About Critical Values

Critical Values is the go-to resource for the entire laboratory team, providing insight and information on the latest research, information, and issues within pathology and laboratory medicine. The print and online magazine invites submissions on topics including, but not limited to, advocacy, education, technology, global health, workforce, workplace best practices, and leadership.

Questions? Comments? Email us at criticalvalues@ascp.org.

ASCP Staff Advisers

E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM
Chief Executive Officer 

Critical Values Staff

Molly Strzelecki  Editor 

Susan Montgomery  Contributing Editor

Martin Tyminski  Creative Director  

Jennifer Brinson  Art Direction and Design  

Our Recent Articles

2019 Report to ASCP Membership: A Year in Review

Dec 20, 2021, 14:52 PM by Molly Strzelecki

In today’s health care environment, pathologists, medical laboratory professionals, and residents are central to patient care, as we guide diagnostic testing and influence the delivery of health care. The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) places patient-centered care at the core of our mission. By providing you with a full picture of where our field is headed and information tailored to your specific roles, ASCP strives to furnish you with the answers you need for your career, so that you can continue to provide vital answers for patients.

Over the past year, we have worked to equip you with the best possible resources to expand your knowledge, advance your career, and advocate for your profession and your patients. In this year’s Annual Report, you’ll discover highlights from our achievements in several key areas: knowledge, certification, recognition, reach and influence, global community, and collaboration.

  • ASCP was awarded Accreditation with Commendation status by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, placing us in the in the highest tier of all continuing medical education providers. We continue to provide a variety of education options for anatomic and clinical pathologists and laboratory professionals to meet continuing education requirements.
  • The ASCP Board of Certification furthered the development of new credentials and worked to promote standards that ensure qualified laboratory personnel. 
  • ASCP launched an initiative to advance diversity, inclusion, and empowerment of women and underrepresented minorities within our profession and is developing strategies to ensure that all students are aware of careers within our field. 
  • We continue to advocate for you and your patients, including promoting fair and accurate reimbursement and addressing the issues of surprise billing and insurance network adequacy. We also continue to support laboratories’ efforts to improve their performance through our National Pathology Quality Registry. 
  • In the global health arena, we are building laboratory capacity to support HIV diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance under our U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief cooperative agreement, as well as optimizing cancer diagnostics, treatment, and care in resource-limited countries as a part of our Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa initiative. 
  • We expanded our collaborations, including joining with the Intersociety Council for Pathology Information (ICPI) to support residents with the development of the ICPI/ASCP Pathology Fellowship Directory and forging partnerships to provide resources to more members of the laboratory team around the world. 
  • Through the ASCP Foundation, we are facilitating efforts to support your colleagues, students, and patients, including awarding over 140 individuals with scholarships and grants.

We are proud to represent and support you—the members of ASCP—by offering you information and services to advance your career and uniting you with the world’s largest community of your pathology and laboratory medicine colleagues. We look forward to continuing to work with you to advance patient care. We are STRONGERTOGETHER!

Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP
2018-2019 ASCP President 

Gene P. Siegal, MD, PhD, FASCP
2019-2020 ASCP President 

E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM
ASCP Chief Executive Officer

Knowledge

Continually building your expertise is foundational to advancing your career and ensuring your ability to care for patients. In 2019, ASCP continued to deliver trusted educational resources and innovative, practical content spanning the entire landscape of anatomic and clinical pathology and laboratory medicine to keep you on the forefront of the field and position you to lead the clinical care team in providing excellent patient care.

Equipping you with trusted resources you can depend on to meet requirements and build your expertise

In 2019, ASCP was reviewed by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and awarded ­Accreditation with Commendation status. This achievement grants ASCP accreditation through July 2025 and has placed the organization in the highest tier of all continuing medical education (CME) providers. Since the creation of the ACCME accreditation system, ASCP has maintained an illustrious accreditation history, totaling 42 years of ­accreditation for the ASCP CME program.

Our online portal with more than 600 courses continues to offer both ­anatomic and clinical pathologists and laboratory professionals a variety of reliable, ­customizable education options to meet Continuing Certification (CC; formerly MOC) and Credential Maintenance Program requirements.

Advancing education across the entire landscape of anatomic and clinical pathology and laboratory medicine

ASCP’s Curriculum, Educational Resource, and Scientific Advisory Committee (CER-SAC) continues to advance the work of the ASCP Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Curriculum. Under the umbrella of the CER-SAC, content specific scientific interest groups in 13 main content areas are continually identifying hot topics in the field as well as ensuring up-to-date curricular competency outlines to guide ASCP’s entire educational portfolio. 

As a part of our efforts to further education around patient safety, we also began participating in the Training Residents in Patient Safety (TRIPS) Working Group, which has been established to develop a curriculum on patient safety designed for pathology residency programs. Eight individuals from medical schools across the United States represent the Residency Program Directors Section of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC) on the TRIPS Working Group, along with representatives from four pathology organizations and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. ASCP is formally represented as a member organization and is providing administrative and logistical support.

Supporting future leaders with genomic medicine education

To support health care providers with education in the growing field of genomics, we are providing educational design support to the Undergraduate Training in Genomics (UTRIG) Working Group for the development of a medical student genomics curriculum with a major focus on cancer care. These efforts build upon a genomics curriculum for pathology residents that was first developed by the Training Residents in Genomics (TRIG) Working Group, under the leadership of Richard L. Haspel, MD, PhD, FASCP. UTRIG and TRIG sessions were held at the 2019 ASCP Annual Meeting. TRIG is a working group of the Residency Program Directors Section of the APC, and UTRIG is a working group of the Undergraduate Medical Educators Section of the APC. The work of the TRIG and UTRIG Working Groups is supported by an R25 grant from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute.

