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The NAACLS News

Your home base for all NAACLS announcements, news and special features

NAACLS will conduct a workshop webinar titled, Let’s Take a Ride Through the NAACLS Standards,” on February 24, 2021, from 7:30am-4:00pm CST.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the flexibility of the NAACLS Accreditation Process and Standards to ensure programs continue to meet the compliance requirements while adapting and innovating. Actual innovative methods used by NAACLS accredited programs will be discussed.

Upon completion of this workshop, the participants should be able to:

1.     Review the NAACLS accreditation and approval processes

2.     Design a NAACLS accreditation timeline and plan to prepare for the self-study and site visit

3.     Describe how the NAACLS Standards are flexible and allow for innovation in meeting the standard requirements

4.     Ensure program assessment and continuous improvement plan includes evaluation of innovations and modifications implemented in the program

ASCLS P.A.C.E. and ASCP approve NAACLS as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences. This workshop is an intermediate level program. The following contact hours will be awarded at the workshop: ASCLS = 7; ASCP = 7.

The workshop will be presented by:

Charity E. Accurso, PhD, MLS(ASCP)cm, Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Accurso is the Four-Year Educator on the NAACLS Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP).

Laura Ahonen, MS, MT(ASCP), Program Director of the MLT and Phlebotomy Programs at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, WI. Ms. Ahonen is the Chair and a Phlebotomy Educator on the NAACLS Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC).

Registration fees and deadlines are as follows:

$225/person (EARLY BIRD FEE paid in full by 2/3/21)

$250/person (GENERAL FEE paid in full BETWEEN 2/4/21 and 2/17/21)

Please visit https://naacls.org/ for more information and to register. We hope to have you join us in February!

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The NAACLS Board of Directors is considering transitioning approved programs to accredited programs and phasing out the term “approved”. Over the past three years, the NAACLS Program Approval Review Committee (PARC) has engaged in internal discussions regarding the definition and challenges of the term “approval.” Discussions were initially stimulated by approved programs that wished to have a NAACLS site visit. Recently the PARC considered the challenges that hospital-based approved programs have securing Medicare funding for students stemming from not being “accredited” by NAACLS. A task force made of PARC members met to discuss both broader conceptual reasons as well as detailed operational ramifications of transitioning phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs to a review process consistent with NAACLS accredited programs. The task force, and PARC at large, tried to consider the matter from all angles.

It is essential to consider that phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs go through a peer-review process, administered by content experts, and held to a set of standards. In essence, this process is what describes accreditation. NAACLS elected to label this process as approval for phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs. While the reasoning of why NAACLS started using the term “approval” is unclear now, what is clear is the term leads to confusion by the public, frustration by the Council of Higher Education and Accreditation (NAACLS’ recognition agency), and presents unnecessary boundaries to program directors.

The NAACLS Board of Directors is considering transitioning approved phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs from their current quality assurance process (the review process consisting of only a self-study with a five-year maximum award for programs) to a quality assurance process consistent with the disciplines that NAACLS accredits (a review process requiring a self-study and site visit with a ten-year maximum award).

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NAACLS is seeking candidates for our Programs Review Committees and Board of Directors. Individuals are encouraged to self-nominate for roles they are interested in, as well as nominating others. 

The following positions will be open for election in 2020:

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Two Year Educator (an individual who is employed by a community, technical or junior college but not credentialed in any of the areas that NAACLS accredits or approves and/or whose primary livelihood is derived from the laboratory industry) – 1

Public Member (an individual whose primary livelihood is not derived from the laboratory industry) – 1

Self- nominations for these Board of Director positions should complete this electronic application by February 1st 2020.

All other nominations should be sent to  Mark Spence, Volunteer Services Manager by February 1st, 2020. Be sure to include the nominees name, current position, and email address in the message.

REVIEW COMMITTEE FOR ACCREDITED PROGRAMS (RCAP)

Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Educator – 2

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Educator – 1

Cytogenetic Technologist (CG) Educator – 1

Four Year Educator– 1

PROGRAM APPROVAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (PARC)

Phlebotomy Educator – 3

DOCTORAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (DRC)

Clinical Laboratory Sciences Industry Executive or Leader ( an individual with an earned graduate degree in a clinical laboratory science profession or related field; works in an industry/company that employs medical laboratory scientists [MLS] and/or works with clinical laboratory organizations; has an interest in fostering professional growth in the clinical laboratory sciences professions) – 1

Dept. Chair, Vice President/Provost, or Dean (an individual holding an earned terminal degree [PhD, EdD, MD, or DCLS]; has service as a Department Chair, Vice President/Provost or Dean at an organization that offers doctoral level programs in one or more healthcare profession(s); has knowledge of the principles and processes of accreditation) – 1 

Self- nominations for these committee positions should complete this electronic application by February, 1st 2020.

All other nominations should be sent to  Mark Spence, Volunteer Services Manager by February 1st, 2021. Be sure to include the nominees name, current position, and email address in the message.

All submitted nominations will be forwarded for a vote to the NAACLS Board of Directors in April 2021.

