2011 Fall/Winter



2011 Fall/Winter
President’s Letter
this issue
Veterans Day is November 11th
and it is about honoring the
millions of military veterans
in the United States.
Distinguished Achievement and the Exceptional
Merit awards.
Legislative Note P.5
Election Candidates P.12
Photos from Miami P.13
According to the Merriam
veteran is, “a soldier of long
service, a former member of
the armed forces or a person of
long experience usually in some
occupation or skill.”
He is currently on the
Board of Directors for the
state of Illinois and has
served in many different capacities over the years
including Illinois State President and Editor. In
addition, he served on the board for AMTIE for
six years.
In AMT, we have many types of veterans that
serve not only our country, but also our organization. Some have been in the military and have been
a member of the AMT for many years.
Norm has not only served our country admirably,
but also AMT. Thank you, Norm, for all you do
for American Medical Technologists and your
years of service with the United States Navy!
Others are members that have served AMT or the
allied profession and have never been in the
military, yet their dedication has served their
profession and our community.
Fran Floyd, MT (AMT) is a veteran with the
United States Air Force. She is currently the Vice
President of ISSAMT and has served on the
Board of Directors for numerous years. She has
been the Publicity Chair at the state level for more
than four years. She is responsible for all the great
pictures you see in our newsletter and our
In ISSAMT we have three veterans – Dr. Norm
Frankel, Josephine Harden, MT and Fran Floyd,
MT. All three have not only served their profession
but have also been with AMT for over 20 years
and have been dedicated to the organization.
Norman Frankel Ph.D., MT (AMT) served in
World War II and was a medic in the United States
Navy. Norm became certified as medical technician with AMT in 1958 and received his 50 year
pin with the organization four years ago. His most
recent award was the Pride of the Profession but he
has also received the Order of the Golden
Continued on page 6
A Note from our District Councillor
Western District Councillor Clara Boykin, MT
A very special thanks to
everyone involved in
AMT 73rd Educational
Program and National
Meeting in Miami. The
meeting was held jointly
with the CASMET Association.
We had attendance of over 600 participants. It was great weather, great education, great networking and a great family
gathering. It is such a wonderful time to
see all our old friends at our National
Meeting each year.
CHANGE is coming to AMT in many
ways. Please keep your eyes and ears open.
Some have begun already with the new
computer system in the AMT office. Our
More change is coming with our National
Meeting beginning in 2012 and continuing
into the future. Please be sure to give us
your input on the changes. A lot of the
changes are coming about because YOU,
the members, asked for them. We have a
new “IT” staff member at the AMT Office,
Mark Garcia. He can help you with
issues you may encounter with getting
onto the website. It was suggested that
the state societies think of using
Facebook for AMT. A lot of AMT members are on it so it is a great tool.
Congratulations to all of this year’s
award winners in the Great Lakes
District. I applaud you and the hard work
that you do for your state society and
AMT. Everyone in the Great Lakes
District deserves a pat on the back for all
their efforts.
Our new national officers for 2011-2012,
President Roxann Clifton, MT, Vice
President Mary Burden, MT, Secretary
Jeff Lavender, MT and Treasurer Everett
Bloodworth, MT. Janet Sesser, RMA
was reelected to the board and Jeannie
Hobson, RMA will serve out the term of
board member that resigned.
District educational meetings were
proposed in the Great Lakes District
meeting. I talked to each state president
present, requested that they talk to their
board of directors and report back with
their opinion on the idea.
Fran Floyd, MT (AMT)
(630) 464-3026
[email protected]
Elaine T. Miyamoto, MS, MScTRM,
(815) 258-0083
[email protected]
The proposal was made that Illinois or
Wisconsin be the location for a district
seminar in September 2012. Watch for
more information on this in the future.
Mark your calendars for AMT 74th Educational Program and National Meeting, to be
held July 9-14, 2012 in San Antonio. It will
be at the Hyatt Regency, 123 Losoya St.,
San Antonio, 78205, (210) 222-1234.
Continue to support your state society
officers. If I can be of help, do not hesitate
to contact me.
Clara Boykin, MT
Great Lakes District Councillor
1023 Dayton Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55104
Email: [email protected]
Work: (651) 999-4788 (Mon - Fri)
Cell: (651) 247-3231
Home: (651) 644-3128
2 0 11 B O A R D M E M B E R S
2 0 11 O F F I C E R S
Nancy Gabl MSHR, RMA (AMT), CMA
(630) 903-4910
[email protected]
The presidents present were very receptive.
