Welcome to MSH!

Tri-State is Going Green!

In an effort to be more green we have decided not to print handouts this year. If you would like a copy of the presentation prior to the event, please see the linked documents below. You are more than welcome to print a copy and bring it with you to the presentation.

Wednesday, May 3rd

4:00 - 5:00 The Critical Importance of the Basics: My Histology Experience in Haiti

by Elizabeth Druffel, HT(ASCP)CM

In July, 2016, I was in Haiti. I went on behalf of a group called Innovating Health International, in conjunction with the Haitian Ministry of Health to be one in a series of volunteers to spend time at the Justinien Hospital in Cap Haitian. Our goal was to help out and standardize a modern histology practice. The two weeks that I spent there were some of the hardest and most enriching times of my life. This presentation is meant to illustrate the unique and not so unique challenges that I encountered. It is also meant to illustrate how easy it is to take the simple basics that we all learn in preparation for our boards for granted.

4:00 - 5:00 Forensics, Death Investigation and Autopsy: Explaining the Dead to the Living

by Courtney Hyland, PA(ASCP)CM D-ABMDI and Jennifer Davidson, MS, PA(ASCP)CM

Forensic pathology has been a hot topic in American television for the past 20 years. With shows like CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Law and Order and Cold Case the American public has become “armchair quarterbacks” of forensic pathology. The average American has learned that every case is solved with forensic investigation and that many labs can perform these tests with the push of a button. The reality is that forensics is not about getting a perfect answer every time. Many pieces of detailed information help the pathologist to formulate a cause and manner of death, a diagnosis of their best medical opinion. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office is responsible for “determining a scientifically unbiased and logical cause and manner of death.” Autopsies are performed to gather information that supports the final diagnosis and may be used in the court of law as well as provide insight to public health issues. Histology is an integral part of the forensic autopsy and can assist the forensic pathologist in determining a final diagnosis. There isn’t a “one‐size‐fits‐all” method to approach forensic science. Many examples will be provided to demonstrate various diagnoses, incorporating the impact of proper histologic practices.

4:00 - 5:30 Student Case Vignettes: A Brief Account of 5 Patient Cases

by Mayo Clinic Histology Technician Students

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss five patient cases that have traveled through the routine histology laboratory on their path to an accurate diagnosis. Five students within the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Histology Technician program will briefly present a case that has inspired them during their journey to becoming a professional Histology Technician. Each patient vignette will discuss the normal morphologic features of the body site being presented, a general description of the disease and related pathology, details of the patient case, and suggestions on how this patient's tissue may need to be managed in the histology laboratory. Learners will walk away with a basic understanding of the five patient cases presented and an appreciation for how their work impacts patient care.

5:00 - 6:00 Posters and Presentations: Where Do I Begin?

by A. Danielle Johnsrud, HTL(ASCP)CM

The world of laboratory medicine is ripe with opportunities for enrichment, research and continuing education. To facilitate collaboration, laboratory professionals often share their unique skills based and technical knowledge through scientific posters or presentations/workshops. This session will provide a basic understanding of appropriate poster/presentation topics, what is required for each type of project and how to successfully utilize resources for their completion. Session attendees will explore the importance of posters and presentations from the standpoint of an author/presenter and as an audience. They will also learn about the technical requirements of creating a poster or presentation, including developing and writing learning objectives, the detailed components needed for a comprehensive project and considerations such as copyrighted information and visual appeal. "Posters and Presentations: Where Do I Begin?" is ideal for laboratory professionals seeking future educational and career growth through knowledge-sharing and networking.

5:00 - 6:00 Misinformation in IHC

by Steven Westra

Often times we wonder what is true and what is false in immunohistochemistry. In this presentation, we will discuss pre-analytic aspects, analytic factors as well as post-analytic issues. Discussing some of these myths will help us be better at what we do.


