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Category Archives: President’s Report


Long before the ongoing hot topic of IPE, NAACLS has been promoting this concept through our accreditation and approval processes. For example, our self study and site visit review processes. These external peer-review based processes, which oversee nine different disciplines, rely on experts across these disciplines during self study reviews and site visits. Subsequent reviews, such as interim and progress reports, are also conducted by peer reviewers working in committees consisting of mixed discipline representatives. NAACLS review processes bring together discipline-specific experts who create a cross-pollination of ideas that demonstrates IPE in action. Furthermore, NAACLS has always supported innovation in education and accreditation to beyond just delivery systems but also clinical experiences and unique partnerships. For example, NAACLS recently approved allowing non secondary education institutions to sponsor NAACLS approved Clinical Assistant and Phlebotomy programs. Cross-pollination of disciplines and education innovation are in sync with current initiatives promoted by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and US Department of Education.

I am truly humbled to be given the opportunity to lead a talented and dedicated group of individuals who all believe in the Mission of NAACLS; “Committed to being the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related health professions through the involvement of expert volunteers and its commitment to public service.”

As you know, NAACLS never sleeps. Below I will try to capture some of recent activities:

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  • Comments Off on President’s Report: NAACLS – Trendsetter
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By Bill Hunt, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

Greetings! Now that we are leaving winter behind and moving into spring it’s time for some updates of the activities at NAACLS. Of the 614 programs that are Approved and Accredited by NAACLS, there are 80 new program directors which equates to a 13% turnover. Welcome aboard!

This turnover is bringing multiple issues to the fore. As many program directors move into retirement, NAACLS is in need of volunteers as Self-Study Reviewers and Site Visitors. The recruitment of new volunteers is being led by Mark Spence, the Program Approval Coordinator and Volunteer Services Manager. If you are not currently a volunteer please go to the NAACLS website and fill in the form. It is the goal of NAACLS to respond and try to utilize those who fill out the application. One of the benefits of volunteering is learning how others have created their top notch programs, which are accredited or approved by NAACLS.

NAACLS continues to offer timely workshops and to plan for new ones based on frequently asked questions including the recent workshop at the Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC), “The Secrets to a Super Self-Study.” The NAACLS booth at CLEC was a great success. Not only did it allow us to recruit new volunteers, the questions asked showed us of the need to support the new and current program directors. The next NAACLS workshop will be held on November 8, 2019 in Chicago. It is aimed at new program directors, experienced program directors with programs scheduled for review, and new volunteers to assist in their acclimation to the accreditation and approval processes. Information on this workshop will be featured on the NAACLS website ( after May 15th.

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By Bill Hunt, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

As we approach the end of the year a quick reminder that NAACLS is requesting public comments on the proposed changes to the Pathologist Assistant Program requirements and the proposed changes and “updates” to the DCLS standards. During my time on the board it is surprising that minimal comments come forward when changes are proposed. It is important that we hear your voice, so please submit your comments by January 9, 2018. Details about how to submit may be found on the website or in an earlier blog post.

Our programs are not static and NAACLS must continue to develop standards to adapt.  Although I teach laboratory operations for a hospital based program and serve on the Advisory Committee I am not a full time instructor. As I look back at my career I am struck by the great instructors who taught me Medical Laboratory Science so many years ago that have shaped my professional career.

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  • Comments Off on President’s Report – NAACLS Moving Forward
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By Yasmen Simonian, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM

This is my last article as the President of the NAACLS Board of Directors. It was over twenty years ago when I started as a reviewer, site visitor, RCAP member, PARC member and then on to the Board of Directors. It has been an educational and highly rewarding journey. I have learned a lot, shared a lot, and participated in various professional presentations and meetings. Nonetheless and more importantly, I have met great colleagues and individuals that have evolved into lifetime friendships. Thank you NAACLS for this valuable opportunity.

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By Yasmen Simonian, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM


Traditional dances in Xi’an, China

It was over thirty years ago that Frankie Gibbs presented her keynote speech addressing Blood Banking in China at our Region VIII, Intermountain State Seminar (IMSS) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was an interesting talk which I never forgot. She showed us how blood was collected and how it was distributed. I wanted to see it with my own eyes and experience something different from what we did in the United States at that time.

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By Fred Rodriguez, Jr., MD, NAACLS Board of Directors

Value: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged; the monetary worth of something; relative worth, utility, or importance


The cost of something may have nothing to do with its “value”. It may have cost Picasso only $30 to $40 for paint and canvas for a painting, yet the “value” of his artwork causes his paintings to sell today for millions of dollars. But, the “value” of something is not constant (e.g. just follow the volatility of the stock market or the housing market). “Relative worth” demands constant monitoring and maintenance for “value” to be sustained.

What is the “value” of the diploma or certificate from your program (i.e. how are your graduates “valued” in the job market)? Do your graduates get a fair return for the cost of the education you provide? What do you do to assure, maintain, and enhance the relative worth, utility, or importance of your program?

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By Fred Rodriguez, Jr., MD, President, NAACLS Board of Directors

Competence: the ability to do something well (

In my last posting, I commented on “quality” (i.e., a high level of value or excellence). “Competence” may seem synonymous with “quality,” but “the ability to do something well” may (or may not) result in a “high level of value or excellence.” You can possibly be assessed as being “competent” (depending on the standards used) and not have “quality,” but you certainly cannot achieve “quality” without being “competent” (as assessed by an appropriate set of standards).

Evaluating and documenting “competence” of laboratory personnel is required by CLIA ’88, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) (and the “deemed status” accrediting agencies) mandate the assessment semi-annually for the first year of patient testing, and annually thereafter. Also mandated are the required methods for assessing “competence” (42 CFR 493:1413). These methods include:

  • Direct observation of test performance
  • Monitoring test result recording and reporting
  • Review of worksheets, QC, PT, and maintenance records
  • Direct observation of instrument maintenance
  • Assessment of test performance (PT/blind samples)
  • Assessment of problem solving skills

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