Following the meeting, emails were sent to
the two state society presidents that were
not present at the meeting asking for their
Falguni Thakkar, MT (AMT)
(224) 388-5727
[email protected]
Western District Councillor
Clara Boykin, MT (AMT)
(651) 644-3128
[email protected]
Judiciary Coucillor
Kimberly Cheuvront, Ph.D
[email protected]
Nancy Gabl MSHR, RMA (AMT), CMA
(630) 903-4910
[email protected]
Josephine Harden, MT (AMT)
(815) 874-5859
Ronie Rodrigo, MT (AMT)
(773) 702-9052
[email protected]
Norm Frankel PhD, MT (AMT)
(647) 769-9615
The FRA and What They Do for our Veterans
John R. Davis, Director of Legislative Programs for Fleet Reserve Association
The Fleet Reserve
(FRA) is the
oldest and largest
enlisted organization
Reserves, retired
and veterans of
the Navy, Marine
Corps, and Coast
Congressionally Chartered, recognized by
the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as
an accrediting Veteran Service Organization (VSO) for claim representation and
entrusted to serve all veterans who seek its
help. In 2007, FRA was selected for full
membership on the National Veterans’ Day
FRA was established in 1924 and its name
is derived from the Navy’s program for
personnel transferring to the Fleet Reserve
or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve after 20 or
more years of active duty, but less than 30
years for retirement purposes. During the
required period of service in the Fleet
Reserve, assigned personnel earn retainer
pay and are subject to recall by the Secretary of the Navy.
FRA’s mission is to act as the premier
“watch dog” organization in maintaining
and improving the quality of life for Sea
Service personnel and their families. FRA
is a leading advocate on Capitol Hill for
enlisted active duty, Reserve, retired and
veterans of the Sea Services. The Association also sponsors a National Americanism
Essay Program and other recognition and
relief programs. In addition, the newly
established FRA Education Foundation
oversees the Association’s scholarship
program that presents awards totaling
nearly $120,000 to deserving students each
The Association is also a founding member
of The Military Coalition (TMC), a
consortium of more than 30 military and
veteran’s organizations. FRA hosts most
TMC meetings and members of its staff
serve in a number of TMC leadership
FRA celebrated 86 years of service in
November 2010. For nearly nine
decades, dedication to its members has
resulted in legislation enhancing quality
of life programs for Sea Services
personnel, other members of the
uniformed services plus their families
and survivors, while protecting their
rights and privileges. CHAMPUS, now
TRICARE, was an initiative of FRA, as
was the Uniformed Services Survivor
Benefit Plan (USSBP). More recently,
FRA led the way in reforming the
REDUX Retirement Plan, obtaining
targeted pay increases for mid-level
enlisted personnel, and sea pay for
junior enlisted sailors. FRA also played
a leading role in advocating
recently enacted predatory
absentee voting reform
for service members and
their dependents.
FRA’s motto is: “Loyalty,
Protection, and Service.”
John Davis served in the United States
Marine Corps Reserve in an artillery
unit (155 self-propelled howitzers) and
as a Second Lieutenant in the Illinois
Army National Guard in the 1980s. He
joined the FRA team as Director, Legislative Programs in February 2006, and
recently stepped down as President of
FRA Branch 181 (Arlington, VA) after
serving two terms. He is co-chairman of
The Military Coalition’s (TMC) Retired
Affairs Policy Committee.
John worked for almost 13 years with the
National Federation of Independent
Business, including 9 years as Director of
the Illinois chapter and 3 ½ years in the
federal lobbying office in Washington DC.
John has lobbied on a variety of issues
including healthcare, tort reform, education, insurance, taxation, and labor law.
2005 John received a
Masters of Public Policy
(MPP) degree from
Alexandria VA. John
has a BS degree from
Illinois State University
in Political Science and
History. John is a proud
father of two children:
Anne age 28 and Michael age
24 who returned from a seven month
deployment to Afghanistan (June 2010)
with his Marine Corps Reserve unit.
Is it a tracking device?
Is it a type of train?
Is it a robotic mouse?
No, it’s YOU!
Tracking your own CE’s on the AMT website is simple. Just keep your paperwork that
shows you were at any CE event and then go onto the AMT website
(www.americanmedtech.org), sign click on AMTrax... enter your CE’s and print them out
as needed. Presto! (Please keep all documents in case of any auditing and you are all set to go).
Don’t have a computer? Don’t sweat! Just send your documentation to
the AMT office and they will enter it for you.
Mark Your Calendars!
• ISSAMT Board Meeting will
be held on Sunday, October 16,
2011 at Central DuPage Hospital
Women/Children's Pavilion,
Winfield, IL from 1:00 - 3:00
p.m. New Officers and Board
Members will be elected at this
meeting. All members are
welcome to attend. Lunch will
be provided.
• Deadlines for submissions to
The Illinois Reporter are April 1,
2011 and September 1, 2011.
• The 2012 ISSAMT Calendar
of Events will be planned at the
Sunday, October 16th Board
Will your voice
be heard?
Make sure your campaign
information is ready for
While you earn your CEs in 2012, come join your AMT family at the historic
River Walk (pictured above) in San Antonio for AMT’s 74th Educational
Program and National Meeting. Mark your calendars now and plan for the
beautiful trip scheduled for July 9-14, 2012 at the the Hyatt Regency. Rooms
are $119 per night and are good beginning July 4. I look forward to seeing all
of you there and don’t forget the Alamo...One of America’s Top Historic Sites
according to the History Channel. Visit www.amt1.com for additional details.
The ISSAMT Website Scavenger Hunt
Congratulations! If you feel you have answered all these questions correctly then copy and paste them
onto Microsoft word or an email and send them to the President’s e-mail address (where can you find it?)
and be eligible to win a drawing for a free registration to our next Illinois Continuing Education Seminar
in 2012. Good luck!
