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

2022 ASCP Report to Membership: A Year in Review

Jan 5, 2023, 14:00 PM by Julianne Gottlieb

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of ASCP—100 years of growing, innovating, and advancing pathology and laboratory medicine to improve clinical care for our patients. In honor of this tremendous milestone, ASCP celebrated our many successes over the past 100 years, but most importantly, we honored our members, who are instrumental in all our achievements.

At the close of our organization’s first century, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continued to thrust pathology and laboratory medicine into the spotlight, and together we rose to the challenge, showing the world the essential role of pathologists and laboratory professionals as guardians of patients’ health, constantly looking for solutions and providing diagnoses in real time. As we look back on where we’ve been, we are also preparing for where we’re headed and envisioning how ASCP members will shape the next 100 years of pathology and laboratory medicine.

In this year’s Annual Report, we recognize all the accomplishments that you, our members, have helped us achieve as we prepare to enter our next century as an organization:

  • ASCP’s 100th anniversary celebration culminated at the ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting in September, with free registration for members attending on-site in Chicago. The hybrid meeting also provided live virtual and on-demand formats, offering more than 2,000 participants the opportunity to be inspired by distinguished keynote speakers and receive practical education from respected leaders. The three-day meeting delivered more than 130 education sessions in Chicago, with more than 80 sessions available virtually and on-demand. During our general sessions, attendees were inspired by renowned keynote speakers, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham. We also honored Vivian W. Pinn, MD, FASCP, with the Patient Advocate Award for her valuable leadership in women’s health. Attendees enjoyed a variety of options for interaction and networking, including a memorable once-in-a-century 100th anniversary celebration in Chicago.
  • To prepare for the next century of advancing pathology and laboratory medicine, ASCP established the ASCP Workforce Steering Committee, which examined recommendations around building visibility of the medical laboratory profession; retention and recruitment; and diversity, equity, and inclusion, and began drafting project plans for the highest priority initiatives.
  • As a part of our continued efforts to promote laboratory excellence and raise visibility of the laboratory’s role in patient care, we partnered with The Joint Commission to launch a new recognition program, Leading Laboratories, in October 2021. In September 2022, Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, became the first in the nation to receive the Leading Laboratories designation.

ASCP would not be where it is today without the expertise, commitment, and dedication of our members. With voices raised as one, we will continue to create change that makes the laboratory accessible to all and recognized by healthcare executives and patients alike as the foundation of high-quality care. We will guide the evolution of pathology and laboratory medicine because we are STRONGERTOGETHER.

Marsha C. Kinney, MD, MASCP, 2022-2023 ASCP President

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

KNOWLEDGE

Pathologists and laboratory professionals committed to furthering their expertise have been essential to ASCP’s accomplishments over the past 100 years and will be vital to our future efforts to bring forth new technologies and processes to improve diagnostic medicine. In 2022, ASCP continued to supply our members with innovative education, empowering them to provide high-quality patient care today and establish a pathway for continued success in the future.

KnowledgeLab 2022

From June 12-13, 2022, more than 130 attendees and faculty took part in KnowledgeLab 2022, which was held in Boston, Massachusetts, and virtually. The event offered 18 education sessions covering the issues most critical to the laboratory’s success, from workforce concerns to diversity, equity, and inclusion. John Baci, MBA, C-PM, gave the opening keynote presentation titled “Clinical Laboratory Workforce: Recruitment Success at the Grassroots Level.” With the option to add access to on-demand content, attendees had the ability to earn up to 18 CMLE credits.

Virtual Pathology Grand Rounds Completes First Year

2022 marked ASCP’s delivery of more than a year of the innovative education program Virtual Pathology Grand Rounds. Originally co-founded in 2020 by pathologists Sara E. Wobker, MD, FASCP, Kamran Mirza, MD, PhD, FASCP, Xiaoyin “Sara” Jiang, MD, FASCP, Raul S. Gonzalez, MD, and Elham Khanafshar, MD, MS, a partnership with ASCP was formed in 2021 to continue offering this virtual educational experience at no cost. Topics covered in 2022 included “ASCP Workforce Initiatives: Cultivating the Next Generation of Laboratory Professionals,” “(Nearly) Everything You Learned About Race in Medical School is Wrong,” “Death During the Pandemic,” and more.

