I consider it the highest honor I could achieve to have been elected 2016 AACC President and I look forward to serving you in the coming year. In my 20+ years as an AACC member, I have seen repeatedly that laboratory medicine is so much larger than my chemistry lab. AACC membership provides me with the resources to live in this larger world, by providing me with the ability to constantly learn and stay abreast of new technology, new regulations, and new healthcare opportunities. AACC really is my professional home, filled with my “family” of friends and colleagues who are AACC members. Aside from those in own institution, every professional colleague I have, I met through AACC or through other AACC members.
AACC’s members are at the core of the new governance framework you’ve heard about from immediate AACC Past President David Koch, and the entire system is designed to facilitate member involvement in AACC activities. Several new governance bodies have been established that will provide cohesiveness, continuity, and collaboration in pursuing AACC’s strategic goals and initiatives. The new governance structure offers something for everyone, and volunteer opportunities abound, among them positions on newly created core committees.
We will begin the transition to the new governance framework in the coming months. This framework represents a year-long effort involving many people — AACC members and leaders (past, present, and future), staff, and consultants with extensive experience in association governance.
Changes will be made to some of our processes, too. Committee appointments and, eventually, election cycles will shift to accommodate terms that begin and end with the AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo—the association’s biggest annual event and the culmination of the presidential year. Volunteering for committee work will become easier and the process more transparent. Elections of association leaders will be made simpler, with a yes-or-no vote for one candidate for each vacancy. While this change represents quite a departure from the way we have done things until now, it provides the opportunity to identify and nurture our best and brightest leaders.
To complement this change in the election process, the Nominating Committee will have an even more important role. In this new structure, the Nominating Committee ensures that AACC recruits, from among its members, the most highly qualified individuals to lead and shape the future trajectory of AACC. This group is also charged with developing a pipeline for future leaders. Thus, these individuals on the Nominating Committee will collectively need to possess a high level of knowledge and experience about the field as well as AACC’s needs. Unlike the officers and directors, the Nominating Committee members will continue to be chosen through a competitive election, with more candidates than there are open positions on the Committee. Through this process, the AACC membership remains in control of choosing from among its ranks the leaders who will represent them in the association’s governance.
You will be hearing more from me in the coming months, highlighting the new governance structure and sharing how it will affect members. The end result will be increased member involvement and strengthened leadership capacity to achieve the association’s strategic priorities, ensuring a strong future for the practice of laboratory medicine and all AACC members.
AACC is a strong association shaped by dedicated individuals committed to its long-term viability for future generations of lab professionals. I pledge myself to helping keep AACC solid, starting with a robust, financially sound, member-based governance structure. I welcome your ideas to help AACC become an ever more visible player in the healthcare field, while giving members the tools to become strong and essential partners on healthcare teams. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you a healthy and successful New Year,
Patricia M (Patti) Jones, PhD, DABCC, FACB
2016 AACC President