1. Where are you able to find the dates of all meetings and events for the year so you can ask your
boss for the dates off way ahead of time?
2. Where do you find the copies of newsletters?
3. How can you find information to contact your State Officers and Board members?
4. Where can you find pictures of past events?
5. Where can you find important legislative information?
6. Where can you find links to other important healthcare resources?
7. Where can you find our mission statement and what does it say?
8. Who is the recognizable person in the video and what school was the video recorded in?
9. What is our website address and how do you save into your “favorites” on your computer for easy access?
10. Describe the Illinois logo on the website.
Legislative Update
by ISSAMT Legislative Chair Ron Rodrigo, MT
Choice and Access
Now (PCAN), a
coalition of pharmacists, consumers and
local businesses has
been launched in
Illinois in order to
preserve access to quality and affordable
The PCAN was launched in response to the
proposal of the Illinois Department of
Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to
community-based pharmacies receive
for the cost of drug of Medicaid patients.
The proposed cut to community-based
pharmacies affects the Medicaid
patients' ability to access essential
pharmacy care.
PCAN is asking legislative leaders and
elected members of the Joint Committee
on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to
reject the proposed reduction of
reimbursements before its
implementation eliminates access to care
for citizens who need it the most.
Community-based pharmacies also offer
the greatest access to affordable and basic
health services to Medicaid patients and
underserved populations. PCAN therefore
aims to protect these pharmacies as well
as Illinois jobs and pharmacies in general.
Why is Vitamin D Important?
By Gloria Culla, MT (AMT)
Sometime in 2005, I
asked my endocrinologist, Dr. Mario
fractures in five
years and immediately he ordered a
Vitamin D level. It
was then that he found out that my Vitamin
D Level is less than the normal range (<4
mg/ml). He prescribed Forteo-sol injections plus vitamin D caplets for 50,000
units for two years. He monitored my
Vitamin D level every three months and
continued this until the expected level of
my vitamin D was to the level he wanted.
Vitamin D insufficiency can result in thin,
brittle, or misshapen bones. It is the
vitamin that prevents rickets in children
and osteomalacia in adults and, together
with calcium, helps to protect older adults
from osteoporosis. Low Vitamin D levels
are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. However, according to the
AMT journal (article from page 371),
co-administered vitamin D) are associated
with an increased risk of myocardial
There are two forms of vitamin D that
are important to humans: vitamin D3 and
vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is obtained from
foods of animal origin and from ultraviolet light-stimulated conversion in the
skin; small amounts of vitamin D2
are obtained from foods of plant origin.
Both forms of the vitamin are used to
fortify various foods and are found in
over-the-counter supplements. Thus
analytical methods that can accurately
quantify both forms are often essential
for diagnosis and monitoring patients
with vitamin D disorder.
The liquid chromatography, tandem
mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) has
certain advantages – it does not use
radioisotopes and is sensitive and
equally specific for both forms of
vitamin D and concentrations of each
form are measured and reported independently. However it is technically more
difficult than other methods, is quite
expensive and is not available in most
clinical laboratories
Two other methods are more common in
the clinical laboratory, HPLC also differentiates and quantifies the two forms,
and currently this is the most common
method and Chemiluminescence is
offered on chemistry analyzers but reports
the amount of both forms as a single value.
At this time, there is no agreement on how
much of these should be taken. Here is one
set of recommendations from the Canadian Government (Health Canada):
Vit D
Since my Vitamin D level is in the normal
range, I just continue taking over the
counter vitamin D caplets with D3 for
1000 IU/day and Calcium to protect my
bones for any future fractures.
This treatment started approximately two
years ago and so far, I continue to improve
and I know that as long as I maintain and
continue this regimen, my health will
continue to flourish and help in my wellbeing.
President’s Letter
Fran is currently employed with Hines
Veterans Hospital in Maywood, Illinois
and has been there for many years. She has
earned multiple awards including the
Distinguished Achievement at the
National level.
(continued from front page)
worked for the Veteran’s
Administration, Cook County
Hospital and Central DuPage
Hospital in Winfield as
allegiance to
the organization
and appreciated!
Josephine has been serving
T h e s e
the state as delegate at the
convention for
over 20 years
and has also Josephine Hardin, MT (AMT) and Norman
why Veterans
volunteered to Frankel, PhD, MT (AMT).
Day is a time
make and donate
for pause and appreciation. Everyday
the state basket every year
(AMT) has been a member of
millions put their lives on the line, while
for the Welcome Party at the
AMT since 1977. She has
many others also serve this country in
convention. Her state baskets
served on the Board of Direcways that are too numerous to count.
are always creative and are
tors of Illinois for over 20
always made with perfection
years and has only missed
Years of service to any cause should
and are admired by all the
two national meetings since
always be remembered and although
states for their originality.
she joined the organization.
giving service to this country is meritorious, we can also take time to thank other
Josephine has been present at
Fran Floyd, MT (AMT).
