CLIA waived Tests

“Laboratory testing is instrumental in our system of care providing physicians with actionable data to diagnose and treat patients. Unfortunately, the current shortage in the clinical laboratory workforce has reached a breaking point. It will take everyone working together to reverse the current trajectory.”

– Kathy Nucifora, MPH, MLS(ASCP), Chief Operating Officer, COLA

Workforce Action Alliance Summit

The 2023 Workforce Action Alliance Summit

The Laboratory Workforce Challenge

Nationwide, laboratory science professionals and private and public health laboratories are acutely concerned about the laboratory staffing shortage.  In May 2023, in response to the imperative for collaboration, executives representing diverse organizations from across the country convened in Fort Worth, Texas to review the key factors contributing to the shortage and to identify three priorities for action.  The 3 priorities are: 

#1 Strengthen the data to understand the laboratory workforce  

#2 Communicate career pathways for new and transitioning professionals  

#3 Standardize professional titles  

During the WAA Summit, the group outlined action plans for each priority and several Executives volunteered post-Summit to refine those action plans with practical steps, a timeline and metrics of success.  Subgroups were formed based on interest to begin collaborating and working together to implement the actions plans for each of the three priorities.  On May 7, 2024, the Executive-level group will reconvene to evaluate its achievements and to establish a plan of action for the subsequent year.  

The 2023 Summit Proceedings Are Now Available

To fully appreciate the discussions that occurred during the 2023 Workforce Action Alliance Summit and the activities that are now underway, you can download the proceedings document here.

You may also contact COLA at  for more information.  Organizations wishing to make a charitable donation in support of the 2024 Summit, which will be held May 7, 2024, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida can also email to find out how to contribute.    

The 2nd WAA Summit will occur adjacent to COLA’s 2024 Laboratory Enrichment Forum, which is being held at the same venue.  To learn more about the Laboratory Enrichment Forum you can visit the event website.

Members of the Planning Committee for Summit

Kathy Nucifora

Chair, COO for COLA


Mark Birenbaum

Administrator, National Independent Laboratory Association & American Association for Bio Analysts


Kelly Winter

Chief of Training & Workforce Development Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Amy L. Leber

Director, Clinical Microbiology & Immunoserology Nationwide Children’s Hospital, representing American Society for Microbiology

Ph.d, D(ABMM)

Melanie Sloan

Senior Director Accreditation and Quality

Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies


Edna Garcia

Senior Director, Scientific Engagement & Research, American Society for Clinical Pathology


Jim Flanigan

CAE, EVP, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

Christine Bean

Chief Learning Officer, Association of Public Health Laboratories


Michelle Bell

Clinical Pathology Support Manager, Clinical Pathology Associates, Buda, TX

Representing the National Society for Histotechnology

Michelle Bell, HT (ASCP), QIHCcm