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

ASCP News -- July 2022

Jul 1, 2022, 13:49 PM by Susan Montgomery

ASCP Launches Workforce Steering Committee

ASCP has established a Workforce Steering Committee to address the workforce pathway issues from a strategic approach. Chairing the committee is Susan Harrington, PhD, D(ABMM), MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM, medical director in the microbiology laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, and a member of the American Society for Microbiology and a former Chair of the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) Board of Governors (BOG).

The committee’s task is to examine the Blueprint for Action, which was the result of an in-depth medical laboratory workforce study conducted by the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies and ASCP. The Blueprint for Action identifies 12 potential workforce initiatives ASCP can work on; each fall into one of three areas: building visibility of the medical laboratory profession; retention and recruitment; and diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The Workforce Steering Committee is still in its nascent stages. We will begin by looking at the Blueprint’s recommendations and, from there, select several that are the most urgent,” she says.

Dr. Harrington spoke about workforce issues in an article, Medical Laboratory Profession Needs All Hands on Deck Approach to Build Future Workforce, in the March 2022 online issue of Critical Values (criticalvalues.org). She also presented on behalf of ASCP at the Centers for Disease Control’s OneLab Summit in April. The summit brought together clinical and public health laboratory professionals to support a unified response to laboratory education and training needs.

In addition to Dr. Harrington, the ASCP Workforce Steering Committee members include:

Iyda Merin Antony, MBA, MS, MLS, CLS, FACHE
- System Vice President of Laboratory Services at Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon Metropolitan Area
Michelle Campbell, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM
- Senior Developer, Translational Research, Innovation, and Test Development Office, Mayo Clinic, MN
Rex Famitangco MS, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMQLCCM
- Laboratory Administrative Director at the Morrill County Community Hospital, NE; ASCP Board of Certification Liaison
Kara L. Hansing, MSEd, SCT(ASCP)CM
- Program Director of Cytotechnology, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, MN
Travelle Mason, MPH, CPH
- Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Public Health Service; Senior Public Health Advisor, Global Health Security Team, Center for Global Health, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Jesse McCoy, MHS, PA(ASCP)
- Faculty, Pathologists’ Assistant Program, Hamden, CT, Chief Financial Officer, American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants
Kenechukwu Ojukwu, MD, MPP
- Surgical Pathology Fellow at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
James Payne
- WEMCO Phlebotomy and Laboratory Science Teacher, in Monroe 2 Orleans Boces (WEMOCO), Spencerport, NY
Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, SM(ASCP)CMSVCMMBCM, FACSc
- Chair and Professor, CLS Program, Texas State University College of Health Professions; Associate Director, Translational Health Research Center
Jeannette Wallen, MBA, HT(ASCP)QIHC
- Histology Technician, MNGI Digestive Health, MN; Chair, Budget and Finance Committee, National Society for Histotechnology
Tywauna Wilson, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM
- System Technical Chemistry Laboratory; Director, Founder, and CEO, Trendy Elite Coaching
Edna Garcia, MPH
- Director, Scientific Engagement and Research, ASCP; ASCP Staff Liaison
Iman Kundu, MPH
- Senior Manager, Research and Analytics, ASCP
Jeff Jacobs, MA
- Chief Officer, Science, Technology, and Policy, ASCP

Amy Spiczka, MS, HTL(ASCP)CMSCT, MBCM Named ASCP BOC Executive Director

Amy Spiczka, MS, HTL(ASCP)CMSCT, MBCM has been named as the new Executive Director of the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) effective July 1, 2022.

“Amy’s focus is the patient, and she has a strong belief in the value of certification and its importance to providing the best patient care,” said Sue Johnson, MSTM, MT(ASCP)SBBCM, who chaired the ASCP BOC Executive Director Search Committee.

Ms. Spiczka has served as ASCP’s Senior Director for Quality & Patient Safety since 2018. In this role, she has promoted and integrated optimized, safe patient care experiences based on the value of laboratory contributions and data-driven decision-making. Much of Ms. Spiczka’s career has been in service to patients and collaborators at her alma mater, Mayo Clinic. She was the director of the Histotechnology Program and Cytotechnology Program coordinator at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

From there, Ms. Spiczka became operations manager for the Division of Anatomic Pathology at Mayo Clinic Arizona campuses. Her clinical practice, published research, education interests, and awards focus primarily on elevating patients’ experiences with continuous quality improvement; integrating innovative laboratory/ancillary techniques; as well as advancing professional development opportunities, visibility, and recognition for laboratory team members. “I am honored to serve in this positive capacity and look forward to working with the ASCP Board of Certification as we forge ahead during this exciting time of innovation and opportunity,” Ms. Spiczka says. “Together, we will build upon the integral work that Pat Tanabe has accomplished over the last 11 years as Executive Director.”

Ms. Spiczka will succeed Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM and assume responsibilities on July 1, 2022. Ms. Tanabe plans to retire at the end of June 2022, following 26 years of service at the ASCP BOC.