She worked for Lutheran
types of a veterans whose service is also
every single board and
General Hospital as a laboracommendable, notable and truly apprecibusiness meeting since I have
tory technician for 23 years and has also
been president. Her reliability and
Our appreciation goes to Fran and her
loyalty to AMT for over
twenty years, in addition to
her service to the United
States of America!
What are YOU Doing to Give Back to YOUR Community?
Elaine T. Miyamoto, MScTRM, MS, RMA, CMA, RHIA
Every now and then in a downtime
moment, you may ask yourself, “Am I
doing all I can to be a responsible citizen?”
If you have never asked yourself that
question, it is time you should. Each of us
is a captive audience on our planet. It is our
grace to look out for each other.
If you have asked yourself the above
question, did you answer with the age old
excuse of “I’m too busy” or “I’m not
interested”? If everyone had that same
mentality, no one would step up to the
plate to volunteer and help each other out.
Volunteering does not demand continuous
hour after hour obligation.
An hour here. An hour there. Be a volunteer. It is not a matter of when. It is a matter
of now.
Volunteering is a mindset. YOU have to
want to do it.
There are no expectations of pay. There are
no expectations of applause and praise. If
recognized, the acknowledgment is icing
on the cake.
Research your neighborhood, village, or
city’s needs. There are a plethora of
organizations that needs YOU as a volunteer.
I chose the American Red Cross of Greater
Chicago (ARCGC) and learned to assist
clients as a Disaster Action Team (DAT)
Full Responder. In this noble organization,
I found fulfillment when giving back to the
There is no greater trepidation than losing
one’s home to a fire, a flood, a tornado, and
other natural disasters or man-made
agonies. The words of the client may
proclaim, “I’m fine,” but the eyes shout
“How can I go on?”
YOU are the strength the client leans on
during this time of turmoil. YOUR voice,
YOUR attribute, YOU are the asset.
Sometimes just sitting with the client is
all they need at that very moment. In the
early onset of the tragedy, you are the
ears when they need to express their
feelings. You sit. You listen.
• Supporting clients in shelters during
natural and man-made disasters
That is what is so great about the American Red Cross. There are roles for everyone. If you are not comfortable attending
to clients at the scene, you can support
the organization with “Call-Outs” and
direct responders to the location of the
• Representing American Red Cross informational tables at local and business events
If you have the professional background
in mental health or nursing, you can
assist in psychological assistance with
the client or assist the client in their
healthcare needs.
Look at your schedule. How can volunteering fit into your schedule? Two afternoons
a week? One afternoon a week?
If you are comfortable and trained as an
Instructor, the American Red Cross has
many courses looking for your teaching
You don’t need a special skill. The American Red Cross needs YOU. They will find a
space where your talents and skill levels
can fit right in.
Too numerous to mention, volunteering
with the American Red Cross also
involves fun events, including:
Bilingual? A welcome asset.
• Bank of American Chicago Marathon
Initial and on-going educational classes are
essential enrichments for all American Red
Cross volunteers.
• Shamrock Shuffle
• Collaboration with other Red Cross
Chapters during disasters, i.e. Hurricane
• Working with the Office of Emergency
(OEMC) in the Central Business District
Evacuation Exercise of the AON and
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
• Providing canteen services to the
environmental officials of the Department of Natural Resources in Lockport,
IL as they checked the canals for the
Asian Carp
• Assisting with canteen services during
natural and man-made disasters
• Providing clerical duties and nourishment
before and after ARC Blood Drives
This pledge you give yourself does not
need to begin as a New Year’s resolution. It
begins the minute you fill out a volunteer
application and decide now is the time.
An event here? An event there.
You need training? No problem.
“The only constant is change, continuing
change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society
today. No
sensible decision can
be made any longer
without taking into
account not only
the world as it is,
but the world as it
will be.” — Isaac
So, have you decided?
going to volunteer?
See you at the
next event. =)
Preparing for Medical Assisting Certification & Beyond
By Jessica Olague, RMA
Prior to taking my
certification exam
Medical Technologists (AMT), I was
studying for my
exam while working full-time, going
to school full-time
and being a singlemother.
juggling all these activities and trying to
prioritize when I always knew my son
needed to be at the top of the list.
At times it seemed impossible. I finally had
to make the decision whether to risk not
passing my exam and keep my current
minimum wage job, or quit my job and
focus on my exam for the amount of time I
had left.
Many might think this should have been a
simple decision and that I should just quit
and focus on this important exam, but for
me this was a worry since I had my son to
think about. Could I support my son if I
made this choice?
Fortunately for me, I have the love and
support of my parents; they offered to help
me out during this period. Then after
quitting my job, I was able to focus on my
exam, leading me to become a
Certified Medical Assistant with Illinois
State Society of American Medical
Technologists. I owe it all to my parents,
who offered to help me out financially
during this period. I couldn’t have done
it without them. I love you!
I’m currently unemployed, but I am
actively sending out resumes on a daily
basis. I KNOW I made the right decision.
In this tough economy I just
have to be persistent and know that the
right job will come along.
After passing the exam in July 2011, I
was so proud and happy but I realized
my work had just begun. I believed that
being an RMA, would make it easier to
find a job. I did not realize that I would
be applying day after day and having
multiple interviews with long periods of
time before I heard from anyone again.