Providing clear guidance for your certification needs

We launched our Resident Question Bank in response to our residents’ request for a board certification and preparation resource tailored to their needs. This comprehensive, online, self-assessment and educational tool serves as a stand-alone education program and was included in ASCP’s 2019 RISE PLUS package. 

Over 900 individuals have taken advantage of ASCP Certification Preparation:
The MLS Online Review Course
, designed to help students and laboratory professionals prepare for the ASCP Board of Certification MLS (Medical Laboratory Scientist) examination.

We also support the CC needs of pathologists in numerous ways. We continue to participate in an initiative of the American Board of Pathology (ABPath) and the ACCME to help ABPath diplomates more easily identify and earn CC credits through the ACCME CME Finder and ease their reporting to ABPath. As a part of this initiative, we are reporting physician participation in ASCP educational activities meeting requirements for CC Part II (CME/SAMs CME [Continuing Medical Education/Self Assessment Module Continuing Medical Education]) and Part IV through the ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System to the ABPath, removing this responsibility from ABPath diplomates. We are also partnering with the ABPath to provide the opportunity for participants in the 2019 ABPath CertLink© to earn CME/SAMs CME credits for this innovative assessment program.

Supplying content to keep you on the forefront of the field and guide your leading role on the clinical care team

As a part of our comprehensive educational approach to enhance the laboratory team’s knowledge and skills related to the rapidly changing field of immuno-oncology (IO), ASCP has developed a variety of educational opportunities.  We have launched 13 online educational modules that focus on hot topics in IO, created two recordings from the IO panel discussions held during the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting, and created one recording from the IO panel discussion held during the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting. Additionally, one implementation science project was completed and four quality improvement projects are underway at five community-based locations. ASCP also conducted an “IO ChangeMakers” leadership skills series to empower pathologists and laboratory professionals to help shape their institutions’ policies, procedures, and protocols for patient care around IO.

In collaboration with the American Society of Hematology, the Oncology Nursing Society, the National Marrow Donor Program, and The France Foundation, we continue to offer MDS and AML MATTER (Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia MATTER: Multidisciplinary Approach To Testing and Diagnosis, Evaluation of Risk, and Personalized Treatment Selection), including online education and four live summits relating to the diagnosis and classification of these diseases. 

We also support your efforts to convey your expertise to the clinical care team through certificate programs in leadership, management, and informatics: the ASCP Leadership Institute, Lab Management University, and University of Pathology Informatics.

ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting

ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting promotes education, advancement, and discovery

Approximately 1,500 attendees came together from around the world to be inspired by distinguished keynote speakers and groundbreaking scientific discoveries at the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting, Sept. 11-13, in Phoenix, Arizona. Through this exceptional event, anatomic and clinical pathologists, laboratory professionals, and residents gained strategies to stay on the forefront of the profession, as well as laboratory stewardship techniques to improve outcomes and enhance patient care.

Attendees heard poignant and personal stories shared by distinguished speakers advocating for access to quality health care. Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, current president of the Union for International Cancer Control, gave an impassioned speech about her personal journey with her child’s cancer and the important role that diagnostic medicine played in his treatment. She also talked about her role as director general of the King Hussein Cancer Center for more than 10 years, during which time she transformed the institution to a high-quality cancer center with improving survival rates, especially for children. At the end of her presentation, HRH Princess Dina was presented the 2019 ASCP Patient Advocate Award in recognition of her work to reduce cancer in resource-limited countries around the world. 

During the Grand Opening Reception, for the first time, ASCP hosted a Fellowship Fair where more than 150 pathology residents, as well as medical students and fellows, learned about various fellowship opportunities that are available across the United States. Approximately 30 U.S. institutions, offering more than 200 fellowship positions, provided information about their respective programs.

The Exhibit Hall also featured the 2019 Patient Symposium co-hosted by ASCP Patient Champions and the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona. Patients and the public were invited to the event, which featured educational sessions, panel discussions, and networking opportunities to empower patients to understand laboratory testing for chronic kidney disease, kidney cancer, diabetes, and other kidney-related diseases. 

The following day, at the beginning of the Scientific General Session, 2018-2019 ASCP President Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP, gave the President’s Address, offering highlights of the Society’s activities over the past year. She also spoke about the Society’s new initiative focusing on diversity and the empowerment of women and minorities in the laboratory. 

She then introduced Michael Schubert, editor of The Pathologist magazine, who moderated a panel debate on test utilization management. Mr. Schubert convened six experts who shared their unique perspectives and approaches to controlling the costs of diagnostic testing while still providing high quality patient care.

In the Exhibit Hall, attendees connected with exhibitors and browsed the hundreds of posters. Nearby, ASCP Foundation donors enjoyed a special donors-only lounge.

During the meeting, ASCP hosted nearly 80 local high school students at NEXTPO, where they were immersed in real-life scientific experiments and learned about careers in the medical laboratory. Four academically talented senior students were presented with ASCP Foundation STEM Student Scholarships.

On the last day of the meeting, Dr. Upton passed the mantle of leadership to 2019-2020 ASCP President Gene Siegal, MD, PhD, FASCP. A distinguished educator, Dr. Siegal is the Robert W. Mowry Endowed Professor of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and executive vice-chair of pathology at UAB Medicine.