Ms. Tanabe has served as Executive Director of the BOC since January 1, 2011. During her tenure, Ms. Tanabe has overseen the development of six new certifications and two new qualifications. She was also instrumental in the ASCP BOC being the only laboratory professional certification agency to receive ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accreditation, furthering the BOC vision to be the gold standard in global certification for all laboratory professionals.

ASCP and the ASCP Board of Certification look forward to ongoing collaboration with Ms. Spiczka and extend their gratitude to Ms. Tanabe for her exemplary service.

ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting Registration Now Open!

For 100 years, ASCP has been advancing education, knowledge, research, and clinical care for patients. Help celebrate this amazing milestone for pathology and medical laboratory professionals around the globe by attending the 100th anniversary ASCP Annual Meeting in Chicago on Sept. 7-9, 2022 either in person or virtually. Special for ASCP members—active ASCP members can experience all the education and excitement in person free of charge.

Register now at www.ascp.org/2022.

Marsha C. Kinney, MD, MASCP, Receives Society for Hematopathology’s Berard-Dorfman Founders Award

ASCP President-Elect Marsha C. Kinney, MD, MASCP, has been named the recipient of the Society for Hematopathology’s prestigious 2022 Berard-Dorfman Founders Award. Established in 2013, the award is a tribute to Drs. Costan Berard and Ronald Dorfman, who founded the Society for Hematopathology (SH) and were giants in the profession. The award recognizes values that Drs. Berard and Dorfman embraced: outstanding leadership, humanitarianism and excellence in clinical service and teaching.

“Receiving this award is an honor and true highlight of my career as a hematopathologist,” Dr. Kinney says. “The Society for Hematopathology membership and leadership, including [serving in] the SH Presidency, created opportunities and a pathway for me to teach, collaborate, study and characterize diseases, and ultimately advance patient care and support new initiatives in education and research.”

She adds, “As Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UT Health, San Antonio, my role is to promote excellence in patient care, education, research and professional development. As the current President-Elect of the largest pathology professional society, ASCP, I continue to have the opportunity to promote quality patient care, enhance education and professional development of trainees and colleagues, advocate for our profession, push the border of discovery and promote leadership while at the same time supporting diversity and equity in our profession.”

New Membership Director Aims to Expand Member Engagement

ASCP welcomes Natalie Sherry as the new Senior Director of Membership. Ms. Sherry brings more than 20 years of experience working with professional societies at the state and national levels, and she looks forward to expanding ASCP’s member outreach efforts.

“I would like to see the members engage with ASCP and propel their careers forward,” she says. “We want every member to be involved at a level that works for them.” That could mean encouraging members to take advantage of ASCP scholarships or grants, applying for a recognition award to showcase their contributions to the profession, utilizing the Society’s resources to prepare for an exam, serving on a committee, council or board, or introducing elementary and high school students to career opportunities in pathology and laboratory medicine.

Ms. Sherry will have a visible presence on social media; feel free to reach out and connect with her. “We want to be able to tell our members’ stories and really elevate visibility of pathology and laboratory medicine!” she says. Connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/nataliesherry, on Twitter @natalie_sherry, or via email at natalie.sherry@ascp.org.

ASCP Foundation Raising Funds to Support WHO’s Efforts to Aid Ukrainians Diagnosed with Cancer

The ASCP Foundation has contributed $30,000 to support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) humanitarian efforts to aid Ukrainian citizens—both refugees or those in-country—who have cancer. The ASCP Foundation is also matching any additional member contributions up to $10,000.

Several million refugees have fled Ukraine and have entered neighboring European countries. The immediate needs are immense, and cancer is a severely overlooked aspect of refugee health.

WHO is well positioned to play a key role in coordinating the response in Ukraine for both the immediate and long-term. In its coordinating capacity, WHO will establish a forum to facilitate planning for managing patients diagnosed with cancer, fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. This coordination mechanism will provide a platform for gathering intelligence, convening key stakeholders to develop an integrated plan, facilitate implementation and monitor impact.

“The ASCP Center for Global Health engages in outreach focused on communicable and non-communicable diseases in more than 30 countries,” says ASCP Chief Medical Officer Dan A. Milner, Jr., MD, MSc, FASCP, MBA. “Prior to this, ASCP’s work with Ukraine has focused on HIV. Just before the pandemic, we were starting to engage with Ukraine on cancer diagnostics. So, this is a continuation of ASCP’s mission in global health.”

ASCP activities in cancer have included laboratory capacity building, training, expert diagnostic support and advocacy. Where crises have occurred, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Puerto Rico hurricanes, the ASCP Center for Global Health—in collaboration with the ASCP Foundation—crafts outreach to specifically meet identified needs of patients and laboratory professionals.

We encourage ASCP members to give generously to the ASCP Foundation in support of this humanitarian effort. Visit www.ascp.org/foundation.