American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
2008 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Management Sciences

Michael L. Astion M.D., Ph.D.

The Management Sciences Division (MSD) of AACC is pleased to announce that the 2008 recipient of the Division’s Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Management Sciences” is Dr. Michael L. Astion.

Dr. Astion is a Professor and Director of the Reference Laboratory Services in the University of Washington’s Department of Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Astion obtained his medical degree and Ph.D. from the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) in 1989. He completed residency training and specialization in Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle, WA) in 1993 and subsequently started his academic career at the same university as assistant professor of Laboratory Medicine. In 2007, he was appointed to his current position.

Dr. Astion has been a leader in patient safety, particularly in the role that laboratory medicine plays in quality patient care. When AACC formed the Task Force on Patient Safety in 2004, the person selected to head this prestigious group was Dr. Astion. As chair, he has been the primary spokesperson for AACC’s efforts in patient safety. In addition, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Laboratory Errors and Patient Safety, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to preventing adverse events caused by laboratory errors, and is also a regular contributor of articles to this newsletter. Dr. Astion is a member of the Taskforce on Occurrence Management set up by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and a member of the Taskforce on Mislabeling for the University Hospital Consortium. He has developed over 20 educational software tutorials including one for developing, maintaining, and assessing competency for image-based tests in the clinical laboratory. He has raised the awareness of laboratory errors and patient safety through numerous published peer-reviewed articles, editorials, case commentaries, reviews and interviews.

Dr. Astion is an outstanding spokesperson for patient safety. He has been invited to lecture over 35 times to national and international audiences. Some audiences have included over 1500 scientists. The lectures he has delivered at AACC international meetings have earned him outstanding speaker awards for seven years. He received AACC’s 2006 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Patient Safety and the 15th Annual Canada Traveling Lectureship for expertise and contributions to patient safety in 2007.

Dr. Astion has also used his expertise to benefit countries in the developing world and the homeless in America. He developed education software to teach image-based clinical laboratory testing in developing countries with a pilot program in Nepal. He also received the University of Washington’s Medical Center Community Service Award for work related to the Street Youth Ministries homeless shelter in the University District.