ASCP Forges International Alliance in Greece, Expands Its Global Influence
Thursday, January 17, 2013
ASCP continues to extend its influence around the globe, forging its first official collaboration with a European medical society. In early January, the Society established an alliance with the Pan-Hellenic Association of Medical Technologists (PETIE) of Greece.
The alliance with ASCP will provide the PETIE with greater recognition among its own membership who, in turn will have an opportunity to elevate their education and professional skills through ASCP courses and international certification.
“This is about relationship building, not just in Greece but with many societies that are interconnected. ASCP’s theme of ‘Stronger Together’ is extending around the globe.”
—Jennifer Young, CT(ASCP)CM
“This is about relationship building, not just in Greece but with many societies that are interconnected,” says Jennifer Young, CT(ASCP)CM, Senior Manager for International Certification with the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC). “ASCP’s theme of ‘Stronger Together’ is extending around the globe.”
ASCP has nine collaborating societies around the world—Brazil, Chile, Peru, Panama, the Philippines, Korea, Greece, and two in Hong Kong—that are part of ASCP’s larger international certification ambassador program. These agreements acknowledge the organization’s goals align closely with those of the ASCP. Collaborating Societies support international certification through the BOC as a way to protect public health through qualified staff. Through that support, ASCP is able to extend this dialogue throughout surrounding regions.
All of these collaborations were prompted by interest from ASCP BOC’s International Advisory Board members. Similarly, the alliance with PETIE came about because the organization's president, Dionysis Vourtsis, MLT, is also Chair of ASCP BOC’s Greek Advisory Board.
“Greece is the first place in Europe where ASCP has gained traction,” Ms. Young says. “That’s largely due to the leadership of Dionysis. Greece is very interested in leading the way for other potential alliances in surrounding Eastern European countries.”
Since it was established in 2010, ASCP’s Greek Advisory Board has worked diligently to encourage laboratory professionals in Greece to seek international certification through ASCP.
“My hope is that the collaboration between PETIE and ASCP will address the shortage of laboratory professionals in Greece and expand the breadth of knowledge and skill of our medical laboratory scientists,” Mr. Vourtsis says.
Greece’s struggling economy has affected all aspects of daily life, including the delivery of quality health care. The medical laboratory profession in Greece lacks the following:
Uniform regulations for medical laboratories or lab professionals;
Requirements for medical laboratories to seek accreditation;
Regulation of laboratory professionals and their education by a medical society or a certifying organization; and
Requirements for licensing.
“Additionally, we have a shortage of medical laboratory scientists in biomedical laboratories of hospitals and health centers, due to the country’s economic crisis and increased mobility of laboratory professionals seeking employment in another sector or in another country,” Mr. Vourtsis says.
Of Greece’s 6,000 medical laboratory scientists, 1,450 of them are members of PETIE. The professional association is affiliated with the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science and the European Association for Professions in Biomedical Science.