Monday, July 6, 2009

CLMA Thinklab 2009 in Tampa

Every year, F. Read Hopkins Pediatrics, where I have my civilian job, sends me to the Clinical Laboratory Management Association Convention, called Thinklab. This year it was in Tampa, Florida in May. Most of the people attending run larger labs in large to huge hospitals. Those of us who manage POL's (Physician Office Labs) are few and far between. Fortunately, CLMA has been doing much better on having workshops and companies represented that are POL friendly.

This is the new president of CLMA, Anne Pontius. Many years ago I sat in a workshop on lab budgeting that she was conducting. After the workshop I asked her why there wasn't more directed to POL's. She advised me then to join CLMA. Her thought was that as the representation of POL's increased, so would the emphasis. It seems to have worked.
I attended a number of excellent workshops on management. It surprises me how much of the information can also be used in my churches as well. The vendors were more numerous than I could count. Joanne and I enjoyed walking the floor and seeing what's new. We have been to enough conventions that we have made friends with some of the vendors and look forward to seeing them each year. Most of the vendors are marketing themselves to larger facilities, but there is enough there that concerns a physician's office that it is well worth the time to look around.

Joanne always goes to the conventions with me. I went to one by myself and was miserable. We usually have our evenings free and get to try some really unique restaurants
and see some of the city the convention is in that year. We have been blessed to travel to St. Louis, Atlanta, Charlotte, New Orleans, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and this year in Tampa. Next year is in Las Vegas and Joanne is already making plans and doing research. If I could just get them to do Orlando, we could visit Walt Disney World at the same time.

I am fortunate to work for a company that sees the benefit of sending me to these meetings each year and I appreciate their support and making it available to me each year. Thanks Docs.

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