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Free ASCLS HI mask

December 20, 2020

Aloha ASCLS Hawaii Members,

The ASCLS Hawaii leadership and the members of the Taskforce want to give all of you a little holiday gift for your dedication and professionalism during this pandemic. See the flyer below to request a ASCLS Hawaii face Mask, use the link, QR code or send form to hawaiicls@gmail.com.  Have a happy and safe holiday.

Claire Muranaka
ASCLS Hawaii President

Request form

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2020 ASCLS Hawaii Scholarship Awards

October 22, 2020

Christine Svrcina and Joshua Velasco were awarded the ASCLS HI Student Scholarships for 2020.  They each received $2500.

Christine is a student in the UH Manoa MLS program after graduating from the KCC MLT program.  She is working at Castle Memorial Laboratory and has been active in ASCLS HI, serving as the Developing Professional representative on the 2020-2021 ASCLS Board, leading the 2019 MLS/MLT Student Mixer, and instructing students in the HOSA conference for high school students and the UH Manoa Week of Welcome.

Joshua received a BS Chemistry degree before graduating from the UH MLS program.  He will be doing his clinical rotation at Tripler.

Rebecca Kanenaka, Treasurer, and Claire Muranaka, President of ASCLS HI are also pictured in the photos.

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ASCLS HI Attendees Report on the 2020 JAM

August 20, 2020

See the attached reports from members who attended the 2020 Virtual Joint Annual Meeting, June 28-July 2, 2020.

Opening Keynote

Leadership Academy


House of Delegates

Closing Keynote

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UH Manoa MT program Welcomes Incoming Students

August 20, 2020

The UH MT program offered a virtual introduction of clinical laboratory testing to the incoming class of students this fall. Nine students will start classes next week.  Sheri Gon, instructor at the UH MT program, was the host for the program. 
Christine Svrcina demonstrated phlebotomy and hematology, Charmaine Kuehne demonstrated ABO typing, Susan Naka explained bacterial cultures, and Ray Yamaguchi demonstrated the flu direct antigen immunoassay.
Participants took advantage of the opportunity and directed questions to Christine, who described her experience working as an MLT while attending UH,  and Charmaine, who offered advice to second degree students.


ASCLS HI Participates in 2020 Girl Scout Virtual STEMfest

August 17, 2020

This year's Girl Scout STEMfest was held in a virtual environment, with participants signing in to view presentations in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  Sheri Gon, Kelie Augustine, and Susan Naka introduced middle school aged viewers to the clinical laboratory by demonstrating ABO blood typing, bacterial cultures, and stained blood cell smear elements. 

Sheri, Kelie, and Susan fielded questions such as "What is DNA?," What is the hardest part of your job?," "Why does a gram stain of streptococcus look like a string of pearls."

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Amendments to ASCLS HI Bylaws Approved

June 17, 2020

The proposed amendments to our Bylaws was adopted by at least two thirds vote of members attending the ASCLS HI 2020 Annual Business Meeting on June 17, 2020.   The amendments change our membership classes to mirror those approved by the House of Delegates at the 2018 ASCLS Annual Meeting.  

The amended changes are in bold:

B.  Membership Classes

The general qualifications for each class of membership are as follows:  Each category of membership requires that the individual be a member of a constituent society.  For each category of membership:


Professional membership shall be open to all persons certified or engaged in the education process and/or the practice of the clinical laboratory sciences, including those with an active interest supporting the goals of the Society.

Community (formerly Collaborative).

Community membership shall be open to any individual with an interest in developing the goals of this society.

Emeritus Member:

Emeritus membership shall be opened to any member who has achieved a minimum standard of continuous membership and age.

Developing Professional (formerly Student):

Developing Professional membership shall be open to any person enrolled in a program of clinical laboratory studies.


Honorary membership shall be awarded by vote of the ASCLS House of Delegates in recognition of outstanding service or contributions to the field of clinical laboratory science. 

Ascending Professional (new class):

Ascending Professional membership is opened to any individual eligible for professional membership, if the individual has not held previous membership other than Developing Professional or Ascending Professional in this Society and is within five (5) years of graduation from a program of clinical laboratory studies.

C.           Rights and Privileges

Professional members are entitled to all rights and privileges to include voting, holding office and serving in any formal capacity recognized by the ASCLS.

Emeritus members are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the ASCLS associated with that class of membership held at the time of application for emeritus membership.

Developing Professional members are entitled to serve as voting members of the ASCLS House of Delegates when serving as official delegates from the Society, and to have all other rights and privileges of the ASCLS with the exception of holding elective office..

Ascending Professional members are granted all the rights and privileges of Professional members.

Community and Honorary members are entitled to all rights and privileges of the ASCLS with the exception of voting, holding elective office or appointive positions.

