June 2007 Clinical Laboratory News: A Challenge to Support the Future of Clinical Chemistry

June 2007: Volume 33, Number 6

A Challenge to Support the Future of Clinical Chemistry

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”
—Sir Winston Churchill

Gary Myers PhD, FACB
AACC President

As we approach the association’s 60th anniversary, this is an exciting time to serve as the AACC President. We can take pride in celebrating many years as being the flagship association for clinical laboratory professionals, as well as our leadership in the field of clinical laboratory medicine. Every major AACC accomplishment is due to the outstanding contributions of our members. Without your hard work, volunteerism, and dedication to this field, AACC would not have flourished. This spirit is even more important going forward, so I want to personally encourage each of you to give back to our profession.

One great way to help secure the future of our profession is through the Van Slyke Foundation (VSF), formerly the Van Slyke Society. The Foundation brings to life our philanthropic philosophy of giving back, as so aptly stated by Sir Winston Churchill. Its mission to be “a leading philanthropic organization for clinical laboratory medicine that encourages and supports deserving clinical laboratory scientists and students throughout the world” is one I support fully. I hope that you will find a way to support the Foundation at this year’s Annual Meeting in San Diego. VSF has some fun and unusual events planned this year that I hope you will take part in. Not only will you have fun at these events, but you will also be advancing the Foundation’s valuable programs on behalf of young, deserving clinical laboratory scientists and students around the world.

First up is the opportunity to join the Annual Meeting Organizing Committee for an early-morning 5K Fun Run with the President on Sunday, July 15th at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina. You can’t beat this chance to enjoy a great workout and support the VSF at the same time. The event is open to everyone 18 and older who is attending the meeting. The entry fee is $30, and you’ll receive a commemorative T-shirt at the end of the race. If you’re not an early bird, I’m not going to let you off the hook that easy. So while I’m out there working up a sweat, you can be sleeping in or having breakfast and still support VSF by choosing the “sleep-in” option. The entry fee for this option is $40 and your commemorative T-shirt and special surprise will be mailed to you after the Annual Meeting. Find out more about the 5K Fun Run in your Annual Meeting registration package or go to the Annual Meeting Web site.

Another opportunity to enjoy yourself while doing good is by attending the Foundation’s Cheese and Wine Tasting Reception and Silent Auction on Wednesday, July 18th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center, just a quick walk from the San Diego Convention Center. This promises to be a truly wonderful event. You can sample some excellent and interesting fine wines and appetizing cheeses, plus you can bid on lots of exciting prizes, such as an LCD TV, jewelry, artwork, special handicrafts, a 2008 AACC Annual Meeting package that includes registration and 5 nights in a suite, and many other wonderful offerings. Tickets for the Reception and Silent Auction are $125, and you can purchase tickets on the AACC Web site or at the registration booth at the meeting. This will be an exceptional evening, so don’t miss out, get your tickets now.

It’s important to keep in mind that all proceeds from these two events will support the VSF and its good works. Just this year, for example, the Foundation has fostered scientific investigation by funding two research grants thanks to a contribution from the AACC Critical and Point-of-Care Testing Division. This year, VSF also increased its investment in post-doctoral training by awarding two Past-Presidents’ Scholarships. These training awards were made possible for the first time in 2006 thanks to our most generous donor to date, Mr. Gopal Savjani. In support of this important program, the AACC Board of Directors voted to fund an additional scholarship in 2007. Three post-doctoral fellows are now being supported: Ross Molinaro, a second year fellow, and Kara Lynch and Leann Mikesh, both first year fellows. Other Foundation-sponsored activities that we hope will encourage science students include awards that we will confer at the Annual Meeting to recognize excellence in students’ research and oral presentations. We are grateful to Genzyme Corp. (Cambridge, Mass.) for its support of these awards, which allowed us to increase the amount of the prizes for these talented young investigators. In addition, the Foundation will provide funds for student travel grants, thanks to donations from Beckman Coulter (Brea, Calif.). The need for highly skilled clinical scientists has never been greater, and through the far reaching support of our donors and volunteers, the VSF advances scientific knowledge and discovery in many important ways.

Also in San Diego, thanks to support from the VSF, we will welcome 21 International Travel Grantees and three Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians Travel Grantees. Special thanks are due to Jerry and Sandy Gallwas for their generous support of the international travel grantees and our “Gallwas members.” Indeed, the Gallwases and many others have given generously to support these kinds of young scientists with whom it is so important to share the very best of clinical laboratory science and technology, not to mention the superb networking opportunities that are available each year at AACC’s Annual Meeting. I know you understand how important these opportunities can be, and I hope you will also give as generously as possible to support future grantees.

Please plan to attend one or all of these events—and support your field and your profession today!

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