagnostics) Las Vegas, Nevada. Bob has served as a cytotechnologist, cytology section supervisor, teaching supervisor, education coordinator and program director for the cytology programs at St. Luke's, UND and Quest Diagnostics.
Bob is a founding member of the ASCT. He has served the ASCT as a regional director (1996-2000), chairman of the education committee (1998-1999), president-elect (2000-2001 and president (2000-2001). He has also served ASCT Services as treasurer (1998-1999 and 2004-2007) and secretary (2000).
For more than 25 years, Mr. Gay has been a dedicated supporter and advocate for the field of cytology and the ASCT.
Cytotechnologist Award for Outstanding Achievement
The 2007 recipient of the ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement is Karen A. Allen, SCT(ASCP) of Omaha, Nebraska.
After graduating from the Des Moines School of Cytotechnology in 1982, and receiving her B.S. degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Karen was employed as the first cytotechnologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Nebraska. In 1985, she began a 16-year career at the University of Nebraska where she was program director/education coordinator of the cytotechnology program for seven years. In 2001, Karen opened Heartland Pathology, Inc., a reference laboratory in Omaha.
She is a member of the ASC, ASCT and ASCP and has served on numerous committees of these organizations. She is a voting cytotechnologist member of the ASC and has served as a member of the laboratory advisory and membership committees. Karen is a past editor of the ASCT Newsletter.
The Cytotechnologist Award for Outstanding Achievement was established in 1969 and is presented annually to an ASC cytotechnologist member nominated by an ASC member. Selection of recipients is in recognition of meritorious service or accomplishments to the field of cytology. The award is made possible by a generous contribution from Thermo Electron Corporation.
Excellence in Education Award
The recipient of the 2007 ASC Excellence in Education Award is Jill L. Caudill, M.Ed., SCT(ASCP)CM from Rochester, Minnesota.
The Excellence in Education Award, established in 1998, is presented annually to a cytotechnologist or pathologist in recognition of meritorious service or accomplishment in the field of cytotechnology education to include the education of cytotechnologists, pathology residents and/or cytopathology fellows. The award is made possible by a generous contribution from Quest Diagnostics, Inc.
Jill received her cytotechnology education and training at Indiana University in Indianapolis under the guidance of excellent teachers like Roger Wall and Debra O'Brien. She earned a Master of Education degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia. For the past 17 years, she has been the program director and education coordinator of the cytotechnology program in the Mayo School of Health Sciences at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Jill is an active member of the ASCT, ASC, ASCP and the Minnesota Society of Cytology. As an ASCT member Jill serves as the chairman of the Annual Meeting Committee for 2008 and 2009. And as an ASC member, she has served as a site visitor for the Cytotechnology Programs Review Committee and Director of the Program Faculty Seminar for five years. She is currently a member of the ASC Scientific Program Committee.
2007 Recipients of the Geraldine Colby Zeiler Award
Established in memory of Geraldine Colby Zeiler who trained as a cytotechnologist at the Mayo Clinic and died in 1990, these awards are made possible through the generosity of Dr. William B. Zeiler and family and friends of the late Mrs. Zeiler. The purpose of the awards is to stimulate and reward high achievement and promise by Cytotechnology students during their training. Awards are based on academic performance and microscopic diagnostic skills as demonstrated within the program, leadership ability, initiative, acceptance of responsibility, dedication, and relationships to colleagues.
The awards are funded by the College of American Pathologists Foundation and administered by the ASC. Three students attending programs in region 2 received this award during 2007. They are Travis Paul Cooper, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, School of Cytotechnology, Madison, Wisconsin; Angelean Etzel, Marshfield Clinic Cytotechnology Program, Marshfield, Wisconsin; and David Wayne Oman, Kansas University Medical Center Cytotechnology Program, Kansas City, Kansas.
The Geraldine Colby Zeiler Award is available to students enrolled in cytotechnology programs. Applications and reference forms are available on the ASC Web site under Awards (www.cytopathology.org). Applications will be accepted until June 1, 2008.
