Siemens – ASCP Celebrate 10 Years Helping Students Enter Medical Laboratory Profession
Today, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and the American Society for Clinical
Pathology (ASCP) officially recognize the 10-year anniversary of its annual joint scholarship program, helping address the nation’s shortage of qualified medical laboratory personnel by promoting the profession and defraying education costs. Since 2003, more than $1.5 million in scholarships has been awarded through the Siemens – ASCP Scholarship Program to deserving students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in medical laboratory science or other areas of laboratory medicine.
To mark the occasion, Siemens and ASCP announce the awarding of over 100 scholarships to the nation’s top undergraduate and graduate medical laboratory students for the 2012–2013 academic year [> see Winners]. Erin McCarthy, a 2009 scholarship winner, is a testament to the Program’s success, having landed a career as a Cytology Supervisor at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison State Laboratory of Hygiene, where her work includes screening for Pap smears and evaluating cytology specimens.
“I highly recommend other laboratory professional students apply for Siemens–ASCP scholarships,” said McCarthy. “It was a great experience and huge honor to receive this scholarship. Recipients not only have a leg up in getting into the job market, but also get to be part of an industry that makes a difference in people’s lives.”
"Siemens and ASCP are very proud to reach this milestone in our scholarship program. As we look toward the future, we believe our commitment to helping laboratory professionals enter this vital profession not only benefits the industry, but the clinicians and patients they serve for generations to come,” said Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics CEO, Michael Reitermann, and ASCP Executive Vice President, E. Blair Holladay, PhD, SCT(ASCP)CM, through a joint statement.
Medical laboratory diagnostics – tests performed on the body’s blood, urine or tissue samples to obtain critical data used to indentify disorders, infections and diseases – is a key healthcare value driver. Worldwide spending on laboratory diagnostic tests is only 2 percent of total healthcare costs, yet 70 percent of medical decision making is influenced by medical laboratory test results. A recent ASCP survey
examined vacancy rates among U.S. medical laboratories, suggesting that while there’s been a slight decrease (2 percent) in the employment gap versus two years ago, future demand for medical laboratory professionals in the United States is expected to spike in the next 12–18 months. This will be fueled by more than 30 million people set to gain insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act coupled with the fact that more aging Baby Boomers are requiring more laboratory services.
How to address the likely surge in future employment demand is a topic uniting many U.S. medical laboratories at the moment, regardless of whether their own vacancy rates match, exceed or are below the new national average of 7 to 8 percent.
According to M. Sue Zaleski, MA, HT(ASCP)SCT, 2011–2012 Chair of ASCP’s Council of Laboratory Professionals and Lean Management Engineer in the Pathology Department at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, IA: “The new national average is lower than what we are experiencing in our region, which is running at about 10 to 11 percent. Our lab is implementing several new initiatives, all of which put a strain on its existing resources and will certainly require additional staff in the future.”
Similar perspectives are shared by Dr. Martin Fleisher, Laboratory Director at New York City-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “The shortage of qualified laboratory personnel available to enter the workforce is a serious issue that threatens to stifle U.S. laboratories’ ability to meet growing demands for fast, accurate testing services. Efforts such as the Siemens-ASCP Scholarship are needed to keep awareness of this issue high and help more people fill these important jobs.”
Contact for journalists:
Siemens Healthcare Media Relations
Gian Sachdev, phone: +1 508-660-4721
ASCP Media Relations
Sara Patterson, phone: +1 312-541-4946
About Siemens Healthcare Sector
Launched in November 2011, “Agenda 2013” is the initiative of the Siemens Healthcare Sector to further strengthen its innovative power and competitiveness. Specific measures, which will be implemented by the end of 2013, have been defined in four fields of action: innovation, competitiveness, regional footprint, and people development.
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2012 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 13.6 billion euros and profit of around 1.8 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare
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 www.ascp.org