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Letter to the Editor

  • 1.  Letter to the Editor

    Posted 14 days ago

    Just a thought, but I have tired of the assumption that COVID-19 "testing" is being performed in the parking lots of many health care facilities. I have thus sent the following to several newspapers in my area (New Bedford Standard Times, Boston Globe, Fall River Herald, Taunton Daily Gazette) and suggest that you consider doing the same. Use mine, or make up your own. NOW is a great time to make this identity point.

     


    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Of Clinical Laboratory Professionals

     

    I know that you do not know who we are or what we do, but let me start with one simple revelation. Those parking lot "mobile testing centers" for Coronavirus, ARE NOT. They are "specimen collection" centers. Worked at by brave and true health care professionals, but NO testing is done there.  The actual testing is done in a clinical laboratory by clinical laboratory professionals. Did you know that we have college degrees, many with masters or doctorate degrees? We have studied topics that you might have a hard time pronouncing; Organic Chemistry, Molecular Virology, Infectious Disease, Immunohematology, Clinical Informatics, Dyslipoproteinemia, Thrombotic Evaluation, Flow Cytometric Studies, Tissue Banking, Immunohistochemistry, Pharmacogenomics, Mycology, Parasitology, Viral Optimization, etc.?

    When a patient specimen comes into the clinical laboratory, we don't just "push a button" and the answer comes out. Sometimes we collect the specimens ourselves. We do use $$$$$ analyzers (quite different from your dishwasher), but we also do complex manual testing requiring years of scientific study to get right and many with interpretive skills that you really cannot imagine (telling a promyelocyte from an immunoblast, telling Plasmodium falciparum from Babesia microti). If a test takes hours/days/weeks to perform, that is how long it takes. We are not snoozing, ignoring your needs. And yet, we manage to give your specimen (even though you may never have seen us) the fullest attention. What we do just doesn't work unless we do it that way. You may think that to us you are just a swab or venipuncture, but we get specimens from all over the hospital, and its clinics and usually from individual physician offices. We communicate regularly on highly technical scientific matters with the state department of public health and/or the CDC or other reference centers. We would like it if citizens out there know who we are, but that is not why we do what we do. We love science and want to serve the scientific needs of our patients however they enter the health care system. That said, we are not that happy about being TOTALLY UNKNOWN. Everyone forgets us. We need PPE as well, We are working extra shifts as well, We are stressed as well, We have shortages of all kinds of scientific materials. You don't have to think of us very often, but don't think we are not there trying to help you with all those other people who you hear about so often.

     

     

    James T. Griffith, Ph.D., CLS (NCA)

    Chancellor Professor Emeritus

    University Of Massachusetts



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    James Griffith
    Chancellor Professor Emeritus
    University of Massachusetts
    Dartmouth MA
    (508) 997-7616
    ------------------------------
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  • 2.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 14 days ago



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  • 3.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 13 days ago
    Highly recommend wide dissemination of this important and informative letter from Dr. Griffith, a respected friend and advocate of our profession. Thank you Jim.

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    Wayne Ketchersid
    --
    Federal Way WA
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  • 4.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 13 days ago
    Thank you for clarifying this important point. Just yesterday my colleagues were discussing the lack of clarification by ASCLS to those who are misinformed.

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    Lourdes Martinez
    Assistant Professor
    Farmingdale State College
    Farmingdale NY
    (631) 794-6610
    ------------------------------

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  • 5.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 14 days ago
    If individual efforts to generate visibility are successful, please send me links to the content. The national headquarters would like the amplify your efforts.

    Regards,

    Jim

    ------------------------------
    Jim Flanigan, CAE
    Executive Vice President
    American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
    1861 International Drive, #200 McLean, VA 22102
    o: 571-748-3746 | m: 708-359-5721
    jimf@ascls.org | @jimflanigancae
    ------------------------------

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  • 6.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 13 days ago
    Jim;
    Sorry I misunderstood this reply to me last night, I was really tired. I will let you know if I get anyone to reply. So far only Cheryl Caskey. I really do hope we get this out to a LOT of newspapers.