The ASC Foundation Cytotechnologist Scholarship
The ASC Foundation established the Cytotechnologist Scholarship Award in 2004 to stimulate an interest in continuing education in the field of cytopathology, provide a venue for cytotechnologists to meet and interact with fellow cytotechnologists and cytopathologists, and foster the spirit of volunteerism within the American Society of Cytopathology. The Foundation provides the awards of $2000.00 each to five qualified cytotechnologists, who are ASC members and in their first two years of practice, to attend the next Annual ASC Scientific Meeting. Two 2007 Foundation Cytotechnologist Scholarship Award recipients are from ASCT Region 2. They are Danling Jin, CT(ASCP), Intermountain Central Laboratory, Salt Lake City, Utah and Shellie P. Vadnais, CT(ASCP), University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas. Congratulations Danling and Shellie!
Region 2 Cytology Programs
Mercy School of Cytotechnology, Mercy Medical Center Des Moines, Iowa. Two students graduated from the Mercy program during 2007. Kevin Peters is working at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois and Rahat Sheikh is working at Metropath in the Denver area. Both men returned to their home areas and seem to be enjoying their new careers.
A new class began July 5, 2007 and the students are Phillip Allen from Treynor, Iowa who graduated from Iowa State; Megan Eidem from Gretna, Nebraska who graduated from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska; and Shuangping Wu from Los Gatos, California who graduated from Jilin University in China.
The students presented interesting cases for the Iowa Society of Cytology Web Conferences on October 5, 2007 and February 29, 2008.
University of Kansas Medical Center Cytotechnology Program, Kansas City, Kansas. Program Director Dr. Marilee Means is pleased to highlight their cytotechology program. We had three students who completed the program in 2006/2007. Two of these found employment in the field and one went on to school. We currently have 4 students in the 2007-2008 school year.
A recent graduate, Shellie Vadnais, was one of the recipients of the ASC Foundation Cytotechnologist Award, which gives a grant to attend the national meeting. Shellie will be attending the ASC meeting this fall in Orlando.
This past two years, our program has completely updated the curriculum, using PowerPoint presentations, digitalized images, and new presentation methods. We have obtained a dedicated new multi-headed microscope, dedicated classroom, digital camera for the microscope, and other teaching equipment. We have expanded the molecular technology portion of the program by inviting speakers, enhancing our own presentations, and including tours of relevant laboratories. Finally, we had our students do interesting case presentations which highlighted some area of molecular or other ancillary technology. They presented on FISH in recurrent bladder carcinoma, flow cytometry in lymphoma, and immunocytochemistry in GIST.
We thank our Dean, Karen Miller, for her outstanding support of the program and the faculty, which make the program a success.
Mayo School of Health Sciences Cytotechnology Program, Rochester Minnesota.
Jill Caudill, program director shares the news that five students graduated from the Mayo program on June 22, 2007. They all passed their Board of Registry exam the day before graduation, so that made the ceremony even more enjoyable. Eventually each found employment, though one took until December. Three of the new graduates are working in cytology while the other two are not. Instead one is doing FISH on urines, and the other is working in Flow Cytometry. Location was a deciding factor.
July 9th marked the first day of class for the five students enrolled for the 2007-2008-program year. This year's class includes Katy Bartholet and Brittany Gregoire, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; Colleen Fales, UW - Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin; Rocio Garcia, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan; and Ashley McDonald, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Brittany Gregoire received one of the 2007-2008 ASCP student scholarships.
All five students will be presenting interesting cases at the upcoming Minnesota Society of Cytology Meeting, April 18th and 19th at Rochester.
Class member Rocio Garcia added that she and her classmates have been raising money for Multiple Sclerosis and will participate in the MS Walk on May 4th. In the program, her class is working together on a research project comparing P16 versus ProExC. They are trying to see how good the stains are in detecting SIL. Being involved with this project has been a good experience for the class. Besides its value to cytology, the experience has also taught about the importance of group communication, time management and having a good working plan set up.
St. Louis University Cytotechnology Program, St. Louis, Missouri.
Program Director Linda Hoechst reports that transfer of program sponsorship from Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing and Allied Health was successful. The program has been located at St. Louis University, Doisy College of Health Sciences since May 2007. Dr. Elba Turbat-Herrara is the medical director.
Seven students graduated during the 2006-2007-program year. At this time there are also seven students enrolled at St. Louis. Two students are in their final year, both as post baccalaureate certificate students. There are also five students enrolled in the baccalaureate program, three juniors and two sophomores.
Two students, Jessica Dowell and Colleen Hiles, received special recognition when they were named recipients of a St. Louis University Doisy College Alumni Scholarship. Among other things the scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement and talent.