Thanks to AMT, I know I am ahead of
others who are looking for work and
passing the certification exam has given
me added confidence.
Sometimes I would even get form letters
in the mail telling me someone more
qualified was found. I know I have never
had a job in the medical field except my
externship and other volunteer experience and that has been my biggest
struggle – trying to find a job that is
willing to hiring someone straight out of
As I continue to look for work I am back in
school at Robert Morris University finishing my Associate’s degree before moving
on to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in
Business – focusing on medical administration.
Everyday I have made it a habit to wake
up early and surf the web in order to
send my resumes to local medical
offices. Prior to that, I drove to local
medical offices to drop off my resume
and got sent home because they only
were taking online submissions.
Exciting News!
Illinois received two awards at the
National Conference in Miami:
First Place Newsletter
Nancy Gabl, Editor
Honor Roll of State Societies
You can vote for
your favorite officer
and Board of
Director candidates
online at www.il-amt.org.
Not only can you cast your vote, but
you can check the status of how the
poll is going until the election is over!
Voting will end on Sunday, October 16,
at 3:00 p.m. after the Board Meeting.
Delegate Reports from Miami
Nancy Gabl, MHRM, RMA, AHI,
to be there.
Miami AMT
conference was a
experience. The continuing
education was inspiring and thoughtprovoking and I could
not help but realize
how truly blessed I was
The state of Illinois had six delegates this
year and that was a proud moment. As our
state was called to go into the meeting, I
realized that our state has not only
achieved growth in its membership, but has
become a state that plays an active role in
participating from the national perspective.
It was during the Town Hall Meeting and
the AMT Annual Business Meeting that I
started to really ponder the magnitude of
the responsibility we all have as delegates
and as voting members at the business
meeting. I could not help but reflect on the
preamble of the bylaws that states that
AMT is “controlled by and exists for the
benefit of its members.” That means we
have a responsibility to all our members
when we vote for the candidates that will
speak for us in the organization. Is it then a
popularity contest or should we know the
background and the experience of each
candidate? We need to feel confident in
knowing that their expertise or their
background will contribute to sound
conscious decision making when they vote
for any changes within the organization. If
this is so, then why do we not spend more
time interviewing these candidates?
One thought that I had is, where can I find
information on the candidates so I can look
at their credentials and then compare that
to the description of the position they are
running for? If it sounds like an interview,
that is because that is what it is. When we
arrived at the conference and checked in
we received a packet that was filled with all
sorts of information except one thing –
information on the candidates and the
position they are running for. Isn’t that one
of the most important reasons why we
were there? By the end of the conference
their information was posted on a bulletin board, but I would rather have a copy
in my hand and be able to read it over
and think about questions I would like to
ask the candidates.
For example, the AMTIE board
candidate’s job responsibilities have
changed to fundraising. This change
obviously will have great impact on our
organization. Do we not realize as
voting delegates that this warrants some
lengthy interviewing and discussion?
Annual reports are in your packet so
make sure, as a delegate and as member,
you read those over in order to know the
changes that are happening in “your
organization.” This is one way you can
be more prepared for the town hall meeting.
Being able to attend the conference
every year is a big honor but now I
realize I also have a big responsibility.
My goal, if I am elected as a delegate
next year, is to be more proactive in the
voting process. Next year I will be ready
to interview the candidates. Will you
join me by not hesitating to ask the
questions that need to be asked? Let’s
make our voices heard and may the best
candidate win! I will see you at the
microphone in San Antonio!
The joint meeting of
AMT (73rd) and
CASMET was both
unique! The exchange
of ideas, the methods
of celebration, the
exhibits and the camaraderie between both
groups was a positive experience to
The scientific seminars were top notch
and provided members with the new
developments in diagnostics and
treatments, as well as, opportunities to
participate with other technicians in the
question and answer portion of the
sessions. I learned a lot, especially from the
sessions of David Plaut. I was also very
happy to participate with other Illinois
members – the largest group attending in
The annual business meeting went well and
was uneventful. The election of state
officers and Board members was without
major controversy, as was the AMTIE
All in all, the convention was really well
done. I was happy to accept all the awards
that Nancy Gabl had won!
Josephine Hardin, MT (AMT)
I would like to thank the
AMT staff for their hard
work on planning the
Technologists 73rd Educational
National Meeting. I would
also like to give a special
thank you to our Illinois State Society
President, Nancy Gabl, for being an
outstanding society president, for her hard
work as editor, and for her continued
dedication to the field.
I attended several great sessions at the
conference such as “Spending Some Time
with Your Brain.” The speakers of this
meeting were Charlotte Hudson Boe, Ph.D.
and Gerard Patrick Boe, Ph.D. The objectives of this workshop were to understand
the anatomy of the brain, gain knowledge
about Brain Dominance Theory and identify
your own brain dominance. There are two
types of hemispheric brain dominance – a
person can either be left or right hemispheric.
This was just one example of the many great
sessions available at the conference.
This Miami conference was a very well
planned and coordinated. I look forward to
next year’s conference in San Antonio
Texas and the opportunity to meet with
fellow colleagues in the field.