Also on the final day of the meeting, the ASCP 2019 Annual Awards recognized exemplary members whose leadership has shaped the Society and the profession. The ASCP Leaders Celebration honored many of these individuals, as well as ASCP’s 2019 40 Under Forty Top Five honorees and poster presentation award winners.

In addition to providing attendees with practical knowledge to support them as they advance their labs and discover how to take a leading role on the clinical care team, the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting highlighted the hard work and dedication of ASCP members. The ASCP 2020 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, will expand upon this year’s opportunities and be even more exciting. Mark your calendar now for Sept. 9-11, 2020, and plan to attend the ASCP 2020 Annual Meeting in Austin!

Certification

Through certification, you and your laboratory team have standards to establish your expertise and highlight your dedication to excellent patient care. Over the past year, the ASCP Board of Certification has continued to provide excellence in certification of laboratory professionals, as well as promote the importance of competent laboratory personnel to quality care.

Demonstrating the proficiency of medical laboratory professionals worldwide through certification

In fiscal year 2019, nearly 15,000 U.S. certification exams were given, with an increase in examinees over fiscal year 2018 for technician (HT, MLA, MLT), technologist/scientist (BB, CG, CT, H), specialist (SBB, SC, SCT, SCYM, SH, SM), and pathologists’ assistant (PA).

Nearly 3,500 international certification exams were given in fiscal year 2019. Examinees by region of education are from 111 countries, which represents 56 percent of all the countries in the world. New countries of education with examinees include Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Georgia, Malawi, and Somalia.

The total number of certificants worldwide reached more than 568,100, including more than 2,000 international certificants. Certificants by region of education are from 100 countries. New countries of education with certificants include Algeria, Greece, the Netherlands, and Tunisia.

Promoting standards to ensure qualified laboratory personnel

In collaboration with ASCP, the ASCP BOC responded to Tennessee SB 318/HB 328 legislation exempting privately owned clinical laboratories in Tennessee from the need to use properly trained, licensed laboratory professionals as part of the diagnostic process. We believe this bill was defeated due to our efforts along with others from the profession.

The ASCP BOC and ASCP forced changes to a Louisiana bill that would have undermined certification in state licensure by barring the state “from relying on certification as a prerequisite for ­professional licensure unless there is empirical evidence of systemic harm to consumers from the absence of a certification requirement.”

In addition, the ASCP BOC and ASCP also responded to state legislation in Missouri preventing certified individuals from including a certification in their professional titles, unless certification is required for state licensure.

Offering new credentials to illustrate your commitment to quality patient care

The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories and the ASCP BOC are developing the Qualification in Biorepository Science, which will begin administration on April 1, 2020.

The ASCP BOC also formed the PhD Immunology Certification Examination Committee and will begin development of this examination.  

Highlighting the value of certification

In 2019, the ASCP BOC participated in a large-scale survey to demonstrate the value of certification. ASCP BOC certificants were surveyed to determine why they sought certification and how certification has impacted their earning potential, job growth, and other aspects of their work.

The ASCP BOC also collaborated with American Proficiency Institute on a survey to gather data on the personnel performing laboratory testing and their performance on proficiency testing.

Joining with other organizations to advocate for laboratory personnel competency

In 2019, the ASCP BOC began participating in the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC) Personnel Regulation Work Group. This work group was formed to advise CLIAC on the personnel questions asked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding educational requirements necessary for lab personnel, as well as requirements for lab directors, supervisors, and technical consultants.

In addition, the ASCP BOC joined the American National Standards Institute State Legislation Task Force. This task force will identify legislation that negatively impacts voluntary certification, provide testimony on the value of voluntary certification, and promote voluntary certification and its positive impact on the workforce and economy.

Recognition

Building and supporting the pathology and laboratory medicine workforce and promoting visibility of the profession’s vital function in health care facilitates your ability to make an impact on patient care. During 2019, ASCP has highlighted your key role on the clinical care team and offered resources and guidance to help you move forward in your career.

Promoting diversity, inclusion, and empowerment of women and underrepresented minorities

Under the leadership of 2018-2019 ASCP President Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP, we launched an initiative to foster a diverse and inclusive pathology and laboratory medicine profession in which all individuals thrive through appreciation, respect, and engagement. To achieve this goal, we have been working to advance diversity, inclusion, and the empowerment of women and underrepresented minorities by creating related strategies in the areas of awareness, recruitment, talent development, and the development of inclusive and equitable workplaces. Our aim is to allow all to grow and succeed and empower individual laboratories to reflect the communities they serve. Read more about diversity in the laboratory in the July 2019 edition of Critical Values, which can be found online at academic.oup.com/criticalvalues.

Empowering you to foster the future workforce by sharing your passion for the profession with students

We continue to provide members with opportunities to give students visibility into the work pathologists and laboratory professionals do through the ASCP Career Ambassadors 2.0 program and the ASCP Pathology Ambassadors program. As a part of our initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the laboratory, we are developing strategies to help members ensure all students, including those belonging to ethnic and racial minority groups who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are aware of careers within the pathology and laboratory medicine profession.

In addition to providing members with tools and resources to give presentations about the profession at Career Fairs, STEM Fairs, student groups, and schools in their communities, we introduced two new activities for Career Ambassadors to complete—networking events, in which Career Ambassadors share about the program with other lab professionals, and a “shadowship,” in which Career Ambassadors host students at their lab. Through the ASCP Pathology Ambassadors program, we continue to recruit resident members to give presentations to medical students and establish Pathology Interest Groups.

