American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Message from the DACC Chair: "Lagniappe" Says It All

by Kent Gossett, Chair DACC
(Published in Clinical Laboratory News, July 26, 1999)

For AACC members interested in the development and/or utilization of clinical laboratory analyses in animals, the Division of Animal Clinical Chemistry (DACC) is lagniappe (pronounced lan-yap) or "a pleasant something extra". DACC is a dynamic organization of ~300 members that provides continuing educational opportunities and a forum for exchange of information in animal clinical pathology. Each year, in addition to its particpation at the Annual Meeting, DACC offers two scientific programs focused on topics of particular interest to its specialty. The 1999 Spring Meeting was entitled "Markers and Models of Bone and Joint Disorders" and a symposium on "Point of Care Testing in Animals" will be presented at LabMed in Albany, New York on November 10.

Activities at the New Orleans Meeting

DACC activities commence on Monday evening July 26 with the DACC Dinner, hosted by Bayer Diagnostics. A highlight of this event will be the presentation of the Outstanding Contributions to Animal Clinical Chemistry award to Jon Kimball of the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute. At the Edutrak entitled "Practical Aspects of Animal Sample Analysis by Human Medical Laboratories" on Tuesday July 27, 10:30-12:00, Tom Knechtel will speak on the challenges of conducting both animal and human analyses in a single laboratory and Steve Lamb will discuss the development and validation of endocrinology methods for animals. The DACC General Business Meeting will follow at 12:30 at the Hilton Riverside. DACC members will present roundtables on advances in technology for multispecies hematology (Jon Kimball) and GLP-based validation of methods (Saroj Das) on Tuesday and have submitted several abstracts for presentation at poster sessions.

Strategic Initiatives

Enhancement of the DACC Home Page will be coordinated by web master Gabrielle Hatami. Goals for 1999 include establishment of links to web sites with similar interests and addition a news section for announcement of upcoming meetings and dissemination of information of interest to the membership. Jon Kimball and Yves Deschamps will coordinate DACC's participation in the AACC list server pilot program.

An International Joint Regulatory Affairs Committee has been established to provide surveillance of national, regional, and worldwide regulatory affairs activities that affect clinical pathology testing in preclinical safety and toxicity studies. To date, 5 national or international organizations have joined in this effort. The major goal for 1999 is to establish the DACC home page as a valuable resource through links to relevant web sites of regulatory agencies, regulatory alerts or updates, and a forum for discussion of regulatory issues.

Demographics Assessment is the charge of a committee led by Maria Helfrich. Demographic information received from AACC office revealed that >30% of our membership resides in four states (New York, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania), 20% reside outside of North America, and that the vast majority of members consider clinical chemistry as their primary specialty. The goal of this committee is to better understand other aspects of demographics (eg. employment type, primary activity, interests), information that will be utilized to ensure that activities of DACC continue to meet the diverse needs of its membership.

The DACC welcomes attendees to the 1999 AACC Annual Meeting and invites all individuals interested in clinical laboratory analyses in animals to participate in our scientific programs at this meeting and throughout the year. "Laissez les bons temps rouler" (a.k.a. Let the good times roll.) in New Orleans!