A Week for Collaboration and Consensus: CLSI’s January 2024 Meetings
CLSI’s Committees Weeks are an opportunity for the CLSI expert community to meet and connect with colleagues for a week of information sharing, consensus building, networking, and camaraderie. Committees Weeks are where the hard work behind CLSI’s standards and guidelines takes place—committees and subcommittees, following CLSI’s voluntary consensus process, work together on new and revised CLSI standards in development.
In 1975, CLSI (formerly NCCLS), published the first edition of one such standard— Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disc Susceptibility Tests—ASM-1. This would later go on to become M100. M100 provides up-to-date AST breakpoints for laboratory professionals that ensure health care providers treat their patients with the most effective antimicrobial drugs, and slow antimicrobial resistance. CLSI’s standards for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) became a model for improving laboratory practice through voluntary consensus.
This year’s January meeting was held in Tempe, AZ, and hosted more than 200 laboratory science experts from around the world. Select sessions were livestreamed to give those who couldn’t attend in person the opportunity to listen to the plenary presentations and submit questions or feedback. Participants came from as far away as Colombia, Switzerland, and Japan. New this year, this global audience was able to benefit from live translation and closed captioning into more than 50 languages as we piloted a new capability from Wordly.ai. Allowing attendees to participate in their native or preferred language is a huge step toward further connecting our community of volunteers and members.
"It is such a pleasure to be (at Committees Week),” said Allison Brown, PhD, MPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a first-time attendee at the event this year, in the introduction to her presentation on antimicrobial resistance. “I've been wanting to come to the event for years. I've seen all my colleagues come, and it's very exciting to be here; it's been very inspiring.”
Although it rained for some of the typically sunny event, there’s an abundance of news to shine a light on!
We hosted a free education session: Addressing the Gaps in Defining, Detecting, and Reporting MDRO, intended for clinical, veterinary, and public health laboratories. The education session showed participants how to identify gaps that impact the definition, detection, and reporting of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs) and discussed processes and resources labs can implement to fill those gaps. Attendees were able to claim 1.5 P.A.C.E.® credits. The education session will be available on demand on the CLSI website January 26th. Experts for this event included April M. Bobenchik, PhD, D (ABMM), Kelli Maddock, MS, MLS (ASCP) M, Paula M. Snippes Vagnone, MT(ASCP), and Allison Brown, PhD, MPH. The session was moderated by Stella Antonara, PhD, D (ABMM).
CLSI’s annual Excellence Awards were presented during Committees Week. These awards recognize the achievements of CLSI’s extended network of subject matter experts and organizational members that are committed to CLSI’s mission and help improve the quality of medical care worldwide. Recipients are recognized for dedicating significant time and effort to the development, implementation, and promotion of CLSI standards.
Dr. Victor Waddell, CLSI’s immediate past-president, presented the Russell J. Eilers Memorial Award to Melvin P. Weinstein, MD. Dr. Weinstein received this award for his exceptional contributions to CLSI’s success over extended periods of time.
CLSI’s CEO, Dr. Barb Jones presented the John V. Bergen Award to Romney M. Humphries, PhD, D(ABMM), FIDSA. The John V. Bergen award is presented to an outstanding volunteer or group of volunteers in recognition of advances in CLSI organizational directives and objectives through unique and significant contributions.
The Excellence in Standards Development Award is presented to subject matter experts who have made significant contributions to the development and/or management of CLSI standards and guidelines. This year, the award was presented to two volunteers: Audrey N. Schuetz, MD, MPH, D(ABMM) and Donald J. Bade, BS.
The Excellence in Member Organization Leadership Award was presented to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As the nation’s preeminent public health protection agency, the CDC plays an important role in influencing public health and the medical community. In service to its mission “to increase the health security of the nation,” the CDC is committed to helping enhance laboratory standards and science and actively promotes collaboration with aligned organizations like CLSI.
You can learn more about the award recipients here.
Events like Committees Weeks help us set the standard in laboratory medicine for a healthier world and deliver on our mission to “develop clinical and laboratory practices and promote their use worldwide.”
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