Honoring your commitment to provide excellent patient care 

Through recognition programs including our 40 Under Forty program and Annual Awards, which are described in more detail in the pages that follow, ASCP continues to highlight leaders who are making a significant impact on the pathology and laboratory medicine profession. In addition, each year we celebrate ASCP Member Week and Lab Week to honor our all our members’ dedication to patient care.

Providing you with information and services to advance your career

ASCP is focused on supplying members of the pathology and laboratory profession with the answers you need to grow in your career. During 2019, ASCP saw a 1 percent increase in membership over the prior year.

To facilitate opportunities for our members to enhance their careers through connecting with colleagues, we are developing a mentorship program that will launch in 2020 that will link pathologist and laboratory professional members with knowledgeable mentors in their subspecialty or area of expertise.

In 2019, we also launched a new section of the ascp.org website, ASCP News, to provide members with easy access to timely news, features, and scientific content. The valuable content accessible via ASCP News includes our publications, AJCPLab Medicine, Critical Values and Lablogatory, and our partner publications, including The Pathologist. In addition to this collaboration, we partnered with G2 Intelligence, a leading provider of multimedia specialty information publications that reports on diagnostic industry markets, related regulatory changes, and lab operations, to feature articles from G2 Intelligence publications on ASCP News.

Shining a light on your key role in health care with patient stories

We have expanded our Patient Champions program to include 19 Patient Champions with a variety of diagnoses, who each have shared their poignant stories to raise awareness of the vital role pathologists and medical laboratory professionals play in patient care and empower patients to ask the right questions and understand their diagnoses. 

Beyond empowering patients through others’ stories, we have also begun creating patient educational materials that, along with the stories of our Patient Champions, will help patients understand the lab tests essential to their care. ASCP Patient Champions joined with AACC Lab Tests Online to create patient education materials covering thyroid diseases, lupus, and breast cancer. ASCP Patient Champions has also created additional materials covering diseases including sickle cell disease, aplastic anemia, and kidney diseases.

We continue to grow the program through other collaborations, including working with the National Kidney Foundation to highlight a new Patient Champion, Anthony Reed, and showcase the medical laboratory’s key role in a chronic kidney disease patient’s journey from diagnosis to successful transplant. In addition, we partnered with the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona to host the 2019 Patient Symposium at the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting, which focused on empowering patients to understand laboratory testing for chronic kidney disease, kidney cancer, diabetes, and other kidney related diseases through educational sessions, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. We have also developed partnerships with the Association of Community Cancer Centers, COLA Lab Testing Matters, Elephants and Tea, GRYT Health, MTS Sickle Cell Foundation, Pink Lemonade, and Quest Diagnostics.

2019 ASCP Annual Awards

ASCP’s awards recognize members who have made outstanding contributions to the Society and the profession, as well as a patient who has helped increase awareness and understanding of the medical laboratory and a patient advocate whose actions have furthered patient care. At the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, ASCP honored these individuals for their efforts to advance the field of pathology and laboratory medicine and patient care. By highlighting these individuals, ASCP promotes recognition for the critical role pathologists and laboratory professionals play in health care.

To learn more about these awards, visit www.ascp.org/awards.

ASCP President's Award

Edmund R. Donoghue, Jr., MD, MASCP

Kathleen Becan-McBride, EdD, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM

ASCP Masterships

Dorothy Adcock, MD, MASCP

Cheryl Germain, MHS, MASCP, PA(ASCP)CM

Anthony Kurec, MS, MASCP, MLT(ASCP)H, DLM

William Schreiber, MD, MASCP

Ronald Weiss, MD, MBA, MASCP

ASCP Member Lifetime Achievement Award 

Hassan Aziz, PhD, FACSc, MLS(ASCP)CM

ASCP Member Excellence in Education Award

Dana Bostic, MS, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

ASCP Member Excellence in Management Award

Pankaj Kumar Sethi, DVM, MS, PhD, MB(ASCP)CM, NRCC(CC)

ASCP Mentorship Award

Kamran Mirza, MD, PhD, FASCP

H.P. Smith Award for Distinguished Pathology Educator

John Goldblum, MD, FASCP

Israel Davidsohn Award for Distinguished Service 

Kenneth Emancipator, MD, FASCP

Ward Burdick Award for Distinguished Service to Pathology

Steven Kroft, MD, MASCP

ASCP Medical Student Award— Gold Award

Ashley Rose Scholl

ASCP Patient Champion Award 

Anthony Reed

ASCP Career Ambassador Award

Laura Severs, MLS(ASCP)CM

ASCP Pathology Ambassador Award

Kelly Lynn Mooney, MD

Patient Advocate Award

Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan

2019 40 Under Forty Honorees

For the past six years, ASCP’s prestigious 40 Under Forty program has highlighted a total of 240 of the brightest emerging leaders and innovators of pathology and laboratory medicine. In 2019, we honored our newest group of 40 high-achieving ASCP member pathologists, laboratory professionals, and pathology residents under the age of 40 for their achievements and leadership qualities that are making an impact on pathology and laboratory medicine. From this group, the Top Five 40 Under Forty honorees were identified based on public voting and committee selection. Through this esteemed program, our distinguished honorees have had the opportunity to receive recognition within their organizations and media attention as ASCP’s top rising leaders.

