Cindy Steele, M.S., SCT(ASCP), CAC Chair 2003
Jennifer Clark, SCT(ASCP), CAC Chair-Elect 2004
The Cytotechnology Advisory Committee (CAC) is again fortunate to have dedicated and knowledgeable cytotechnologist representation this year. The CAC members have extended themselves to get direct feedback from cytotechnologist members and to act as a responsible conduit for their concerns.
It is altogether appropriate that any organization periodically review its mission, effectiveness and goals. Toward that end, the CAC undertook a self-study and open survey to members to fine-tune its obligations and mission for the future. The response to these surveys was overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the CAC as the “voice of the cytotechnologist.” Specific concerns regarding the effectiveness and direction of the CAC were brought forth, and those will be addressed in the restructuring that will be voted on at this year’s CAC meeting. It is clear that a sense of purpose and specific goals with measurable outcomes could improve the efficacy of the CAC and its impact on supporting and promoting cytotechnologists. Overall, the responses were very positive and encouraged the continuance of the CAC in the role of guardian for cytotechnologist issues.
The CAC is intent on assisting cytotechnologists to move into the future with knowledge and skill. Therefore, with the guidance of CAC members, Dr. E. Blair Holladay, and Jean Taylor, the CAC was charged by the ASC Executive Board to conduct a feasibility study to determine if cytotechnologists are allowed to perform molecular testing in the United States. Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed that there are no provisions in the CLIA regulations that preclude cytotechnologists from performing molecular testing, and therefore, cytotechnologists are cleared to perform high complexity testing under the federal regulations. Twenty-five of fifty states have no licensure provisions that may add additional regulatory considerations to CLIA. Subsequently, CLIA officials within each of the 25 states with laboratory licensure were contacted to determine if their state had provisions, which preclude cytotechnologists from performing molecular testing. Twenty-three of the 25 state officials responded in writing (Nevada and Connecticut failed to respond). Of these 23 states, only two states (Florida and California) have provisions that preclude cytotechnologists from performing molecular testing. One additional state (Tennessee) is still under evaluation. Continuing to address this important area, Dr. Holladay, Kevin Schofield (CAC member) and Lynnette Savaloja expanded this important area of interest into a sell-out workshop for the ASC Orlando meeting “Molecular Diagnostics for the Cytotechnologist.”
Under the guidance of CAC member Patricia Prokorym, the CAC is reaching out to representatives of the State and Regional Organizations (SRO) with a proposal for jointly sponsored regional/ ASC annual meetings. These meeting would be structured in such a way as to have one or two established speakers and the other speakers could be more local with an emphasis on cytotechnologist presenters.
Ursula Bedrossian, PhD, another CAC member, coordinated our many contributions to the ASC Bulletin this year, including her own articles on “What Keeps Us at Our Scopes?” The CAC also sponsored the ASC “First-Timers Gathering,” which was a success in Salt Lake City last year. We hope that this annual gathering will encourage continued participation of new members and is a way for seasoned ASC members to mentor new member involvement in the ASC.
The CAC initiated a new ASC list serve specifically for the cytotechnologist and student members. We did so with the hope that this would be a more informal means for the cytotechnologist members to come forward with their questions and share information with their colleagues.
New CAC Members
This year the CAC was fortunate to add two new talented committee members. As these two nominees were eminently qualified and matched the two available openings, these members were de facto elected, and no formal election was held. We are pleased to announce that Indra Balachandran, Ph.D., SCT(ASCP)CMIAC and Amber Donnelly, SCT(ASCP) are now part of the CAC.
Dr. Balachandran has an extensive and impeccable record of academic achievements and professional cytology publications. Her educational background is replete with high honors and awards, and extends from the University of Madras in India to the State University of New York at Syracuse (SUNY), where she received her Doctorate in Adult Education. Her enthusiastic approach to teaching and care for her students have sparked many careers, and her workshops are always absorbed with interest by our colleagues. She has an extensive background in teaching and currently serves as an Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, after serving many years as a Program Instructor at SUNY. Welcome Indra, we are honored by your participation in the CAC!
Ms. Donnelly currently serves as the Cytotechnology Program Director at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She is an honors graduate of the University of Oklahoma and is currently matriculating towards her Masters degree in Public Health. Amber has been President of the Iowa Society of Cytology and active in taking her cytology knowledge to the local community by volunteering with the Viet-American Cervical Cancer Prevention Project. Welcome Amber!
For 2005 and beyond, the CAC plans to focus on identifying needs and creating educational opportunities for ASC members who are not able to attend ASC meetings. Additionally, at the 2003 CAC meeting, the CAC will be voting on specific measures to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs and promote concrete goals with measurable outcomes. The CAC will propose specific goals of achievement and the needs of our constituency, and produce measurable outcome guidelines for ASC Executive Board review.
Chair-Elect 2005Congratulations to Jean Taylor, M.S., SCT(ASCP), who has been chosen as the new CAC Chair-Elect for 2005. Jean is an enthusiastic member of the CAC with an extensive teaching background and we look forward to her guidance.
The CAC has worked hard to address issues brought to us by members and has sought feedback through various means. Communication and reaction to constituent issues remain first and foremost, our most important goals. The CAC extends its gratitude to Dr. Wilbur and the ASC Executive Board members for their guidance and support, and we look forward to working closely with Dr. Powers to mentor the cytotechnologists of the future!