Whether you’re a first-time attendee or veteran of the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, AACC Artery offers plenty of opportunities to gear up for the 71st conclave in Anaheim, California. Normally an AACC members-only benefit, this vibrant online community is inviting all 2019 attendees to participate in the Annual Scientific Meeting forum, to ask questions, and connect with colleagues in advance of the meeting. At the meeting itself, an Artery-sponsored Hot Topics session and Happy Hour offer more venues to network, learn, and advance professionally.

For Danyel Tacker PhD, DABCC, FADLM, participating in the Artery is like attending the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting year-round. “The Artery is special because it is specifically geared to be a safe, collaborative environment for online/real-time discussion between AACC members and others with access around the world,” said Tacker, an Artery ambassador and director of clinical chemistry at West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown. So many great questions and discussions take place in Artery forums, she added.

“I always learn something when I review or participate in a discussion on the Artery. I know when I ask a question that there is a high likelihood that someone with some insight will reach back and answer. It seems like I’m never alone in my consideration of new clinical questions, with the Artery close at hand,” Tacker told CLN Stat.

In keeping with this spirit of open communication, Tacker, along with fellow Artery ambassador Tiffany Roberts PhD, DABCC, DABHI, and Annual Meeting Organizing Committee member Christopher McCudden, PhD, DABCC, NRCC, FADLM, collaborated on a First-Time Attendee’s Survival Guide, which gives first-time attendees tips for making the most of the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo.

In addition, the Artery Annual Scientific Meeting Forum provides a virtual gathering place for all registrants, “like a meeting before the meeting, if you will,” said Tacker. It’s a great way to connect with fellow attendees before heading out to Anaheim. This forum enables AACC members, nonmembers, first-time attendees, and veterans of the Annual Scientific Meeting to ask questions and access fresh content tailored to the unique features of the meeting’s scientific sessions, host city, and events. Tacker anticipates activity on the forum will increase as the meeting date approaches. “We already have some threads posted to encourage discussion, with more to come. I invite all readers to visit the Annual Scientific Meeting Forum, say hello, and encourage those who might be unfamiliar with the Annual Scientific Meeting and/or the Artery to participate,” she urged.

The Artery Hot Topics 2019 scientific session on August 8 continues this spirit of community and sharing knowledge. Tacker, and Roberts, joined by Sean Campbell, PhD, will discuss three topics that generated the most discussions in 2018, including individualized quality assurance, gestational diabetes screens, and urine drug screens. Artery Ambassadors—members who volunteer as Artery facilitators and leaders—reviewed threads with the most discussions, and “a few of us stepped forward with an offer to discuss threads that resonated with us and/or were likely to encourage further discussion,” Tacker explained.

Roberts, a transplant immunologist at KentuckyOne Health Jewish Hospital’s Trager Transplant Center in Louisville will discuss individualized quality control while Campbell, an assistant director of hematology and coagulation at Montefiore Medical Center in Yonkers, New York, will outline best practices in gestational glucose screening. Meanwhile, Tacker will dive into urine drug screening challenges. “The goal in each presentation is to briefly outline the thread, present supporting consensus or updated information, and invite questions or commentary,” Tacker said. The session will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon and is worth 1.5 ACCENT credit hours.

The Artery Happy Hour on August 6 will blend fun and networking in one event, fostering more in-person connections. The event, open to AACC members only, will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the AACC booth (4353) in the Clinical Lab Expo Hall. All guests must register through the Artery invitation on the Annual Scientific Meeting Forum.

The Artery is AACC’s year-round online community, a place for members to network with other members, build connections, and get answers to critical questions. Laboratorians can also find great discussions on recent articles, Annual Scientific Meeting sessions, as well as industry hot topics. Enjoy all of what this online community has to offer at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Anaheim. Register now to participate in the Artery’s online forum and amp up your professional network.