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Cytotechnology Program, Omaha, Nebraska.
Amber Donnelly reports that four students graduated August 3, 2007. Two students were from the UNMC campus (Phuong Nguyen and Steve Gabel) and two students were from their distant site, the Carle Clinic, in Urbana, Illinois (Alycia Elliott and Gina Saccomanno). Congratulations to all of them for completing the program successfully!
A new group of students began on August 27, 2007. There are five students at the UNMC campus and three at the Carle Clinic. Please welcome them into our profession. At UNMC students are: Samantha "Sam" Prinz, Tammy Duong, Megan Hinners, Lan Anh Tran, and Rachel Kerwin. And at Carle Clinic the students are: Maria Luehmann, Kadi Heuer, and Valerie Pininski.
During the transition between classes this August, the entire School of Allied Health Professions will be moving into a newly renovated building on campus. This will be the first time the entire school has been together in one building. Our new building is called Bennett Hall. The allied health programs will now be closer to other student buildings on campus, including a newly constructed building for health science education, the Sorrell Center. The Sorrell Center will have state-of-the-art educational resources for all UNMC students. There will also be a student plaza with green space and in the winter the plaza will be turned into an ice skating rink.
The Cytotechnology program will be located on the top floor of Bennett Hall. We were reluctant to give up our current space because of our windows and the view of campus. However, our new space has the same amount of windows, just with a different view. We are looking forward to our new building and being with other allied health administrators and students.
On a personal note: Congratulations Amber on passing your oral defense and earning your PhD!
University of North Dakota (UND) Cytotechnology Program, Grand Forks, North Dakota. Katherine Hoffman, program director and Kimberly Droog, education coordinator, reported that three students graduated with the 2006-2007 Cytology Class at UND. They were: JoDee Anderson, Kalispell, Montana; Andrea Martin, Crookston, Minnesota; and Sara Wehmhoefer, Bismark, North Dakota. Each of the students found employment.
The Minnesota Society of Cytology awarded Andrea Martin the 2007 Carol Kanneberg Scholarship.
Filling five of the program's eight student seats for the 2007-2008 school year are Kjerstin Buboltz, Margaret Flanagan, Lisa Lennie, Margaret McBride and Gol Rahimaghaei.
Katherine Hoffmann and Kimberly Droog are pleased to share news that the UND Histotechnology Program is up and running. After first offering classes just over a year ago, the program has been accredited by NAACLS, and can boast a 100% pass rate for students taking the Board of Registry exam. Congratulations Kathy and Kim. And now they also share the news that they have added a molecular course for the cytology students as well.
The UND LEND (Laboratory Education of North Dakota) Program, which provides on-line continuing education to laboratory professionals, will be offering new seminars for cytotechnologists and histotechnologists. Currently 20 contacts hours of molecular pathology education are being developed that are designed to prepare cytotechnologists and clinical laboratory scientists for the Molecular Pathology BOR exam. There will also be approximately 20 contact hours of advanced molecular pathology education in specific topic areas. Laboratory management seminars are also slated to be available by late summer; these are designed for cytotechnologists and histotechnologists. The LEND Program is pursing PACE certification for its seminars and case studies, all of which will be available in the early fall. Website: http://pathology.med.und.nodak.edu/lend
University of Utah Cytotechnology Program,
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Michael Berry, program director/education coordinator for the University of Utah Cytotechnology Program, reports that three of four positions in the program are currently filled for the upcoming 2008-2009 class. That class begins during June. Mike also reports that the two current students are set to graduate in May 2008.
Michael is concerned that recruitment for cytotechnology students has been difficult the last several years. He believes that practicing cytotechnologists traditionally have offered a strong recruitment link to this field. The continued promotion of the field (or lack thereof) by practicing cytotechnologists, despite concerns, may have a significant impact on the future of cytotechnology. Cytotechnologists may want to re-examine the reasons they have stayed in this dynamic field and to articulate the pros and cons (as compared to say, Medical Technology) to prospective cytotechnology students (friends, family, neighbors, etc).
Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) School of Cytotechnology, Madison, Wisconsin.
John Shalkham and Michelle Smith share news of the State Lab School of Cytotechnology. The School of Cytotechnology at the WSLH has just finished celebrating 50 years of education having started training cytotechnologists in 1957. So they have been educating cytology professionals for over 50 years. Ten students made up the 50th graduating class from their program. Six of the students found employment in cytology after graduation, one in Minnesota, four in the Chicago area, and another in Boise, Idaho. Of the others, one entered the pathology assistant program at Duke University; two took jobs outside of the field of cytology, one in a law firm and the other at a university. The last student is likely working in the field of DNA testing.