To learn more about all of the 40 Under Forty honorees, visit www.ascp.org/40underforty.

2019 Honorees

La’Tonzia Adams, MD, MS, FASCP

N. Dominic Alessio, PA(ASCP)CM

Mustafa Barbhuiya, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM MB(ASCPi)CM

Katie Bennett, PhD, MB(ASCP)CM, NRCC-CC

Adam L. Booth, MD

Elizabeth Boswell, MD, FASCP

Theodore Brown, MD, FASCP

Cody Carter, MD, FASCP

Sarah Choi, MD, PhD, FASCP 

Brittany Coffman, MD

Victoria Costa, MD

Patrick Day, MPH, MLS(ASCP)CM

Tabatha East, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

Patrick Erdman, DO, FASCP 

Deanna Fang, MD, FASCP

Sarah Garner, MS, PA(ASCP)CM 

Nina Haghi, MD, MS, FASCP 

Kelsey Heintze, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM 

Rachel Hulse, EdD, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM

Jennifer Kasten, MD, MSc, FASCP

Osama Khan, MD, BHSc 

Troy Krieger, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM SCYMCM,QLSCM, CLS(MT) 

Ricardo Lastra, MD, FASCP 

Xu Li, PhD, SC(ASCP)CM 

Sanam Loghavi, MD, FASCP 

Julius Manjengwa, MBA, MT(ASCPi

Missy McNeill, MLT(ASCP)CM

Jeffrey Mohlman, MD, MPH

Cory Nash, MS, PA(ASCP)CM

Julie Papango, MLS(ASCPi)CM

Kristen Pesavento, MEd, MLS(ASCP)CM

Oana Rosca, MD, FASCP

Amanda Rosenberg, MT(ASCP)

Sara Rutter, MD, FASCP

Gregory Scott, MD, PhD  

Amanda Treece, MD, FASCP 

Beena Umar, MD 

Elise Venable, MBBS 

Joesph Wiencek, PhD 

Yaolin Zhou, MD, FASCP

ASCP 40 Under Forty Top Five 2019 

Adam L. Booth, MD, is a fourth-year anatomic and clinical pathology resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), in Galveston, Texas. He previously served as Chief Resident at UTMB and currently holds several national leadership positions. Dr. Booth has taken part in numerous interdisciplinary research projects resulting in multiple publications, as well as poster and platform presentations at regional, state, and national meetings. He currently serves as Resident Advisor to the UTMB Medical School Pathology Association for Students. This experience has allowed him to involve medical students in research projects and expose them to the role of pathologists on the medical team. Following residency, Dr. Booth will complete a fellowship in gastrointestinal and hepatopancreatobiliary pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Sarah Choi, MD, PhD, FASCP, is a hematopathologist at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is an assistant professor of pathology. She has an academic interest in prognostically relevant genetic alterations in myeloid neoplasms and is also involved in collaborative projects, including as a co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health RO1-funded study on imaging disease and response to therapy in myeloproliferative neoplasms. She has lectured at regional and national/international meetings on mixed phenotype acute leukemia, T-cell lymphomas, follicular lymphoma, and peripheral blood smear morphology. Her teaching activities also include membership in the Clinical Competency Committee and Program Evaluation Committee for the Hematopathology Fellowship Program. This summer, she began serving as program director. Dr. Choi is heavily invested in departmental quality initiatives in collaboration with supervisors, technologists, administrative assistants, and other pathologists, including the Patient Distribution and Archival Taskforce and Pathology Innovation Survey Analysis team.

Deanna Fang, MD, FASCP, is director-in-training for histocompatibility and immunogenetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. She lived in Hong Kong for 10 years before coming to the United States to attend Pomona College, in Claremont, California, where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry. She earned her medical degree from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, where she also completed a post-sophomore fellowship in anatomic and clinical pathology. Dr. Fang completed her anatomic and clinical pathology residency and medical microbiology fellowship training at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (in association with ARUP Laboratories) and a fellowship in blood banking/transfusion medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She joined the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, in Jacksonville, Florida, and subsequently assumed the position of director of the blood bank. She has a background in blood banking, apheresis, and cell therapy, all of which are related to human leukocyte antigen.

Jennifer Kasten, MD, MSc, FASCP, is a board-certified anatomic pathologist and board-certified pediatric pathologist, and assistant professor of pathology and cardiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. She finds congenital heart disease fascinating, both structural heart disease as well as microscopic heart disease, alongside transplant pathology, myocarditis of all types, cardiac tumors, and complex medical autopsies, particularly those with an underlying cardiac cause of death. As a general diagnostic pediatric and perinatal pathologist, she sees cases from all pathologic subspecialties, and her mantra at all times is to fit her pathology diagnoses into the clinical, social, and cultural context of the child. Dr. Kasten trained in tropical medicine and global health at both the London School of Tropical Medicine and at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar to the United Kingdom. As such, she has worked in multiple countries on several continents and is profoundly interested in improving diagnostic medicine capacity worldwide. She is active in ASCP, including its Center for Global Health, and enjoys consulting internationally on issues of diagnostic quality, pathology systems, and laboratory medicine.

Julie Papango, MLS(ASCPi)CM, is presently a medical technologist 2 at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York. She was born and raised in the Philippines and earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology at 19, as the youngest person in her class of 189 students, before moving to the United States in 2016. She is especially proud of her previous work as a laboratory technologist volunteer with Doctors Without Borders, and she has traveled to Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, and South Sudan to help local professionals in basic laboratory theories and practices. In Cambodia, she has helped to set up the first biosafety level 2 laboratory under the Ministry of Health for detection of tuberculosis.