Any member of this Society may serve as consultant or advisor to any committee.

Membership with all rights and privileges shall be forfeited by any member who is in arrears in the payment of dues, as defined by ASCLS.

Article IV – Board of Directors

B.           Composition

The number of voting directors shall be seven (7) – the President, President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Past President, elected Director, and the President of the Developing Professional Forum. A board member may be eligible for re-election, but may not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms. All members of the board with the exception of the Developing Professional, at the time of their election, must have been professional or emeritus members of the Society for one year immediately prior to their election.

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Class of 2020
MLS Graduates

June 9, 2019

See our latest graduates from the UH MT program.  Missing are Joshua Tolentino and Joshua Velasco.

Med Tech Class of 2020

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Congratulations to Kelie Augustine

 ASM-HI Treasurer

June 8, 2020

Kelie Augustine, an ASCLS-HI member, has been elected Treasurer of the Hawaii Branch, American Society for Microbiology (HI-ASM).  Her term begins July 1, 2020 and runs until June 30, 2022.  Kelie graduated from UH Manoa with a BS in Medical Technology in 2013 and teaches clinical microbiology (of which she is particularly fond) as well as clinical biochemistry and immunohematology at Kapi`olani Community College in the MLT program.  She also works with Abbott Rapid Diagnostics as a Technical Consultant for their infectious disease products.

In addition, Kelie was awarded the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)  "Peggy Cotter Travel Award" (named after a Past-President of ASM) earlier this year.  This award provides financial support ($1650) to allow for outstanding early career (up to 10 years post terminal degree) members of ASM and its local branches to attend the national ASM meeting in 2021.

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2020 Omicron Sigma Awardees

June 3, 2020

Click on link to see our 2020 Omicron Sigma awardees.


NMLPW Photo Contest Final Winners

April 29, 2020

Congratulations to Margo Aquino and Lindsey/Jacque, winners for the last week of our NMLPW photo contest! Their photos were drawn from 15 entries submitted through Facebook or Instagram.  Overall grand prize winner was David Nakasato!  Congratulations to everyone who participated and to all medical laboratory professionals diligently working hard in these challenging times.  Mahalo!

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Hawaii's medical lab pros diligent behind scenes
Star Advertiser, April 5, 2020

April 26, 2020

Marcia Armstrong wrote this article for the Honolulu Star Advertiser recognizing the key role played by clinical laboratory professionals in Hawaii's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hawaii's med lab pros


National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (NMLPW)

April 19-25, 2020

April 12, 2020

Life as we know it has changed drastically since COVID-19. We are witnessing a global pandemic that affects all walks of life. Through it all, the dedicated work of medical laboratory professionals continues. In addition to providing diagnostic test results to all parts of healthcare, medical laboratory professionals now add SARS-CoV-2 testing to their duties.

Let’s take a moment to celebrate and promote the medical laboratory profession by taking part in a photo contest.

1. Take a photo that captures an activity that you can attach a caption, “I’m a Medical Laboratory Professional and description of your contribution”. (Examples: “I’m a Medical .... and I provide compatible transfusion units for you.”; “I’m … and “I can tell you are immune to hepatitis B.”)

NOTE: Please observe all rules regarding taking photos in your lab. If you are not allowed to take photos in your lab, take a selfie with your caption.

2. Post your photos starting today to Instagram or Facebook.  Be sure to use the hashtag #ASCLS and #ASCLS_HAWAII so we can find your photo.

3. Provide your name, laboratory, job title, contact email or a phone/text to messenger (ascls hawaii) or DM (@ascls_hawaii)

All photos will qualify you to enter a random prize drawing. Two winners will be drawn weekly on April 12, 19, and 26. On, April 28, 2020 we’ll draw a grand prize winner.

Be proud and post those photos.

Medical Laboratory Professionals get results!

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President's Message

April 4, 2020

TO:  ASCLS-HI Membership

FR:  Sheri Gon, ASCLS-HI President

RE:  These are Trying Times

Aloha mai kakou (greetings everyone),

Last July, I returned from Charlotte, North Carolina after attending the ASCLS-AGT Joint Annual Meeting (JAM). I was energized and ready to fill my position as President of ASCLS-HI. My enthusiastic team of ASCLS-HI leadership was ready to begin their 2019-2020 term.  In 2018, we had completed our strategic planning for short-term and long-term goals so our 2019-2020 term would be a continuation of projects we had already started. 

ASCLS-HI reinstituted a student scholarship program. We awarded two student scholarships for the first time in a long while. The Program Committee was busy securing speakers for the Hawaii Clinical Laboratory Conference in May. The HCLC Planning Committee was in communication with Kapiolani Community College, the venue that would host our annual meeting and exhibit. ASCLS-HI Board members committed to several spring activities to promote the profession to middle school, high school, and college students. All these activities came to a screeching halt in March when COVID-19 interfered with our daily lives.