Thursday, May 4th

8:30 - 12:00 Real Colors

by Amy Seegmiller Renner, MS, HT(ASCP)CM Tim Plummer, MBA, HTL(ASCP) and Carrie Bowler, MS, MLS(ASCP)

Imagine having the ability to clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas to clients, friends and family. Picture yourself having a unique level of insight into the things that motivate you and others. The key is Real Colors. Real Colors is simple to use, and can easily be incorporated into all aspects of your personal and professional life. Through Real Colors, you will gain a completely new perspective on yourself and the things that are most important to you. As you learn more about the colors, you will instinctively recognize characteristics of people you know, and their color. Real Colors gives you valuable insight into what is more important to them, why they may react to situations differently than others, and how you can best communicate with them. This knowledge gives you the tools to succeed in all areas of your life.

1:00 - 4:30 Preparation for the Histology Technician and Histotechnologist ASCP Registry Examination

by Robert Brunner, BA, HT(ASCP)

Preparing for and taking the HT and/or HTL ASCP examination can be very overwhelming and stressful. The examinations are nationally and internationally recognized by employers as proof of entry-level competency to work as Histology Technicians and Histechnologists. This workshop will give participants tools need to be successful with the examinations. Upon completion of this workshop, the participants will understand the content for the HT and HTL ASCP examinations. A review of the eligibility routes for the examinations, applications forms, fees, etc. for the examinations will be part of this workshop. A discussion of the CAT (computer adaptive test) and the procedures and pointers on taking the examination will be done. Also participants will be exposed to the content of the examinations and suggestions on how to organize and prepare for exam. Suggested reading and reference materials will be reviewed.

Here are some supplemental handouts:

1:00 - 2:30 The Names of the Stains: Histology History 101

by Jean Mitchell, BS, HT(ASCP) and Judi Stasko, BS, CLT(ASCP)

This talk will focus on "the names of the stains", and a lesson in histology history. Harris, Gomori, Gill, Mayer and Van Gieson are common stains and names spoken on a daily basis by histologists in their everyday working laboratory environment. But what do we really know about the names of these people we talk about every day? We will explore a name, add a face and detail the history to "the names of the stains" that have been our friends for many years but still have never been formally to. Isn't it about time we really got to know them better?

1:00 - 2:30 Cool Stains for Hot Diagnoses in Thoracic Pathology

by Anja C. Roden, MD

In the thorax, primary tumors can arise from the lungs, various mediastinal structures such as the thymic gland, lymph nodes,  and soft tissues and amongst others and the pleura of the chest wall. Therefore, malignancies of various types can be encountered in the thorax. As treatments and prognosis are different amongst these tumors, the correct diagnosis is important. However, morphologic features can overlap between different tumors in the thorax and therefore, often, ancillary studies including immunohistochemistry are crucial to distinguish these tumors. Furthermore, histochemical stains are needed to diagnosis some of the non-neoplastic lung diseases. Using a case-based format, this course will highlight more recently introduced immuno stains that help to distinguish different tumors in the thorax or that might be useful to distinguish reactive from malignant processes. Furthermore we will discuss important issues regarding the recently introduced PD-L1 immunostain that is used to identify patients that might benefit from anti-PD-1/anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer. In addition, histochemical stains that are important for non-neoplastic interstitial lung diseases will be highlighted.

3:00 - 4:30 Solving the Puzzle: Grossing with Orientation

by A. Danielle Johnsrud, HTL(ASCP)CM

At gross dissection, specimen orientation can pose unique challenges, but proper handling is essential to downstream processes and diagnostic interpretation. This workshop will explore how to handle specimens with orientation determined at the time of collection, as well as the techniques that can be used to orient specimens properly at the time of grossing. Discussion will focus on dermatology specimens in particular, with consideration for the clinical indications and procedures that can affect orientation (ex. alopecia, mohs procedures). As part of the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in mock grossing activities to include specimens with and without pre-determined orientation. Participants will also learn the importance of noting and describing orientation accurately as part of the gross description. Lecture and mock grossing activities will help participants to better understand the diagnostic impacts of accurate orientation and how to incorporate it into their daily practice.