The graduating class of 2007 made up three teams presenting interesting cases at the Wisconsin Society of Cytology Meeting in May 2007. Lindsey Barton, Tammy Dahms and Sara Olson presented a discussion on the "Benefits and Limitations of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine." Students Amanda Hackman, Cheryl Kieffer and Lisa Moore, demonstrated and led a discussion concerning "Aperio Virtual Microscopy." And the third team, consisting of Travis Cooper, Gail Thomas and Eleanor Treffinger, chose for their topic, "ASC-H."
The 2007-2008 class of four students consists of Gaydly Beaubrun, Jamie Larson, Paul Nichols, and Chanthou Vong. Their presentation to the 2008 Wisconsin Society of Cytology meeting is entitled, "HPV Testing for Women Over 30."
In keeping up with the ever-evolving world of cytotechnology, the school continues to expand the classroom into a virtual one. For several years we have allowed our current students access to audio and PowerPoint lectures on-line for review. This year we will be allowing other students and professionals to meet continuing education requirements. In addition, we are working hard this year to bring together cytogenetic and molecular professionals to expand our current coursework into an on-line format that will allow students and professionals the additional theory and clinical methods of molecular pathology.
Marshfield Clinic/St. Joseph Hospital Cytotechnology Program, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Don Schnitzler reports that three students graduated from the Marshfield cytotechnology program during July 2007. They are Angelean Etzel, Heidi Erickson and Sarah Rankl. They were one of the teams of students who presented an interesting case at the Wisconsin Society of Cytology Spring Meeting, May 5, 2007. The title of their case presentation, was "Enteropathy T Cell Lymphoma." They also submitted this presentation to the ASCT as one of the computer entries at San Antonio, Texas. Each of the students found employment as cytotechnologists following graduation. Heidi is working at IDX Pathology, Boise, Idaho. Angie accepted a position with University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic, Madison. Wisconsin. And Sarah is working at Columbia St. Mary's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The current class of two students consists of Megan Duchaine, UW-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Araylla Jensen, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Megan and Araylla will also present an interesting case at the 2008 WSC meeting during April. The title of their case is "An Extraskeletal Ewing's Sarcoma, a Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET)."
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ACL Cytology School, West Allis, Wisconsin.
Colleen Stowe, education coordinator for the UW-Milwaukee program provides the following highlights of the program at West Allis. Lisa Benson and Christy Kiekenbush completed the program during the summer of 2007 and both have taken jobs in cytology. Upon graduation Lisa and Christy also received their Molecular Diagnostics certification from UW-Milwaukee. While completing graduation requirements for the cytotechnology program Christy also completed training and certification as a paramedic.
During the 2007 Wisconsin Society of Cytology Meeting the ACL students presented two interesting case presentations. Lisa Benson chose a case of a "Thyroid Paraganglioma" and Christy Kiekenbush's talk was titled "Differential Diagnosis in a Pelvic Fluid Specimen and the Potential Role of BRCA Genetic Mutation."
The two students making up the UW-Milwaukee Class of 2007-2008 are Kavita Smits and Lisa Ring. Their presentation for the 2008 WSC Spring Meeting is entitled, "Combining New HPV vaccines, Advances in Testing and the Future."
Milestones of Excellence
Cytotechnology Programs receiving seven-year, continuing accreditation are commended for achieving "milestones of excellence." Congratulations to this ASCT Region 2 Cytotechnology Program achieving "milestones of excellence" in 2007!
Marshfield Clinic Cytotechnology Program, Marshfield, Wisconsin
Region 2 State and Regional Society News
Arizona Cytology Association
The officers of the Arizona Society of Cytology are Dixie Winterland Hurless, President; Cindi Davis, President-Elect; and Wendy Taylor, Treasurer.