Reach & Influence

Policies and resources that facilitate safe, effective patient care are key to your efforts to make a difference in patients’ health. Over the past year, ASCP analyzed issues, represented the interests of you and your patients through advocacy, and furthered programs and resources promoting laboratory quality and patient safety.

Evaluating the regulatory landscape and advocating for the profession and patients

We are continuing our efforts to promote fair and accurate reimbursement to maintain an adequate supply of laboratory services, including advocating for changes to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed reductions to pathology and clinical laboratory reimbursement rates, pushing back against unreasonable private payer reimbursement cuts, and providing and promoting opportunities for pathologists to more easily comply with MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) reporting requirements.

ASCP is working hard to ensure that the important gains from its landmark gene-patent lawsuit win in 2013, AMP v. Myriad Genetics, don’t wither away. We were a plaintiff in the unanimous Supreme Court decision that U.S. patent law does not allow the patenting of human genes and are currently fighting legislation in Congress that could undermine patient care, scientific research, innovation, and patient access. 

During the past year, we have been working to address the issue of surprise billing and insurance network adequacy to protect patients from undue, unanticipated health care costs. In February 2019, ASCP joined with other medical specialty societies in signing a letter put forth by the American Medical Association, the first of several forays this year to urge Congress to act on behalf of patients. In March 2019, staff representing Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar requested a meeting with representatives of ASCP’s Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy, for our unique, patient-centric perspective on this issue and its effects on patient care and pathology.

Vigilantly tracking changes in the laboratory medicine workforce

As always, ASCP is working diligently to address concerns related to the U.S. laboratory workforce.  Earlier this year, ASCP succeeded in securing the backing of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee in urging the CMS to revise the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations to ensure qualified personnel are performing testing. This was part of ASCP’s efforts to get the CMS to retract its flawed policy of allowing holders of a bachelor’s degree in nursing to perform high complexity testing. ASCP also met with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to seek out ways to raise the visibility of the laboratory profession and to address labor market concerns.

As a part of conducting our biennial Wage and Vacancy Surveys to inform the pathology and laboratory medicine field of the most recent national workforce data and communicate this date to the federal government, we published the 2018 ASCP Vacancy Survey report in the May 2019 issue of the American Journal of Clinical ­Pathology. The report emphasized the importance of recruitment and retention, as well as the need to address the multigenerational differences that exist between laboratory personnel relating to retention, as each generation has unique characteristics, goals, and work ethics. In 2018, we also conducted our inaugural job satisfaction survey to examine the needs and concerns of laboratory personnel as it relates to job satisfaction, well-being, and burnout.

Facilitating the creation of clinical practice guidelines and resources in collaboration with other medical organizations

We continue to collaborate with the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Hematology as lead organization in the development of an evidence-based, clinical practice guideline covering the requirements for the laboratory work-up of lymphoma.

In addition, we are also working with the CAP on the development of an evidence-based monoclonal gammopathies guideline that aims to reduce variability, identify optimal testing, and improve the accurate diagnosis of patients with monoclonal gammopathies.

To keep pace with the growth in clinical applications for whole slide imaging and digital pathology, we are collaborating with the CAP and the Association for Pathology Informatics to update the CAP’s 2013 guideline “Validating Whole Slide Imaging for Diagnostic Purposes in Pathology.” 

ASCP also continues to dialogue with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on their effort to advance guidelines development for the digital age.

Equipping labs with benchmarking and quality improvement capabilities through the National Pathology Quality Registry

Over the past year, we continued to build upon the National Pathology Quality Registry (NPQR), which was launched in 2017 to allow laboratories to harness their data to assess and improve their performance. The NPQR is a national quality and benchmarking program that captures data that measure adherence to clinical practice guideline recommendations, quality and performance standards, and appropriate utilization of laboratory testing to help laboratories both enhance patient care and participate in government-required pay-for-performance programs.

The registry was granted renewed Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) status for 2019 by the CMS. As a result, the NPQR had the ability to provide pathologists with measures approved by the CMS for 2019 MIPS reporting through a QCDR, and the NPQR offered a free MIPS reporting option that gave pathologists an easy way to complete the reporting necessary to meet MIPS requirements.

Supplying you with tools to guide the clinical care team in appropriate test utilization

As part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative of the ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) Foundation, we released our sixth list of recommendations for laboratory tests that are commonly ordered, but not always appropriate in pathology and laboratory medicine. With the addition of this list, we have released a total of 30 recommendations.

We also continue to recognize Choosing Wisely Champions, individuals and clinical teams who are working to reduce unnecessary testing through the Choosing Wisely campaign. We selected a fourth group of honorees in 2019, three of whom presented their work at the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting. In addition, several members of ASCP’s Effective Test Utilization Subcommittee and several Choosing Wisely Advisory Board members led sessions relating to appropriate test utilization at the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting.