Click here for a copy of the Solving the Puzzle Activity handout.

3:00 - 4:30 IHC Test Selection Using a Panel Approach

by Steven Westra

With numerous antibodies that can be used on routinely fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections, immunohistochemistry has become increasingly valuable. It then becomes a challenge knowing the best approach to the selection of antibodies to use and how to interpret them. Antibody panels can become an aid in diagnostic decision making. Even a limited of IHC stains can help deal with many of the more common pathological diagnosis. Some cases will need additional stains, while others will need fewer. The use of panels can cut down on diagnostic errors and also save time and money by not ordering stains blindly and wildly. Understanding the utility of panels, in today's laboratory setting, will help us better understand the IHC processes and stay in tuned with our pathologists.


Friday, May 5th

8:30 - 10:00 Understanding Immune Checkpoint Therapies and PD-L1 Assays

by Timothy M. Ritty, PhD

Immune checkpoint therapy is a new approach to the treatment of cancer.  Identification of patients that are likely to respond to this therapeutic approach can be accomplished with immunohistochemical assays.  This presentation will review the basic biology of the tumor microenvironment that enables the activity of immune checkpoint therapies.  The biological interaction between the ligand PD-L1 and its two receptors, PD-1 and B7.1, will be described.  The four FDA-approved diagnostic assays for the determination of PD-L1 protein expression will be discussed, and staining examples provided.

8:30 - 10:00 Utilization of Histologic Service in Biomedical Research

by Grace Jenson, BS, HTL(ASCP)CM

The role of histology technicians and the utilization of histology services in biomedical research have an understated importance. This presentation highlights examples of currently used applications within regenerative medicine as well as current and future trends in histology and how it meets the needs of discovery in biomedical research. Some of the examples to be discussed include wound healing, sucrose gradient processing, megablock histology, and using immunofluorescence in resin embedded samples. The needs of research are always changing demanding the ability to remain flexible and versatile. Different areas to be considered for future research, include whole organ review, efficiency and cost, the future of the vibratome as well as troubleshooting.

8:30 - 10:00 The Role of Histology in the Era of Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics

by Loren Herrera Hernandez, MD

Anatomic Pathology plays a central in the diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive laboratory testing. Histotechnicians interface with upstream and downstream persons and processes to perform, interpret, and report test results. The era of molecular diagnostics and therapeutics has brought attention to histology laboratory testing as it must meet extensive regulatory, validation, and quality requirements among others. This talk highlights the expanding reach of histology laboratories in the most fast-paced era in medical history.

10:30 - 12:00 Beyond the Bench: Career Growth and Development Opportunities for the HT

by Tiffany Mainella, MS, HTL(ASCP)CM

"Beyond the Bench" is an exploration into a variety of career tracks for professionals with a histology background. The discussion focus on a range of supporting roles including quality, education, and technical specialist positions, as well as management team and pathologists' assistants paths. Each area of interest will highlight the background necessary to pursue each route; along with different aspects of the roles that the individual is responsible for throughout the laboratory. This session will be ideal for histology professionals interested in learning about different career growth opportunities in the field of anatomic pathology.

10:30 - 12:00 Safety Audits: Why Bother?

by Pat Hlavka, MS, CSP

Can laboratory audits really make a difference? Safe auditing can be challenging if you are tasked with conducting or participating in the audits or trying to improve the process. Learn about the benefits and whys behind the laboratory safety audit process. An effective safety audit program can promote positive safe practices, ensure compliance with accrediting and regulatory organizations, identify improvement opportunities, and produce useful metrics for leadership. Learn the basics of performing safety audits and identify different ways of updating your current process. We will be discussion lessons learned and how to set up a consistent, workable laboratory safety audit program that meets the needs of your organization.

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