Delegate Reports from Miami (cont.)
Asiyay Jafray, RMA
It was a pleasure to
attend the Joint AMT
and CASMET 73rd
Program and National
Meeting in Miami.
Serving as a delegate
this year was a very
rewarding experience. I
was able to learn more about the organization as well as meet other members.
The experience has given me an added
insight into the positive efforts put forth by
the members of this organization and it
makes me proud to have joined AMT. I
must also give a special thanks to the members of ISSAMT for which without their
guidance and support this opportunity
would not have been possible.
There were many aspects of this conference that I truly enjoyed. The conference
featured a plethora of interesting topics
making it a challenge to decide which to
attend – if I could have been five places at
one time I would have done so.
Nevertheless, I definitely enjoyed those
seminars that I did attend and am grateful
that flash drives with the remaining presentations were made available. The location
was beautiful, the people were warmhearted and friendly, and the social activities were amazing! This was definitely a
memorable conference.
I am very appreciative that I had this
opportunity and am looking forward to
many more years of service.
Elaine Miyamoto, MS, MScTRM,
Gloria Culla, MT (AMT)
It was an honor for me to represent
Illinois at the 73rd Educational Program
and National Meeting between AMT
and the Caribbean Association of Medical Technologists in Miami. The blending of old friends and new intermingled
in dialogue and learning at each of the
As a first time attendee, I was impressed
how the AMT Officers and members
organized the event—for me, “it was a
very successful conference.” Tuesday
night was stress-free and I enjoyed the
drums and dance from our CASMET
members. I was also able to meet new
Filipino Medical Technologist members
from all over the world, and get to know
our AMT president Ms. Roxann Clifton
and our very own Executive Director Mr.
Christopher Damon.
Henry L. Doherty
said, “Get over the
children should spend
their time in study. Be
a student so long as
you still have something to learn, and this
will mean all your
life.” Never has a quote rung more true.
Education IS a lifelong practice.
I cannot select only one session most
outstanding, as each was valuable in its
own right. I must admit, Marco
Burenko, MD, FCAP, FASCP’s presentation on “Stem Cells – When Did They
Appear on the Horizon” captivated my
inquiring mind. It is mind-boggling
what future medicine brings. Listening
and learning of what is new in medicine
is a true, “Oh my gosh” experience.
I encourage each and every reader to
consider attending the next AMT Educational Program. The varied selections of
educational sessions are suited for
healthcare learners. You will not be
asking yourself, “What should I do
today,” but rather “What will I learn
today?” Learn something new. Attend
the AMT Educational Programs and the
National Meetings.
I would like to thank
Illinois State President Ms. Nancy Gabl
and the ISSAMT for
giving me the chance
to serve as a delegate
at the 73rd Educational Program and
National Meeting in
Miami Florida.
The educational sessions, workshops,
exhibits and the election of members to the
Board were perfect. I learned a lot about
the clinical laboratory today.
Now that I have gained a lot from this
convention, I look forward to being a
valuable medical technologist to the AMT
I would like to sincerely thank everyone
who made this convention possible.
Take a moment to imagine that there is an emergency, like a fire in your home, and you need to leave
quickly. What are the best escape routes from your home? Find at least two ways out of each room.
Now, write it down — you’ve got the beginning of a plan. - Dept. of Homeland Security
Our very own Illinois State Treasurer of AMT, Elaine Miyamoto (pictured at right), has her Master’s degree
in Science & Threat Management and enjoys flying.
ISSAMT Officer and Board Candidates 2012-13
The state president is the official representative within the state and must be
well-informed about AMT.
The secretary is to maintain and complete
all permanent records in a efficient and
orderly manner. Any new member that
runs for this position will be mentored for
this position.
Board Members
These are members that have been with the
state society and served different capacities.
They also are voting members and need to
be at all meetings.
Josephine Harden MT (AMT)
Nancy Gabl MHRM, RMA, AHI,
Veronda L. Spiller
A perfect position to learn hands-on the way
the state society works since you work
alongside the state president.
Is responsible for all financial records of
the state society. They must submit a
report at each meeting and pay bills. They
help oversee the financial records.
Norman Frankel Ph.D, MT (AMT)
Fran Floyd MT (AMT)
Elaine T. Miyamoto, RMA,
Carol A. Sieczynski
Falguni Thakkar MT (AMT)
Photos from the National AMT Conference in Miami
Clockwise from top left: Miami skyline from the bay; Cruising Miami at night; Josephine and Norm wearing their Caribbean party
wear at the Welcome party put on by CASMET; Members dressed up for a formal evening; Members wait to board their cruise ship
on Biscayne Bay; Caribbean dancers entertain AMT Members.
ISSAMT is in the process of planning their 2012 Educational
Seminar and is considering having a Great Lakes District
Educational Meeting in the fall instead of our usual spring
meeting. It will include the other states in the district –
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and of course,
Illinois. Potentionally it would be a two-day meeting, This is yet to be determined
and more information will be available after this newsletter is published.
Please check the website for further details at www.il-amt.org.
FYI: Further details to follow on the calendar for 2012, after the elections. Please
check the calendar of events on the website after October 16, 2011.
