In This Issue...
Latin American Connection
2014 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo attendees from Latin America and other Spanish-speaking regions will find not only a welcoming atmosphere and solid educational programming but also great opportunities to network with colleagues world-wide and see first-hand the latest lab technologies.
All smiles at the Latin American Working Group mixer
In the educational realm, three sessions will be presented in Spanish only. Dr. Veronica Luzzi of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit is presenting two Brown Bag Sessions, "Ensayos Para La Vitamin D: Que es lo que realmente medimos?," on Tuesday, July 29, at 7:30 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. In these sessions, Dr. Luzzi intends to compare and contrast the different commercially available vitamin D assays and emphasize the need to standardize the assays.
Dr. Luzzi also will be both moderating and presenting at a Morning Symposium on Tuesday, July 29, "Herramientas prácticas para promover las buenas prácticas de laboratorio." Developed in cooperation with AACC's Emerging Countries Program, this session will focus on practical aspects of quality control in clinical laboratories, with a goal of helping attendees establish good practices that ultimately will improve patient care. Joining Dr. Luzzi in this presentation will be Dr. Jose Jara Aguirre of Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru.
This symposium evokes the highly regarded programming of AACC's Latin American Working Group (LAWG), part of the Emerging Countries Program. So far, the LAWG has presented seven workshops at sites such as Quito, Ecuador, Asuncion, Paraguay, and Panama City, Panama. One is being held May 16-17 in Veracruz, Mexico, with another planned this fall, location to be determined. Developed with support from the Coulter Foundation, these workshops have received rave reviews for featuring hands-on exercises and practical strategies to boost quality control processes and methods.
The LAWG also is sponsoring a not-to-be-missed mixer at 7:30 Monday evening July 28 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. This event will give attendees a great chance to meet colleagues from far-and-wide, talk with them in an informal setting about professional collaborations and lab issues of importance, and even pitch LAWG leaders like Dr. Luzzi on the possibility of holding future LAWG events on their home turf.
In addition to these activities, AACC recently developed an all-Spanish membership application. AACC members receive a $260 discount off Annual Meeting registration and $55 off each AACC University or Short Course program. With these exceptional opportunities to network, learn, and experience, there's nothing to do but join us in Chicago! Hasta la vista!
Division events at the Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo offer attendees the opportunity to hear about the latest scientific and research advances from world-class experts, and to interface in a relaxed environment not only with these individuals but also colleagues with similar research and clinical practice interests. Two such events at the 2014 Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo are the 19th Annual Management Sciences and Patient Safety Leadership Seminar, and the Clinical and Translational Science Lunch and Learn.
Networking and socializing
The former, sponsored by AACC's Management Sciences and Patient Safety Division, will take place on Saturday July 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and feature Dr. Charles Hawker, scientific director of automation and special projects at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City. Dr. Hawker and his colleagues recently pioneered an optical character recognition technology to read and compare patient names in ARUP's laboratory information system with patients' names printed on specimen labels. The system was designed to enable ARUP to achieve its goal of having no (zero) mislabeled specimens. Dr. Hawker's article about the development and validation of this novel engineering approach to a thorny problem faced by virtually all labs appeared in the March 2014 issue of Clinical Chemistry. A brief summary of it also is in the April issue of CLN's Patient Safety Focus, which is sponsored by ARUP.
Attendees at the 19th Annual Management Sciences and Patient Safety Leadership Seminar will hear Dr. Hawker discuss ARUP's optical character recognition system, its results thus far, and the work that remains in further reducing specimen label-related errors.
The Clinical and Translational Science Lunch and Learn is taking place on Tuesday, July 29 from 12:00-2:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Organized in cooperation with the Ohio Valley Local Section, this illuminating session will feature three experts from the in-vitro diagnostics industry speaking on biomarkers that have advanced from novel status to use in clinical practice.
Dr. Hans-Juergen Loyda, director of scientific affairs at Roche Diagnostics, will examine the challenges and opportunities of implementing high-sensitivity troponin tests in clinical practice. Meanwhile, Dr. James Snider, president of Critical Diagnostics, will discuss the journey of soluble ST2 from its initial characterization to now being measured with a validated clinical assay used to assess risk in heart failure. The third in this trio of science heavy-weights will be Dr. Debbie Boldt-Holde, director of scientific affairs at The Binding Site. She will explore the clinical utility of serum free light chain analysis in screening, diagnosing, and monitoring monoclonal gammopathy.
These outstanding presentations reflect the enduring interest of the Clinical and Translational Science Division in showcasing how, over the course of time, basic science discoveries make important contributions to patient care. The Division's Lunch & Learn is free of charge, but space is limited and reservations are required. Contact Division Chair, Dr. Vincent Ricchiuti, by June 5 to reserve your spot!