2019 Choosing Wisely Champions

Clinical Teams

Inova Laboratory Test Utilization Best Practice Team
Inova Health System
Team Leader: Myong Ho (Lucy) Nam, MD, FASCP
Team Members: Anh Dang, Marina Douglas, Sonali Pakala, Bala Subramanian, Hassan Nayer, Arlane Nelson, Karen McHale, Valley Health, Michelle Mason, Maiordys Moreira, Lorraine Stoudt, Susan Alfaro, Ann McClellan, Becky Shade, Martha Andrews

Red Blood Cell Utilization Project Team, UCLA Health
UCLA Health
Team Leader: Alyssa Ziman, MD
Team Members: Kevin Baldwin, Ashley Busuttil,
Robin Clarke, Meg Furukawa, Andrew Hackbarth,
Jeffrey Mayne, Dawn Ward 

INDIVIDUALS

Gary W. Procop, MD, MS, MASCP 
Cleveland Clinic

Charlene Bierl, MD, PhD, FASCP
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Stephen Sibbitt, MD, MBA, FACP
BSW Memorial Hospital, Temple Region
Baylor Scott & White Health

Rana Nabulsi, PhD, FACHE, MSc, CPHQ, SSGB
Dubai Health Authority

Global Community

Contributing to our global community involves exploring, identifying, and implementing innovative methods and partnerships that improve laboratory practices worldwide on behalf of patients. In 2019, ASCP’s Center for Global Health provided you with opportunities to make a difference in patients’ lives worldwide by participating in and supporting humanitarian efforts that lend expertise and physical resources, as well as training and continuous knowledge exchange around the globe.

Supporting laboratory improvement around the world through training and consultation

Under our U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief cooperative agreement, we continue to build laboratory capacity in eight resource-limited countries to support HIV diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance. Activities we are supporting include in-service training, accreditation preparedness, laboratory mentorship, surveillance for HIV incidence and drug resistance, and HIV rapid test quality improvement. 

We have also joined with Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) to support our efforts under PEPFAR to strengthen laboratories in Mozambique. Project ECHO programs use a hub-and-spoke model to connect primary care providers in remote areas with the tools, resources, peer support, and specialist consults they need to improve care management for their patients.  We are the first Project ECHO partner in Mozambique to use the telemedicine model in support of our PEPFAR programs.

Leading efforts to implement pathology as a part of projects to improve global health

ASCP continues to lead pathology efforts in global health collaborations with organizations including City Cancer Challenge, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), and the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI). We have facilitated consultations in Colombia, Paraguay, Myanmar, and Ghana as a part of the City Cancer Challenge; two training courses in Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire with BVGH; and in-person consultations, assessments, and implementation planning for pathology improvements in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Eswatini with CHAI. In addition, we continue to collaborate with the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR) to expand translations of existing templates from the ICCR datasets beyond English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Supporting our colleagues worldwide through humanitarian efforts

We joined the National Association of Attorneys General, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, the National Association of Medical Examiners, and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology on a 2019 mission to respond to ongoing challenges experienced by the Puerto Rico Bureau of Forensic Science after the hurricane in 2017. ASCP Chief Medical Officer Dan Milner, MD, MSc(Epi), FASCP, represented ASCP on a team that traveled to Puerto Rico to assist with workload and provide suggestions for the staffing challenges faced by the Puerto Rico Bureau of Forensic Science. ASCP will continue to support the Puerto Rico Board of Forensic Science with additional missions in 2019 and 2020 in support of the Clinton Foundation efforts in the Caribbean.

Connecting resource-limited countries with rapid cancer diagnostics, care, and treatment

As a part of our Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa initiative, we continue to conduct assessments, identify gaps, and create implementation plans for resource-limited countries in and outside of Africa to meet their specific needs to fight cancer now and make sustainable plans for the future.

In the past year, we have been engaged in activities to optimize cancer diagnostics, treatment, and care in countries including Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Liberia, Eswatini, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti. We continue to build health care capacity for immunohistochemistry analysis in seven hospital laboratories in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Malawi, as a part of a collaboration with Novartis and the American Cancer Society.

Over the past three years, ASCP member volunteers, including 45 board-certified pathologist virtual telepathology volunteers, 21 certified laboratory professional in-country training volunteers, and 11 board-certified pathologist, fellow-in-training, or resident in-country volunteers, have contributed to the design and execution of these activities. Five of these fellow-in-training or resident volunteers received ASCP Foundation Trainee Global Health Fellowships to participate in these in-country volunteer opportunities: Victoria (Claire) Vaughan, MD; John Gross, MD, FASCP; Daniel Sullivan, MD; Erica Swenson, DO; Ezra Baraban, MD; and Kelsey McHugh, MD, FASCP.

Collaboration

Our ability to make a positive impact on patient care throughout the world requires a collaborative effort of the entire medical laboratory team. During the past year, ASCP continued to unite the endeavors of the entire medical laboratory community to provide excellent patient care and expand our opportunities to be STRONGERTOGETHER.

Joining forces to offer residents opportunities to support their career advancement

We collaborated with the Intersociety Council for Pathology Information (ICPI) to develop the ICPI/ASCP Pathology Fellowship Directory, which assists pathology residents by providing the resources to locate the fellowships that are best suited for them as they seek advanced training or research in pathology positions. The Directory provides a detailed listing of available pathology fellowship opportunities with information including location, description, qualifications, and instructions on how to apply.

We also continue to partner with USCAP, as we have for the past several years, to host an intensive leadership program for residents, which will take place March 28-29, 2020. The upcoming program, “EXCEL-ERATE,” will help 20 residents, including 10 residents invited by ASCP, prepare to serve as critical members of health care teams through interaction with established leaders in pathology, as well as an opportunity to build teamwork skills through a special BMW driving experience.