By Nancy Gabl, MSHR, RMA (AMT), CMA (AAMA), CPT, (NPA)
Have you ever been with someone whose
hands appear shaky? Some people have
tremors and it seems to be genetically
predisposed and is frequently seen in
populations that have a history of migraine
a cup, holding your arms out, or when
you stand up straight. There are several
sub classifications of action tremor.
Postural tremor occurs when the person
maintains a position against gravity,
such as holding the arms outstretched.
According to Medline Plus, “A tremor is a
type of involuntary shaking movement.
Involuntary means you shake without
trying to do so. A tremor is often most
noticeable in your hands and arms, but it
may affect any body part (even your head
or voice).”
Kinetic tremor appears during movement of a body part, such as moving the
wrists up and down, while intention
tremor is present during a purposeful
movement toward a target, such as
touching a finger to one’s nose during a
medical exam.
I never realized there are several types of
tremors and they are significant in
diagnosing the underlying cause. For
example, there are three main types of
Tremor is most commonly classified by
its appearance, cause or origin. Some of
the more common forms of tremor and
their symptoms include:
• Resting (or static) tremors: These
tremors are present when your muscles are
resting. The tremor may go away or
become less noticeable when you move
muscles that are involved. Resting tremor
occurs when the muscle is relaxed, such as
when the hands are lying on the lap or
hanging next to the trunk while standing or
walking. It may be seen as a shaking of the
limb, even when the person is at rest.
Often, the tremor affects only the hand or
fingers. This type of tremor is often seen
in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
• Intention (or kinetic): These tremors
occur at the end of a purposeful (intended)
movement, such as writing, pressing a
button, or reaching for an object. The
tremor will usually disappear while the
affected body part is at rest. Task-specific
tremor appears when performing highly
skilled, goal-oriented tasks such as handwriting or speaking. Isometric tremor
occurs during a voluntary muscle contraction that is not accompanied by any movement.
• Postural or action tremors: These
occur when you are holding your arm or
leg in one position for a period of time
against gravity. This may happen when
you are writing, holding a cup, holding
• Essential tremor (also known as
benign essential tremor) is the most
common of the forms of abnormal
tremor. Although the tremor may be mild
and nonprogressive in some people over
a long period of time, in others, the
tremor is slowly progressive, starting on
one side of the body but affecting both
sides within a few years. The hands are
most often affected but the head, voice,
tongue, legs, and trunk may also be
involved, typically to a lesser extent than
the hands. Tremor of the hands is
typically present as an action tremor.
Head tremor may be seen as a “yes-yes”
or “no-no” motion. Essential tremor may
be accompanied by mild gait disturbance.
Tremor frequency may decrease as the
person ages, but the severity may
increase, affecting the person’s ability to
perform certain tasks or activities of
daily living. Heightened emotion, stress,
fever, physical exhaustion, or low blood
sugar may trigger tremors and/or
increase their severity. Onset is most
common after age 40, although symptoms can appear at any age. It may occur
in more than one family member. Children of a parent who has essential tremor
have a 50 percent chance of inheriting
the condition. A variant in the gene
LINGO1 has been identified as a risk gene,
although not all individuals with essential
tremor carry this variant--which also can be
present in people without essential tremor.
While essential tremor was thought not to
be associated with any known pathology
over many years, recent studies suggest that
there is a mild degeneration of certain parts
of the cerebellum in individuals with essential tremor.
• Parkinsonian tremor is caused by
damage to structures within the brain that
control movement. This tremor, which
appears characteristically as a resting
tremor, can occur as an isolated symptom
or be seen in other disorders and is often the
first symptom of Parkinson’s disease (more
than 25 percent of patients with Parkinson’s
disease have an associated action tremor).
The tremor, which is classically seen as a
“pill-rolling” action of the hands that may
also affect the chin, lips, legs, and trunk,
can be markedly increased by stress or
emotions. Onset of a parkinsonian tremor is
generally after age 60. Movement starts in
one limb or on one side of the body and
usually progresses to include the other side.
• Dystonic tremor occurs in individuals
of all ages who are affected by dystonia, a
movement disorder in which sustained
involuntary muscle contractions cause
twisting and repetitive motions and/or
painful and abnormal postures or positions,
such as twisting of the neck (torticollis) or
writer's cramp. Dystonic tremor may affect
any muscle in the body and is seen most
often when the patient is in a certain
position or moves a certain way. The
pattern of dystonic tremor may differ from
essential tremor. Dystonic tremors occur
irregularly and often can be relieved by
complete rest. Touching the affected body
part or muscle may reduce tremor severity.
The tremor may be the initial sign of dystonia localized to a particularpart of the body.
Continued on next page
(cont. from previous page)
• Cerebellar tremor is a slow tremor of
the extremities that occurs at the end of a
purposeful movement (intention tremor),
such as trying to press a button or touching
a finger to the tip of one’s nose. Cerebellar
tremor is caused by lesions in or damage to
the cerebellum resulting from stroke,
tumor, or disease such as multiple sclerosis
or some inherited degenerative disorder. It
can also result from chronic alcoholism or
overuse of some medicines. In classic
cerebellar tremor, a lesion on one side of
the brain produces a tremor in that same
side of the body that worsens with directed
movement. Cerebellar damage can also
produce a “wing-beating” type of tremor
called rubral or Holmes’ tremor — a
combination of rest, action, and postural
tremors. The tremor is often most prominent when the affected person is active or
is maintaining a particular posture.
