1997 Outstanding Contributions in Education
Christopher S. Frings, PhD, will receive the 27th annual award, sponsored by SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories. Dr. Frings received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Alabama in 1961 and his PhD in Analytical Chemistry with a minor in Biochemistry from Purdue University in 1966. His doctoral research was under the direction of Professor Harry L. Pardue and his PhD thesis was on the analytical application of enzymes. In 1966–1967 he was a research assistant and fellow in the Section of Biochemistry at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.
In 1967, he joined Medical Laboratory Associates, a large regional reference laboratory in Birmingham, AL, where he held the following positions for the next 20 years: Head, Chemistry Department (1967–1968); Director, Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology (1968–1982); Vice President of Technical Services, and Director, Clinical Chemistry & Toxicology (1983–1984); Senior Vice President of Technical Services, and Director, Clinical Chemistry & Toxicology (1984–1987). He had an 8-year plan to retire from Medical Laboratory Associates after 20 years of service and to do full-time speaking and consulting. Having successfully completed his 8-year plan, he now is 10 years into a second 20-year career of professional speaking and consulting, primarily in the healthcare arena.
Awards received by Dr. Frings include: recipient of the first Applied Analytical Paper Award presented in 1976 by the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh for publications and research on Detection of Drugs of Abuse in Urine; recipient of the first Meritorious Service Award, presented in April 1986 by the Southeast Section, AACC; and recipient of an AACC Outstanding Speaker Award each year for the past 11 years.
Dr. Frings has served on the editorial boards of the following publications: Clinica Chimica Acta (1979–1983), Selected Methods of Clinical Chemistry (1980–1985), Quality Assurance News for the Clinical Laboratory (1982–1986), Clinical Laboratory News (1995–present), and Clinical Laboratory Strategies (1996–present).
In 1991 he was elected treasurer of the AACC. During his 3-year term (1992–1994), he helped the AACC develop its 5-year business plan and investment policy. He has served on numerous committees for the AACC, including: Enzyme Subcommittee of the Standards Committee (1972–1974); Interest Free Loans Committee (1973–1974); Chair, Breakfast Roundtable Sessions, National Meeting (1979); Chair, Southeast Section; Education Coordinator, Southeast Section (1975–1979); Toxicology Committee (1978–1979); Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Task Force (1979–1982); Chair, Selected Topics Sessions, National Meeting (1985); Nominating Committee (1984–1985); Chair, Public Issues Committee (1987–1991); Board of Directors (1992–1994); Finance Committee (1992–1995), Chair (1992–1994); Executive Committee (1992–1994); Meetings Management Group (1992–1994); Task Force on Changing Practice Environment (1995); Management Sciences Division (1995–1996), Chair (1997); Chair, Management Section of the Delta Group on Changing Practice Environment (1995–1996); Delta Implementation Committee (1996–present); and Management Review Course Organizing Committee (1997–present).
Committees he has served on for other organizations include: Analytical Toxicology Committee of American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (1968–1971); Board of Directors, National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (1979–1980); Clinical Laboratory Sciences Advisory Committee, University of Alabama at Birmingham (1985–present); and Board of Directors, Alabama Speakers Association (1992–1996).
His professional certifications include: National Registry in Clinical Chemistry as a Clinical Chemist (1968–present), American Board of Bioanalysis as a High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director (1975–present), and Certified Speaking Professional from National Speakers Association (1995–present).
Academic appointments include: Clinical Professor, Pathology Department, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL (1968–present); Clinical Professor, School of Health Related Professions, Clinical Laboratory Sciences Division, UAB (1975–present). He also teaches in the Special Studies Leadership Institute at UAB.
Dr. Frings has over 140 publications in the scientific and management sciences literature. In addition, he has published 5 books, 5 self-study courses, 50 columns in management newsletters, 5 audiotapes, and 2 videotapes on time management, leadership strategies, and testing for abused drugs.
He has been involved in numerous educational efforts for the past 30 years, including: teaching medical technology students; teaching pathology residents; directing a postdoctoral training program in clinical chemistry for 10 years; self-study courses; and over 700 seminars, workshops, and keynote addresses. He is currently a nationally recognized speaker in the areas of managing change, leadership strategies, time management, stress management, reaching goals, and drugs in the workplace. He is often called “the magical speaker” because he incorporates magic (illusions) and a splash of humor into his programs. Dr. Frings is managing director of his consulting and speaking business in Birmingham, AL, Chris Frings & Associates. He serves as a consultant to the medical diagnostics industry, insurance industry, utilities companies, pharmaceutical industry, independent clinical laboratories, physician’s office laboratories, and hospitals.