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Outside the Lab Profession, COVID-19

Connecting the Laboratory Community

2020 looks nothing like we expected. As we enter the last quarter of the year and turn our thoughts to 2021, the uncertainties we face far outweigh any clarity we may have.

One thing, however, has become crystal clear over the past six months: that staying connected is essential to both our professional and our personal lives. Since March, when organizations – including the ASCP – started sending employees home to work remotely, we have launched an array of new initiatives to keep our members connected and informed while maintaining social distance to stop the spread of COVID-19.

From Virtual Grand Rounds to regular Town Hall events on topics important to pathologists and medical laboratory scientists, we’ve launched a variety of efforts to connect. In our podcasts and virtual meetings, subject matter experts from across the country have discussed diagnostic versus serology testing, public policy opportunities, health disparities, and much more. As the pandemic persists, we will continue to bring these events to the community, with national experts providing insight and knowledge on how we can move forward – and hopefully move past – these challenging times.

When the pandemic started, we knew we had a duty to provide the essential information pathologists and medical laboratory scientists would need to inform their work and provide better patient care. As the months have passed, we’ve added to that mission, helping to stabilize an increasingly moving target as we learn more about SARS-CoV-2.

There are myriad health benefits to staying personally connected – improving your immune system, lowering stress levels, and ultimately lengthening lifespan.

Most importantly, we knew it was imperative to stay connected to our profession because those connections are what help people push through the toughest and most uncertain times. Research proves that there are myriad health benefits to staying personally connected – improving your immune system, lowering stress levels, and ultimately lengthening lifespan. Staying professionally connected also has enormous benefits. It deepens your sense of community – and right now, entrenched in a global fight, the pathology and laboratory community is stronger than ever. With every one of us doing our part to provide necessary testing and essential patient care, that community gives us colleagues to lean on when we come across something novel or unexpected. The ability to reach out to colleagues for advice, whether in person or virtually, has been of paramount importance during the pandemic. Keeping connections alive and thriving, whether between two people or among groups of thousands, strengthens the foundation of pathology and laboratory medicine – the bedrock of healthcare.

We don’t know what we will face in the last few months of 2020 or what’s around the corner in the new year. But we know that together we will endure. Together, we will thrive. Together, we will achieve more than we thought possible. And together, we will help bring this world back to a healthier place.

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About the Author

E. Blair Holladay

CEO of the American Society for Clinical Pathology

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