As members of AACC, we are part of a vibrant organization in a critical field of medicine. Laboratory medicine informs, guides, and even drives diagnostic and treatment decisions. As practitioners in the field, we hold a tremendous responsibility to ensure patients receive the best care they possibly can. Our association is our partner in ensuring that we retain and enhance our ability to provide valuable contributions to healthcare. AACC provides access to the knowledge we need, through meetings, education, and cutting-edge scientific publications. It also advocates for the field and for laboratory professionals to help shape policies that allow us to use the full extent of our knowledge and expertise in improving health and healthcare.
We and our field are at a potential turning point; healthcare delivery and reimbursement are taking new directions. Perhaps more than at any other time in recent history, we have the opportunity to enhance our contribution to high-quality, value-based medicine. To take full advantage of this opportunity, we need to embrace the changes that are happening and perhaps alter our daily practices to ensure the healthcare team, and ultimately patients, derive the full advantage of our knowledge and expertise.
Just as the field is at a crossroads, so is AACC as an organization.
As the premier organization for research, education, and advocacy for practitioners of laboratory medicine, AACC has changed and grown since its founding in 1948 along with the field. The current governance structure developed organically, growing with the organization to fit the needs at the time. With a renewed emphasis on strategy and forward thinking, we have undertaken a review of the governance with an eye to devise a system that works for the modern AACC and the needs of today’s laboratory professionals. We want to be sure that our structure aligns with the Strategic Plan of AACC and supports its ambitious goals. The review process is long and systematic in nature, and we are leaving no stone unturned.
The ongoing process involves the current, past and future leadership of the organization, and we have reached out to a number of members for input. We have engaged consultants with extensive experience and expertise in governance to help guide the process, and they are working closely with AACC leadership and senior staff to ensure the guiding principles of the organization are conserved and the rich history of AACC is honored in the future governance system. Doing the heavy lifting is a select group of members on the Governance Review Advisory Taskforce (GRAT). The GRAT members were chosen for their broad and extensive experience in AACC leadership, for their knowledge and understanding of AACC’s strategic plan, for their vision, and for their willingness and ability to consider first and foremost the needs of the organization as a whole.
The GRAT has been charged with making a recommendation to the Board of Directors for a revamped governance system. An important characteristic of any governance system is the ability for association members to become actively engaged and involved in the leadership of the organization. This is a key consideration in all of our governance discussions. The GRAT’s ongoing assessment has shown that the current system has become unwieldy and contains elements that no longer serve the needs of the organization. As such, we anticipate some changes to the structure and process. The goal of these changes is to produce improvements in the ability of AACC to serve the needs of its members as well as new opportunities for members to serve and engage with their peers.
The AACC Board of Directors receives regular reports from the GRAT, and we expect to see a final proposal in November of this year. Between now and then, there will be opportunities for interested members to participate in the process. I am confident that the GRAT will devise a system that will serve your needs effectively and efficiently, and I expect we will begin making changes by the start of the 2016 calendar year. As with any change, full implementation will probably take some time, and I look forward to working with the leadership and staff to ensure a smooth transition.
I am confident that this governance review will make AACC even more effective in its ability to promote and advance our profession. Ultimately, the GRAT, the Board of Directors, the AACC leadership, staff and consultants all work for you, the members, to provide you the tools and resources you need to thrive in your chosen career. We take this responsibility seriously, and I for one look forward to the upcoming changes that will allow us to thrive as an organization, as individual professionals, and as a vital field in healthcare.
Dave Koch, PhD