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Opening Session: A Conversation on Managing in Crisis

From the 2021 Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (Recorded January 15, 2021)
Presented by Michael Roberts, BSMT, ASCP
We open the Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference with a conversation with experienced laboratory leadership and the lessons learned in response to COVID-19. We'll be joined by Michael Roberts, Senior Vice President for Core and Regional Laboratory Operations at LabCorp. 
During the session, we'll cover the following topics:

  • How does someone in management plan for or respond to a crisis of unimaginable scope?
  • What role do public expectations play in how you manage the day-to-day work of a laboratory organization, especially when those expectations are being expressed through political leaders and media (even if you don't interact with either of those groups directly)?
  • Partners and suppliers and supply chains are elements of the process we don't control, but on which laboratories are highly dependent to do their work. How have you managed the relationships with suppliers? Is there a strategic necessity to rethink how the supply chain functions?
  • Laboratories are in a precision business where control of every variable is critical. COVID-19 introduced uncontrollable variables like supply availability and shifting science. How can laboratories and laboratory management resolve this seeming tension?
  • How does a manager balance those above and below him or her on the organizational chart when it comes to making the hundreds of key decisions within a dynamic and shifting environment?
  • Is it possible to be healthy, present and sane through an experience like this, or is this a matter of having to bootstrap up and survive it?
  • What are the most important things you've learned through this crisis?
  • Were there any beliefs that you firmly held that were successfully challenged through this experience?

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to
  1. Identify some of the uncontrollable variables encountered during the current pandemic.
  2. Discuss ways to prepare for a crisis.
  3. Describe the influence of public expectations on laboratory management.

This recorded presentation is P.A.C.E. ® accredited. The instruction level for this activity is Intermediate. One (1) P.A.C.E. ® contact hour and one (1) Florida credit hour in the area General/Admin will be awarded to participants. ASCLS P.A.C.E.® is accepted by the ASCP/ASCLS/AGT Board of Certification and all states, including Florida and California, as an approved provider of continuing education for recertification and licensure. ASCLS is an approved provider with CE Broker for Florida licensees.


This intermediate-level program is appropriate for laboratory professionals working in clinical, public health and academic settings.