Chicago Public High School Students to Rub Shoulders with Scientists from Around the World

ASCP’s “Building a Laboratory Workforce for the Future” aims to stem the critical workforce shortage in laboratory medicine

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Chicago (PRWEB) September 17, 2013

Nearly 200 ninth grade Chicago Public Schools students will be immersed in real-life scientific learning at a gathering of 1,500 pathologists and laboratory professionals during the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) Annual Meeting, Sept. 18-21, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

ASCP will host students from Perspectives/IIT Math and Science Academy, a CPS charter school at 3663 S. Wabash Ave., to take part in ASCP’s “Building a Laboratory Workforce for the Future,” on Friday, Sept. 20 from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A group of ASCP Career Ambassadors, a program in partnership with Roche, will lead students in hands-on educational exercises, such as looking at cells under a microscope, building DNA, and learning about the human genome. The students will also mingle with some of the world’s most renowned medical laboratory experts.

“By inviting the students to take part in interactive experiments, encouraging them to meet with medical laboratory professionals and pathologists, and offering them educational exercises to learn about amazing new scientific discoveries, we hope to expand students’ awareness of the exciting career opportunities that exist in laboratory medicine and pathology,” says Dr. E. Blair Holladay, Executive Vice President of ASCP.

Activities for “Building a Laboratory Workforce for the Future” will begin with a welcome address by Dr. Holladay, followed by a scientific scavenger hunt in the Science Connection Central Exhibit Hall where students will explore various exhibitor booths and discover answers to questions that will familiarize them with laboratory medicine.

In addition, students will attend an education session that focuses on how new technology is revolutionizing the delivery of health care. The session, Preparing for Seismic Shifts in Pathology Informatics, will be moderated by Mark Tuthill, MD, FASCP, Division Head for Pathology Informatics at the Henry Ford Health System, in Detroit, and brings together pioneers in this emerging field, known as clinical informatics.

The “Building a Laboratory Workforce for the Future” is one of several initiatives that ASCP has designed to address the critical shortage of laboratory professionals in the United States. As baby boomers get older, they require more diagnostic testing which is increasing pressure on the nation’s medical laboratories. Additionally, the majority of laboratory professionals are approaching retirement.

To address these issues, ASCP has partnered with Roche, one of the world's leading research-based healthcare companies, for many years to offer the ASCP Career Ambassador Program, in which ASCP members who are laboratory professionals visit high schools across the nation to engage students in conversations about careers in laboratory medicine. Last year alone, the Career Ambassadors met with more than 10,000 high school students.

Through the Siemens-ASCP Scholarship Program, $1.5 million in scholarships has been given to more than 1,200 students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in medical laboratory science.

In 2004, ASCP established the Resident Subspecialty Grant Program to provide financial support for pathology residents seeking to broaden their knowledge in a particular subspecialty. Since then, more than $100,000 in subspecialty grants has been awarded to 85 pathology residents.

About the American Society for Clinical Pathology
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. For more information, visit http://www.ascp.org.

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