The next meeting is set for Saturday June 28, at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center Sandstone Room, Phoenix. Guest speakers are Dr. Jami Walloch and Jennifer Clark, BS,SCT(ASCP). Dr. Walloch currently practices with Midwest Diagnostic Pathology, S.C. in Park Ridge, IL and has numerous staff appointments and many publications. His lecture will include "Laser Scanning Cytometry Immunophenotyping of Cytology Specimens" and "HPV-Frequently Asked Questions". Jennifer Clark is well known for her affiliation with Midwest Institute for Medical Education and, most recently, with the ASCP as Product Development Manager. Jennifer's lectures will include"The 7 Habits of Cytologists" and "ThinPrep GYN Morphology-Challenging Cases". Plans are also being made for a November meeting in Tucson.
Anyone interested in more information about the meetings may contact Dixie Winterland Hurless by phone at 602-685-5252 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mountain States Association of Cytotechnologists (MSACT)
The Mountain States Association is currently inactive. However, several cytotechnologists in the region are exploring options for participating in the planning for the ASC 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in Denver, Colorado. If anyone is interested in helping the ASC organize for Denver or volunteering at the meeting, please contact Michael Berry (801-583-2787, x2327).
St. Louis Society of Cytology
The St. Louis Society is currently planning their upcoming Annual Fall Meeting. It's set for Saturday, September 27, 2008 at the Frontenac Hilton, St. Louis. The guest speaker is Ritu Nayar, M.D., of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.
A work in progress for the society now is its member website. They hope to have it up by summer.
Officers of the St. Louis Society are Gretchen Vollmer, president (email@example.com); Lourdes Ylagan, vice-president; Mercia Locke, secretary; and Anne Williams, treasurer.
Iowa Society of Cytology (ISC)
The Iowa Society of Cytology's website is www.iowasocietyofcytology.org. The ISC has held two web conferences since last year. The first conference was held during October 2007 and the second on February 29th. The latter presentation featured interesting cases from the students of the University of Nebraska, Carle Clinic and Mercy School of Cytotechnology. Karen Allen Linder also presented her findings on "Blink Cytology." Despite some technical difficulties, the conference was well attended and presentations were all excellent.
On May 9, 2008, the Iowa Cytology/Surgical Pathology Course will be presented.
The Cytology portion will be Friday May 9 and Saturday morning, May 10. Speakers will include Kim Geisinger, M.D. from Wakeforest University of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Ritu Nayar, M.D. from Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
Current officers of the Iowa Society of Cytology include: Jan Kramme, president (firstname.lastname@example.org); Mark Brown, treasurer; Marty Boesenberg, secretary; and Chad Hoffman and Sally Zimmerman, board members.
Minnesota Society of Cytology (MSC)
The Minnesota Society of Cytology was established in 1969 to further the interests of Cytotechnology and to provide the means for persons engaged and interested in this field to meet and exchange ideas and information. They have updated their website at www.mncytology.org. Be sure to check it out for the latest news about the organization, upcoming meetings and past newsletters. It’s a great website!
2007-2008 MSC officers are: Heidi Sokolowski, president (email@example.com); Angie Zieman, president-elect; Lizette Miller, vice-president; Chelsi Womack, secretary and Lori Ross, treasurer.
Wisconsin Society of Cytology (WSC)
The Wisconsin Society of Cytology will celebrate its 40th anniversary at their April 2008 Meeting in Neenah, Wisconsin. A banquet on Friday evening will feature founding members and officers sharing their recollections of the organization's humble beginnings. The first officers of the WSC were Jack Heinzel, president; Allan Cobb, vice-president; Sharon Childs, secretary; and Edith Smith, treasurer. Jack, Sharon and Edith along with Dr. Stan Inhorn, a founding member and speaker at the first WSC Meeting held April 28, 1968, will recount some of the events and people of the early WSC.
Since its founding, the WSC has usually held two scientific meetings a year. The spring meeting is designated as the annual business meeting. Among the business items at this meeting is the presentation of WSC scholarships to students enrolled in one of the three cytology programs located in Wisconsin. At the 2007 annual meeting the WSC awarded $5550 to eight very deserving students, they are: Travis Cooper, Sarah Olson, Lindsey Barton and Cheryl Keifer of the State Lab or Hygiene program; Heidi Erickson, Angelean Etzel and Sarah Rankl of the Marshfield program and Christy Kiekenbush from the UW-Milwaukee program.
Current officers of the WSC are: Charmayne McGuire, president, (Charmayne_McGuire@yahoo.com); Amy Jo Saeger, vice-president; Deb Van Eyck, secretary, and Kristen Wilkens, treasurer.