    Thanks
    Jim

    Sent from my iPhone



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  • 7.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 13 days ago
    This is a great strategy. As much as the strength of newspapers have waned in the last decade, they are still the foundation of news coverage. With so many local outlets, this is an effective way for members to influence not just the coverage of the profession locally, but nationally as well.

    You can think of local newspapers (including those with metropolitan coverage like the Boston Globe) as the "stem cells" of news. Through the Associated Press or television news producers who know to scan these outlets for story ideas, editorial section and letters to the editor sections help shape the news everyone sees at a national level.

    Thanks for sparking this initiative.

    Jim

    ------------------------------
    Jim Flanigan, CAE
    Executive Vice President
    American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
    1861 International Drive, #200 McLean, VA 22102
    o: 571-748-3746 | m: 708-359-5721
    jimf@ascls.org | @jimflanigancae
    ------------------------------

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  • 8.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 12 days ago
    Dr. Jim Griffin - excellent letter.
    Even in the rural areas of Kansas community spread of COVID-19 is occurring. Kansas Governor Kelly has issued a state-wide stay at home order.
    Your letter is appropriate.
    Thanks for taking the lead on this issue of drive through collections.



    ------------------------------
    [John] [Smith]
    [Past President 1974 - 75
    [ASMT]
    [Shawnee,] [Kansas]
    (913) 322-6571
    ------------------------------

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  • 9.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 12 days ago
    John;
    Thanks very much for the comment. I have another purpose in doing this. I "hoped" and indeed have found that members of our field VERY MUCH APPRECIATE someone taking the time to acknowledge them. Our members are working in clinical (and other) labs every day, but with NO recognition or appreciation from anyone. I had one local person tell me that "this is the first time I have EVER seen anything public that my Mother could read saying I am important to anything". For what it is worth, I have already "given my permission" for my version of the letter (wrote it this way for this purpose) to be used "as is" under a different person's name any where, any time.We could have classes of MLS /MLT/Phleb. students do this or anyone else.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    ------------------------------
    James Griffith
    Chancellor Professor Emeritus
    University of Massachusetts
    Dartmouth MA
    (508) 997-7616
    Forensic DNA Associates
    ------------------------------

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  • 10.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    STATE PRESIDENT
    Posted 12 days ago
    I sent Jim's article to the DE News Journal, and will let you know if it gets posted!
    Mary Ann McLane

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    Mary Ann McLane
    Professor Emeritus
    University of Delaware
    Dover DE
    (302) 740-3114
    ------------------------------

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  • 11.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 12 days ago

    Many of us have sent emails to governors, mayors and even news casts to the public.  I think everyone should send information to all of their officials as although it is sad, this is an unfortunate way for us to be recognized. I have been working diligently with IFBLS to get our message out not only from the US but from other countries I have been in contact with as well.

    Stay safe everyone!
    Pat



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    Pat Tille Ph.D. MLS(ASCP) AHI (AMT) FACSc

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  • 12.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 13 days ago
    Thanks Jim.  I will compose a letter as well.  I hope you are well.
    Best,
    Maddie

    ------------------------------
    Maddie Josephs
    Professor/Department Chair
    Community College of Rhode Island
    Rumford RI
    (401) 965-0696
    ------------------------------

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  • 13.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 10 days ago
    Hi all,

    I just sent the letter to the editor for the Honolulu Star Advertiser. I will let you all know if and when it gets published. Thanks, Jim of getting this started.

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    Marcia Armstrong
    Professor Emeritus
    --
    Honolulu HI
    (808) 955-2263
    ------------------------------

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  • 14.  RE: Letter to the Editor

    Posted 10 days ago
    I have sent a letter to the Shreveport paper as well. No response about printing yet. 


    Sent from AT&T Yahoo Mail for iPhone



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