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By Dianne M. Cearlock, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

At the September 24, 2020 meeting of the NAACLS Board of Directors, in addition to accreditation and approval awards recommended by the Review Committee on Accredited Programs (RCAP) and the Program Approval Review Committee (PARC), the following items were addressed:

Elections for Board of Director officer positions were held. Peter Hu, PhD, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM,  CGCM, MBCM, FACSc, FASAHP, continues for a second and final year as President. Elected as President Elect is Maribeth Flaws, PhD, MLS(ASCP) CM, as Secretary is Marisa K. James, MA, MT(ASCP) CM, and as Treasurer is Joel M. Shilling, MD(FASCP). Julie O’Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD, FASAHP, returns as Member at Large. Additionally, President Hu appointed various Board members to serve as standing committee chairs and review committee liaisons. Leaving the Board after two four-year terms is Patricia Ellinger, MSEd, MLS(ASCP)SBB.

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The NAACLS Board of Directors is requesting public comment for proposed Standards changes. To view the potential changes, as well as the process to submit your comments, please download the file linked below.

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By Megan Eggert, Meetings and Events Planner

NAACLS has extended its registration deadline for its Fall Workshop Webinar to November 6, 2020.

 “The NAACLS Process and Standards – a Peek Behind the Curtain,” will be held on November 13, 2020 from 7:30am-4:00pm and will be presented by Dawn Tripolino, MBA, MT(ASCP), Vice Chair and Phlebotomy Educator of the Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC), and Dale Telgenhoff, PhD, HTL(ASCP)cm, Member and HT Educator on the Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP).

Upon completion of the workshop, and with the opportunity to discuss questions, the participant should be able to:

  • Review the NAACLS accreditation and approval processes
  • Related NAACLS process concepts to specific program challenges
  • Describe key elements of NAACLS Standards and Compliance Guide
  • Identify Standards that are often problematic
  • Related the Standards and Guide to specific program types.

Please visit www.naacls.org for more information and to register. We prefer at this late date credit card payments, but will accept check payments as well.

We hope you will register to join us on November 13th!

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By Peter Hu, PhD, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM,  CGCM, MBCM, FACSc, FASAHP

President, NAACLS Board of Directors

Greetings, colleagues! It is hard to believe it has been nearly a year since I wrote the previous “President’s Report” for the NAACLS Blog. Many things have happened, and some we are still living through. Nevertheless, clinical laboratorians are tough, resilient, and can critically think their way through just about any situation. Below is a summary of some of the top NAACLS activities during this past year.

As you know, the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes NAACLS. Like us, they are always looking for ways to improve their quality assurance processes.  CHEA’s requirements for transparency, including accreditors and programs posting outcomes and program accreditation award details, are constantly evolving and will become more prescriptive in the future. To accommodate this requirement, NAACLS may have to make some policy and standard changes in the future.

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The 2020 NAACLS Annual Survey of Programs is scheduled to be sent to all program directors via email soon. Programs will have one month to complete the Annual Survey, which is required by NAACLS Standards. A preview of the questions to expect on the Annual Survey can be found here: https://naacls.org/other/annual-survey.aspx.

If you are not sure we have an accurate email address for your program (you can check this on find a program on our website), please inform the correct staff person (which you can find here).

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By Megan Eggert, Meetings and Events Planner

NAACLS will conduct a workshop webinar titled, ““The NAACLS Process & Standards – A Peek Behind the Curtain,” on November 13, 2020, from 7:30am-4:00pm.

Upon completion of the workshop, and with the opportunity to discuss questions, the participant should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the value accreditation brings to your program and the profession.
  • Recognize from both author and reviewer perspective the keys to a successful review.
  • Describe each NAACLS standard and recognize potential challenges for your program.
  • Utilize the Standards Compliance Guide and other NAACLS resources to write clear and complete accreditation/approval self study reports.

ASCLS P.A.C.E. and ASCP approve NAACLS as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences. This workshop is an intermediate level program. The following contact hours will be awarded at the workshop: ASCLS = 7; ASCP = 7.

The workshop will be presented by Dale Telgenhoff, PhD, HTL(ASCP)cm and Dawn Tripolino, MBA, MT(ASCP). Dawn Tripolino, MBA, MT(ASCP), is Program Director of the MLS Program at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. Ms. Tripolino is a Phlebotomy Educator and Vice Chair of the NAACLS Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC). Dale Telgenhoff, PhD, HTL(ASCP)cm, is Associate Professor, Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Dr. Telgenhoff is a HT Educator on the Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP).

Registration fees and deadlines are as follows:

$225/person (EARLY BIRD FEE paid in full by 10/16/20)

$250/person (GENERAL FEE paid in full BETWEEN 10/17/20 and 10/30/20)

Registration for this event is limited to 150 participants.

 Please visit https://www.naacls.org/News/Workshops.aspx for more information and to register. We hope to have you join us for our first Workshop Webinar in November!

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by Dianne M. Cearlock, PhD and CEO and Mark Spence, Volunteer Services Manager

The year 2020 brought a number of “first time ever” events to NAACLS. The COVID-19 pandemic really intensified in March in the United States. Schools at all levels closed their doors to in-person education and either suspended education entirely or shifted to online formats for delivery. NAACLS accredited and approved programs, whether sponsored by educational or medical institutions, experienced waves of changes similar to K-12 schools and healthcare clinics and services. Drastic actions were taken to support the health of communities. All the while the need for new and competent graduates in the clinical laboratory sciences and other healthcare services exploded. Clearly, it was in the best interest of communities nationwide to keep NAACLS programs turning out clinical laboratory professionals to staff clinical laboratories, perform testing, and help stressed healthcare systems answer the pandemic challenges.

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