Legislative News From Around the Region
Iowa--Clinical Laboratory Scientists in Iowa have raised the issue of state licensure as it relates to Iowa laboratorians. Last fall Marty Boesenberg agreed to represent the cytology community on a committee being developed to study the issue in Iowa.
So far that committee has not met.
Minnesota--In Minnesota, a bill (SF1830) was introduced entitled "Medical Laboratory Science Professionals Licensure Requirements and Board of Medical Laboratory Science Creation" and also (HF2109) entitled "Medical Laboratory Science Professionals Licensure and Board Established." During February 2008, the Senate Health Committee held a hearing on SF1830 and the House Licensure Subcommittee on HF2109.
After much discussion, it was decided to pull the licensure bill from this session of the legislature. It was felt that the votes were not there to give the majority in either the Senate or the House committee to move the bill forward. The Minnesota Laboratory Licensure Coalition will take a breath and regroup to debrief and plan sometime this spring.
Missouri--SB 1162 was introduced in Missouri to establish licensing standards for different types of clinical laboratory science personnel. The act licenses clinical laboratory scientists, categorical laboratory scientists, clinical laboratory technicians and clinical laboratory assistants/phlebotomists. This act is similar to SB 1099 (2006) and SB 314 (2007). President of the St. Louis Society of Cytology, Gretchen Vollmer, asked Missouri cytotechnologists to contact their legislators during March to voice their opposition to SB1162. At issue with the Missouri Bill in its current form is that "not all laboratory professionals are included." Passage of this bill therefore may limit the cytotechnologist's scope of practice and block future opportunities to expand into areas such as molecular diagnostics.
The most recent action was a hearing conducted by the Senate Financial & Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee on March 31st. The companion house bill, HB2139 has been sent to the House Special Committee on Professional Registration and Licensing. It has not been placed on the House calendar at this date.
Wisconsin--The American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science Wisconsin (ACLS-WI) will explore the issue of licensure for laboratory personnel within Wisconsin. The following excerpt was taken from an article that appeared in their fall 2007 Newsletter, The BadgerLab Times.
Licensure in Wisconsin
"At the ASCLS annual meeting in San Diego, an update on licensure initiatives was presented. The ASCLS-WI Board of Directors allocated some funding last year to explore the possibility of licensure for laboratory personnel in WI. Education and certification are key issues in licensure to make sure that qualified personnel are performing laboratory testing. Quality and safety in laboratory medicine are needed to protect the patients we serve. At the September 29 meeting of the ASCLS-WI Board of Directors, it was decided to form a task force to research the licensure process for laboratory professionals in our State. Anyone interested in serving on the committee should contact Sue Beglinger, ASCLS-WI president."
Ms. Beglinger indicated that the ASCLS-WI is interested in having the committee being formed of laboratory professionals from across the lab specialties. Thomas Scheberl a Wisconsin Society of Cytology and ASCT member will represent the Wisconsin cytology community in these preliminary meetings.
And On A Personal Note...
Janice Gillberg, Salina, Kansas: I supervise two other cytotechnologists. We all have over 30 years of work experience, each! We may be getting older, but we are learning new tricks. In January we opened the first PCR lab in our area. We run HPVs, CT/NG and IHTs. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to learn new skills and provide state of the art care to women in this area!
Maureen Quirk, Phoenix, Arizona: I now work at Bostwick Laboratories. The lab is quite remarkable. Dr. Bostwick originally opened a lab five years ago in Virginia. He branched out to Florida, London, Phoenix and recently New York. I have only been there a little over a year and have gone from being the only cytotech to supervising seven cytotechs and seven prep techs. I have never seen such rapid growth.
Kathy Windmoeller, Columbia, Missouri: The cytology laboratory at the University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia, Missouri is a busy place. Our cytotechnologists see some very interesting cases, as the University is a referral center for the state, and encompasses the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center as well as the Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital. We see many FNA specimens including numerous EUS specimens from the pancreas and liver. Our cytotechnologists perform Digene HPV testing and are working on their Molecular Pathology Certification. We also play an active role in teaching the pathology residents who rotate through the cytology laboratory. We have a combined experience of 129 years in the field of cytology (this includes myself, four other cytotechnologists and our director, Dr. Ingram).