Social distancing to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, requires that we halt all group activities. HCLC was cancelled along with the recruitment activities with middle, high school, and college students. We are now encountering life in the time of COVID-19.

Healthcare is adapting to COVID-19. Clinics and surgeries are cancelled, and most physicians are doing telehealth to avoid face-to-face encounters. SARS-CoV-2 testing takes priority and many labs are doing their best to keep up with demand. Students are receiving instruction online for the rest of the semester. Life and work continue but under the threat of a highly transmissible respiratory illness.

Fortunately, the use of distance technology avoids unnecessary exposure. National, regional, and local ASCLS leadership are connected digitally and communicating often. ASCLS-HI is using Zoom to conduct business and will hold our next Board meeting virtually. Our roles and responsibilities as ASCLS leadership will continue.

We are facing the realities of a global pandemic as best we can according to the knowledge and resources we have as individuals and as medical laboratory professionals. Practice responsible social distancing without distancing yourself from your community. In trying times like this, we should be mindful of maintaining not only our physical health but also our emotional and spiritual well-being. Mahalo for all you do as Medical Laboratory Professionals. You are all vital.

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What the Heck is a Med Tech?

March 1, 2020

The HOSA Conference is an annual statewide conference for HOSA clubs in Hawaii high schools.  Students interested in the health professions join HOSA in their respective high school.  
At this year's HOSA Conference held at the Hawaii Convention Center, Angela Hose and Charmaine Mayeda from DLS and
Susan Naka, retired from Hawaii Dept. of Health, described "What  the Heck is a Med Tech" to over 100 students. 
Under the guidance of MT students Christina Svrcina and Gabriel Seril,
HOSA students performed an ABO-Rh blood type on an unknown specimen. 
Sheri Gon, instructor at UH Manoa Med Tech program and current President of ASCLS HI, has been a judge for many years at the HOSA Conference in the Biomedical Laboratory Science competition.  This year 6 students competed for team points by identifying laboratory equipment and performing an ABO blood type.
Through activities like these ASCLS HI is supporting the development of future clinical laboratory scientists

High Fives

UH MLS and MLT Student Poster

Stability of Glucose in Fluoride Tubes

March 13, 2020

Link to poster:

Fluoride Does Not Immediately Preserve Glucose in Sample Tube

The John A. Burns School of Medicine's annual Biomedical and Health Disparities Symposium is held annually, where undergraduate, graduate, medical students, residents, clinicians, and others submit posters to be exhibited. There are also lectures by world famous researchers and clinicians. This year, a group of our juniors and seniors and Shepherd from KCC MLT participated in the project. We tend to assume that grey top tube would preserve glucose in the blood sample. But we have read studies that suggest that might not be true. So we did a small scale study to confirm results of those studies. It turned out they were right. Glucose collected in grey top tube actually will decrease significantly in the first one to two hours. Thus, we now question the common practice of collecting grey top tubes for glucose testing, which might be done at a remote testing lab hours later.

Click on link above to view the poster. 

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What have our UH MLS students been up to?

January 8, 2020

Dick Y. Teshima

A UHM MEDT Update: Students make small re-discoveries with potentially big implications

Did you know that University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) Medical Technology students present academic posters at symposia every year? Issues examined by students are basic. But the data they generate can be surprising and have potentially important implications for our labs.

This “tradition” began in 2012 when Laura McKeon took the initiative to develop a poster entitled “Clinical Microbiologists.” Presented at the Hawaii Chapter of the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting, it was a big hit because researchers and graduate students were mostly unaware of this career option. Since then, students have been presenting a poster each year at the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Biomedical Science and Health Disparities Symposium.

“Degenerative Changes in Blood Cell Morphology as EDTA Samples Age (contributors Butrick, Cadelina, Choi, Lio, Lum, Tarango)” looked at how leukocyte morphology change over time and how that affects differential counts. As remote site blood collection becomes common place, delay in testing and problems with specimen packaging or transportation become important issues for the testing labs. The UHM team observed the degenerative changes over a 4-day period and found that percentages of bands and segmented neutrophils decreased as degenerative forms increased (i.e., necrobiotic). Interestingly, percentages of lymphocytes, eosinophil and basophil remained the same. It was a very basic project, but to everyone’s delight a full report was published in the July 2017 MLO journal!

Another team re-examined the rationale for the order of blood draw. Phlebotomists adhere to the order-of-draw rule, but is violating it really that bad? In “The Order of Blood Draw and Its Effect on Coagulation Screening Tests (Li, Diaz, Onishi, Ruamsap, Seo, Schmiege),” students drew a heparin tube before (improper order) and after (proper order) the citrate tubes. Citrate samples were be processed for prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) tests. Lo and behold, even though the scale of the experiment was small, results showed significant prolongations in both PT and APTT when a heparin tube was drawn before the citrate tube.