Cerebellar tremor may be accompanied by
dysarthria (speech problems), nystagmus
(rapid involuntary movements of the eyes),
gait problems, and postural tremor of the
trunk and neck.
• Psychogenic tremor (also called
functional tremor) can appear as any form
of tremor movement. The characteristics of
this kind of tremor may vary but generally
include sudden onset and remission,
increased incidence with stress, change in
tremor direction and/or body part affected,
and greatly decreased or disappearing
tremor activity when the individual is
being distracted. Many individuals with
psychogenic tremor have a conversion
disorder (defined as a psychological disorder that produces physical symptoms) or
another psychiatric disease.
• Orthostatic tremor is characterized by
rhythmic muscle contractions that occur in
the legs and trunk immediately after standing. The person typically perceives orthostatic tremor as unsteadiness rather than
actual tremor. Because of its high tremor
frequency, often the tremor cannot be seen,
but sometimes be heard when putting a
stethoscope to the thigh muscles. No other
clinical signs or symptoms are present and
the unsteadiness ceases when the
individual sits, is lifted off the ground,
or starts walking.
• Physiologic tremor occurs in every
normal individual. It is rarely visible to
the eye and may be heightened by strong
emotion (such as anxiety or fear), physical exhaustion, hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, heavy metal poisoning,
caffeine, or fever. It can occur in all
voluntary muscle groups and can be
detected by extending the arms and
placing a piece of paper on top of the
• Enhanced physiologic tremor is a
strengthening of physiologic tremor to
more visible levels. It is generally not
caused by a neurological disease but by
reaction to certain drugs, alcohol
withdrawal, or medical conditions
including an overactive thyroid and
hypoglycemia. It is usually reversible
once the cause is corrected.
Tremors can result from other conditions as well. Alcoholism, excessive
alcohol consumption, or alcohol
withdrawal can kill certain nerve cells,
resulting in tremor, especially in the
hand. (Occasionally, alcohol, in small
amounts, may even help to decrease
essential tremor). Doctors may use
small amounts of alcohol to aid in the
diagnosis of certain forms of tremor but
not as a regular treatment for the condition. Tremor in peripheral neuropathy
may occur when the nerves that supply
the body’s muscles are traumatized by
injury, disease, abnormality in the
central nervous system, or as the result
of systemic illnesses. Peripheral
neuropathy can affect the whole body or
certain areas, such as the hands, and may
be progressive. Resulting sensory loss
may be seen as a tremor or ataxia
(inability to coordinate voluntary
muscle movement) of the affected limbs
and problems with gait and balance.
Clinical characteristics may be similar
to those seen in individuals with essential tremor.
In researching tremors, it is easy to realize
that there are a lot of variable to consider
when diagnosing this disease and it is
imperative for the physician to take a good
history in order to hopefully make the right
It will also be essential for the physician to
follow-up the patient over periods of time
to see how the disease progresses. It also
important to educate the family of the
patient since genetic factors play a significant role in not only diagnosing but long
range planning for the patient as well as
the family members.
Medline Plus
National Institute of Neurological
AMT has a new website:
All office staff e-mails have
They are now:
first initial.lastname.americanmedtech.org
Ex: Diane Powell’s email address is
[email protected]
Upcoming Events
• Be sure to cast your vote on www.il-amt.org for next year’s officers!
Exciting News! You can vote for your favorite officer and Board of Director candidates online at
www.il-amt.org. Not only can you cast your vote, you can also check the status of how the voting
The Illinois Reporter is
is going until the election is decided on Sunday, October 16 immediately following the Board
published bi-annually. Address
Meeting at 3 p.m.
all communications to the
• Look for the updated calendar in October!
Editor, who reserves the right to
edit all material, if necessary.
Remember to look at the 2012 calendar that will be posted online after the meeting in October so
Any article appearing in The
you can ask for time off to go to meetings.
Illinois Reporter is to be
assumed as representing the
opinions of the author and is not
• Record your CEs on Amtrax!
to be construed as reflecting to
Visit the AMT website at www.americanmedtech.org. Use your email address to log on and your
the policy of the publication
member ID for a password. Keep all documents, in case of an audit.
unless the article is designated.
Publication deadlines for 2012
are April 1, 2012 for the spring
issue and September 1, 2012
for the fall issue.
• Make your reservations for San Antonio!
Make your reservations now for San Antonio, Texas for July 9-14, 2012 for the National AMT
Educational Seminar and Business Meeting!
Illinois Reporter Issue 2 Fall/Winter 2011
Nancy Gabl, Editor
1768 Coach Drive
Naperville, IL 60565
address printed here
Don’t forget to RSVP by Oct. 12th for the ISSAMT Board Meeting
at Central DuPage Hospital on Sunday, Oct. 16th!

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