Dawn Britt, Salt Lake City Utah: Three years ago I found a great job in Brent Brewerton's cytology lab at Intermountain Healthcare and was able to move back to Salt Lake City after a fifteen year absence. Since returning, I have kept busy being grandmother to five-year-old Zack and by becoming involved in matters concerning the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Tom Scheberl, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) Cytopathology Lab news. The cytology lab is in the midst of an EHR (electronic health record) Pap e-order go-live. Eventually all test orders, reports, medication management, and all aspects of the patient health record will be electronic throughout the UW Health system.
In April, HPV testing will be initiated by our molecular diagnostics lab using Third Wave Technology. Anal-rectal cytology testing will begin later this spring. This is a joint venture between cytopathology and the Infectious Disease Clinic of UW Health - UWHC. We plan to include transplant patients in the future. We perform quantitative and qualitative assessment on transplant patient urines for detection of Polyoma. Within the year, our molecular diagnostics lab will begin testing for polyoma on many of these specimens.
The FNA service continues to grow. We have expanded to two thyroid half-day clinics, and have three remote video streaming workstations in key procedure areas to save pathologist time. This keeps all five of the cytotechnologists and the cytopathology fellow very busy with assists and adequacy assessment. Procedure volume is nearing 2,000 annually. Plans to include more thyroid clinics and another video streaming workstation are slated for the upcoming fiscal year.
Other staff updates:
Lori Haack (senior cytotechnologist/quality specialist) is pursuing a Masters degree in public health and health care administration through Des Moines University. She is also stepping down as the Scholarship Chairperson for the Wisconsin Society of Cytology after overseeing the distribution of more than $40,000 to students in the three Wisconsin cytology programs during the past eight years.
Kristi Lehman (staff cytotechnologist) is pursuing a MP certification.
Angie Etzel (associate cytotechnologist) and recent graduate of the Marshfield program is adapting to our medical center environment, with plans to help with the pathology residency-training program during next year.
Tom Scheberl (manager) is pursuing a DLM certification, with a longer-term goal of completing a Masters degree in health care management.
Michele Smith, Madison, Wisconsin: I'm personally happy to be back in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene after being gone for 10 years. It was good to see both old and new faces at the WSLH after a ten-year adventure to New York City and St. Louis. Being able to work in different lab environments and make new friends has been an experience of a lifetime.
The WSLH cytology laboratory continues to serve the under- and uninsured women of Wisconsin. We provide Pap smear and HPV testing to various family planning clinics throughout the state. In 2007 we changed our HPV testing to Third Wave Technologies, Invader methodology. We have begun to see a rise in our HPV testing and a slight decrease in Pap smear testing this first quarter due to the new 2006 ASCCP management guidelines. In the ten years since I last worked here, our volumes and staff may have decreased, but the commitment to cytology remains strong.
Carrie Peck, Ogden, Utah: Since graduating from the University of Utah Cytotechnology Program in May 2007, I have had the opportunity to work as a full-time cytotechnologist at Ogden Regional Medical Center in Ogden, Utah and also as needed at ARUP Laboratory in Salt Lake City. At Ogden Regional, I work with five other cytotechnologists. My coworkers have been helpful and supportive and I look forward to going to work everyday! Outside of work, I spend my time skiing, road biking, riding my motorcycle, and hanging out with my dog.
Thank you to the following ASCT Region 2 members who recently expressed an interest in becoming more involved with their society as either an ASCT committee member or state ambassador: Bill Franciskovich (Minnesota), Janice Gillberg (Kansas), Carrie Peck (Utah), Maureen Quirk (Arizona), Matt Riding (Utah), Michelle Smith (Wisconsin), Shelia Smith (Arizona) and Sue Severson (Minnesota).
I'd also like to acknowledge the ASCT Region 2 members already active in the organization: Brenda, Joan, Bob, Brent, Sue, John, Lori, Tom, Linda, Michelle, Marty, Karen, Lynnette and Jill. You each add so much to the ASCT. Your continued efforts for the ASCT show us all how working together we can make great things happen. Thanks for all that you do on our behalf.
If your name wasn't mentioned above, let me extend a personal invitation to you to become more involved in the ASCT. The committees could always use additional help. So if you 'd like to be more involved, contact your regional director, they will be happy to help you learn more about what you can do for your fellow ASCT members.
And A Closing Thought
If I failed to mention any other deserving individuals in this 2008 Region 2 Spotlight, I sincerely apologize for the oversight. Just let me know and I will be glad to report that information in one of the upcoming issues of the Voice. You are each amazing! Thank you all for your continued support of our organization.