Uniting to provide live educational content to pathologists and laboratory professionals

In 2019, we co-located the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting with the American Pathology Foundation 2019 Annual Meeting and the Society for Hematopathology/European Association for Haematopathology 2019 Workshop. In addition, we worked with 12 other collaborating societies to provide attendees with innovative, cutting-edge content.

Working with other pathology and laboratory medicine organizations to strengthen the field

During 2019, we entered into an agreement with the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology to expand and enrich the development of educational content that fosters the scientific diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human viral diseases.

We continue to unite with a variety of other organizations to advance resources that support the pathology and laboratory medicine profession:

  • Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology
  • Society for Hematopathology
  • American Pathology Foundation
  • European Society of Pathology
  • International Society of Gynecological Pathologists
  • American Society of Cytopathology 
  • California Society of Pathologists
  • Union for International Cancer Control
  • Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists 

Developing and fostering partnerships around the world to connect more members of the laboratory team with valuable resources

In 2019, we forged alliances to provide innovative educational offerings for medical laboratory scientists with the Saudi Society of Clinical Chemistry and Temasek Polytechnic of Singapore.

We also are continuing our collaborations with Sidra Medicine of Qatar, the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists, Inc., the Philippine Society of Pathologists, and MedLabs of Jordan to supply pathologists and laboratory professionals worldwide with education and resources.

ASCP Foundation

Through the ASCP Foundation, you and your colleagues have the opportunity to join together and pursue your passion for making a difference in diagnostic medicine and public health worldwide. In 2019, donors to the ASCP Foundation helped to supply scholarships, advance global health, build laboratory visibility, and assist with unexpected, crucial laboratory team needs.

Providing support to future leaders of the profession through grants and scholarships

During the past year, ASCP and the ASCP Foundation’s Scholarship Fund have supported our current and future workforce by awarding over 140 individuals with scholarships and grants. The grants and scholarships awarded included two endowed scholarships, the ASCP Foundation Garza & Becan-McBride Endowed Scholarship and the ASCP Foundation Cindy Johns Endowed Scholarship. ASCP members Kathleen Becan McBride, EdD, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM, and Diana “Didi” Garza, EdD, MLS(ASCP)CM, joined together to establish the ASCP Foundation Garza & Becan-McBride Endowed Scholarship to support students who want to become phlebotomists. Barbara M. Castleberry, PhD, MASCP, MT(ASCP), retired Vice President of the ASCP Board of Registry (now the Board of Certification), also led the way in building up the ASCP Foundation Cindy Johns Endowed Scholarship, which honors the legacy of the late Ms. Johns, MSA, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM, a longtime ASCP volunteer and a leader in the medical laboratory profession. The scholarship is given to the top student of all those who apply for the ASCP Foundation Laboratory Student Scholarship. In addition to individual members providing funds to endow scholarships, the ASCP Foundation also received a $4,000 grant from the Avantor Sciences Foundation to support STEM initiatives. We used this grant to help provide four STEM Student Scholarships totaling $6,000 to high school students during the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting.

Highlighting the key role of the medical laboratory to the public

In 2019, the ASCP Foundation’s Laboratory Visibility Fund has supported opportunities to showcase work that pathologists and medical laboratory professionals do through public relations and advertising campaigns. The Foundation released a public-facing video “Your Health, Your Laboratory,” in March 2019, which was marketed via a Facebook, Instagram, and Google ad campaign, with the Facebook ad being seen by over 1 million individuals. 

ASCP and the ASCP Foundation also worked with the Military Makeover television program airing on the Lifetime Network to highlight two laboratory professionals on Military Makeover: Operation Career. In the segment, Scott Bamby, MLS(ASCP)CM, and Mary Maurhene G. Salgado, MLS(ASCP)CM, discuss their careers in the medical laboratory while a part of the U.S. Air Force, and ASCP CEO E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM, provides insights on the medical laboratory profession and ASCP’s role in supporting pathologists and laboratory professionals. The segment aired twice on the Lifetime Network in fall 2019 and is also available on the Military Makeover website.

Advancing health across the globe by supporting access to rapid cancer diagnostics, care, and treatment in underserved areas

The ASCP Foundation’s Global Health Fund continues to support the work of our Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa initiative. In 2019, the Global Health Fund supported a countrywide implementation planning meeting for Botswana in collaboration with the sub-Saharan Africa Health Initiative to catapult Botswana’s cancer planning forward.

Providing assistance for crucial needs

When unexpected, important laboratory team needs arise, the ASCP Foundation quickly organizes giving campaigns to allow you to support your colleagues and patients. In late June 2019, Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, which is affiliated with Drexel University, announced its upcoming closure. As a result, more than 500 medical residents and fellows, including 21 pathology residents, were displaced. With your support, the ASCP Foundation provided $17,500 in Hahnemann Hardship Grants to assist displaced pathology residents with travel and relocation funds and partial salary support as they worked toward making the difficult transition to new programs. 

Uniting to support your profession and patients

In 2018, 2018-2019 ASCP President and Foundation President Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP, made a personal request of the ASCP Board of Directors and members of ASCP’s commissions, committees, and councils, asking each individual to give to the ASCP Foundation. Through this campaign, 93 percent of these volunteers joined together to give to the Foundation, raising more than $7,000. 

Report of the ASCP Treasurer

American Society of Clinical Pathology Audited Financial Statements [Abridged] for the Fiscal Year ending 6/30/2019 (PDF)