Today, we see a proliferation of point-of-care tests (POCT) which can be performed by non-lab personnel. “Does Hematocrit Affect HbA1c on POCT Devices? (Banez, Duke, Kawamoto, Kuehne, Le, Onodera)” was a project to see if HbA1c results could be affected by simply altering the hematocrit level of a sample. Hematocrit can vary with excessive fluid intake, dehydration, acute hemorrhage, or even after a blood donation. Also “milking” the finger during capillary blood collection could dilute the sample with tissue fluid, thus falsely lowering the hematocrit. Guess what? After a series of experiments, the team found a small but consistent negative correlation between hematocrit and HbA1c results.

Highlights of other projects:

  • “Reticulocyte Count: An Important Indicator of Anemia (Advincula, Cachola, Cho, Hirata, Gon, Morton)”: Reticulocyte counts incubated at 24°C was higher than at 20°C. The term “ambient” temperature may need to be more precisely defined.

  • “Effect of Preanalytical Factors on Clinical Lab Analyses (Basa, Koito, Takamune, Yoon)”: Pre-analytical factors that could adversely affect the lab tests were reviewed, including hemolysis, lipemia, micro-clots, leukocytosis, blood collection procedures, and labeling.

  • “Comparison of Urinary Specific Gravity Reading by Different Methods (Auyong, Callejo, Lam, Ying)”: Specific gravity measurements by refractometry and reagent strips were compared after adjusting the concentrations with glucose (non-ionizing) and NaCl.

  • “False Positive D-Dimers Due to In-Vitro Clotting (Blanco, Ebisu, Haitsuka, Ichinose, Isidro, Le, Nam, Yamaguchi)”: If the EDTA sample clotted, D-dimers in a normal sample become detectable as early as 120 minutes after blood draw.

This year a team is working on a project to confirm the anti-glycolytic effect of fluoride. How effective is the grey top tube in preserving blood glucose level? Preliminary data seem to suggest that the whole blood glucose levels in fluoride tube and heparin tubes decrease at the same rate for 2-3 hours. If so, have we been using the grey top tubes with a false sense of security that glucose would be preserved while waiting for the test to be performed? What implication does it have on blood alcohol tests, which are also collected in grey tops?

Basic experiments give students a chance to review fundamental lab principles and be more critical with data analyses. Some of their “pilot” studies may merit larger scale investigations. Happy New Year! (For more info, contact dick@hawaii.edu)

Crowd Cheering

January 22, 2020 Mid year Meeting

January 8, 2020

2020 ASCLS-HI Mid-Year Business Meeting

January 22, 2020

Natsunoya Teahouse

1935 Makanani Drive

Honolulu Hawaii  96817

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

ASCLS Hawaii members will enjoy a delicious complimentary dinner at Natsunoya Tea House followed by a presentation by Rachel Bambusch at 6:00 pm

Rachel is the current Senior Manager of TPL (Third Party Liability) and Benefits Recovery at HMSA.

Her areas of expertise include operational excellence, management consulting, and engineering.

She earned her degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University.

She is also certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt ASQ, SAFe Agilist. A SAFe Agilist is a Lean-Thinking Manager -Teacher, who applies the values and principles of a Lean-Agile Mindset. She creates high-performing teams and leads the transformation with the SAFe Implementation Roadmap.

Rachel’s presentation, “Bridging the Gap in a Multigenerational Workforce” is especially helpful in our current work environment where employees’ life experiences span a large time period. You will learn how each generation responds differently to internal and external forces.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the diversity of our workforce, our different backgrounds, needs and expectations in order to build effective teams and avoid friction.

  2. Describe how to utilize and harness multigenerational talent.

  3. Describe how to navigate our different communication styles.

The ASCLS HI Mid year Mtg will follow at 7:00 pm.

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Science of Beer Brewery Tour

October 22, 2019

ASCLS HI organized a tour of BeerLab Hawaii on October 12, 2019.  Attendees learned the science of making beer and enjoyed tasting the results.


2019 Legislative Symposium

June 9, 2019

Two members from ASCLS Hawaii attended a full day of education to learn about our legislative concerns.  The following day Marcella Yee went to "The Hill" to lobby to our Hawaii delegation.  To learn more see our articles and leave-behinds.

Article by Marcella

Article by Kristen

ASCLS leave behinds are the items we leave in the congressional offices for later review.

FDA Oversight of LDT


Workforce Shortages


ASCLS Honors Susan Pang

June 9, 2019

The national meeting honored our 50-year members.  Hawaii would like to thank Susan Pang for her dedication to our association and the profession.  Please read more about Susan by clicking here!!