ASCP Launches Interdisciplinary Professional Education Workgroup

In 2022, ASCP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development created a workgroup on Interprofessional Education (IPE) to explore the development of IPE with the goal of engaging with other healthcare professionals outside of pathology and laboratory medicine and establishing ASCP as a leader in this area.

Continued Certification Support

ASCP continues to support laboratory professionals as they prepare for certification exams with the ASCP Certification Preparation Suite. In September 2022, we released new editions of all three of our BOC study guides: BOC Study Guide 7th Edition: MLS/MLT Clinical Laboratory ExaminationsBOC Study Guide 3e: HT/HTL Histotechnology Examinations, and BOC Study Guide 3e: PBT/QDP Phlebotomy Examinations. We also are finishing development of new online interactive practice exams, corresponding to the three new study guides, that will be released in early 2023.

AJCP Boosts Its Standing Among Scholarly Journals

The American Journal of Clinical Pathology (AJCP) used expedited online publication and social media systems to rapidly release and publicize cutting-edge scientific papers about COVID-19, which allowed ASCP members and the world to quickly access the most timely and relevant information during the height of the pandemic.

The concerted effort resulted in a rapid rise in AJCP’s impact factor, which more than doubled, rising to 5.400. This in turn raised its ranking within the field of peer-reviewed pathology journals to number 17 worldwide.

Inside the Lab Podcast 50th Episode, New Season

ASCP released our 50th episode of the Inside the Lab podcast with the completion of Season 2 in August 2022. In September 2022, we launched the third season of the podcast. Focusing on current topics showcasing the everyday laboratory professional and pathologist, the goal of Inside the Lab is to generate thought-provoking discussions about topics relevant to the field of pathology and laboratory medicine.

ASCP Launches First Immersion Course

In September 2022, ASCP launched our first immersion course, an exciting new form of interactive, action-oriented education in an intimate setting. The first course, “Women Leaders in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,” focused on fostering and developing female leaders in pathology and laboratory medicine and covered topics including women empowerment, gender-specific implicit bias, retention and promotion, resiliency, self-awareness, and mentoring. Expert faculty Vivian W. Pinn, MD, FASCP, Senior Scientist Emerita, Fogarty International Center, U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Former Director (Retired), Office of Research on Women’s Health, NIH; Xiaoyin “Sara” Jiang, MD, FASCP, Associate Professor of Pathology at Duke University; and Lotte Mulder, PhD, Director of Leadership and Empowerment, ASCP, presented multiple sessions followed by in-depth group discussions. The course was located at the luxurious and peaceful Arizona Retreat Center, providing attendees with an ideal setting for revitalization and innovation.

ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting

The ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting provided more than 2,000 participants with the opportunity to be inspired by distinguished keynote speakers, receive practical education from respected leaders, and celebrate ASCP’s 100th anniversary. For the first time, registration was free for all ASCP members attending on-site in Chicago, September 7-9, 2022, while the hybrid meeting also offered live virtual and on-demand options.

The three-day meeting delivered more than 130 education sessions in Chicago, including Laboratory Professionals’ Track sessions, Videomicroscopy Tutorials, Resident Review Series sessions, and roundtable discussions, with more than 80 sessions available virtually and on-demand. Ten pre-meeting sessions held virtually between late August and early September provided participants with additional opportunities for education, with topics ranging from computational pathology to social media.

On Wednesday morning, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham, who is Executive Vice President and Executive Editor at Random House, gave the keynote address during the Grand Opening General Session. On Wednesday afternoon, Edith P. Mitchell, MD, MACP, FCPP, FRCS, Clinical Professor, Enterprise Associate Director for Cancer Disparities, and Program Leader, Gastrointestinal Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, gave the Scientific Keynote Address.
We also honored Vivian W. Pinn, MD, FASCP, with the Patient Advocate Award for her valuable leadership in women’s health. In our final keynote during Thursday morning’s Signature Session, we were honored to have Former First Lady Michelle Obama join us for a discussion on emerging issues related to the workforce.

Attendees also enjoyed a variety of opportunities for networking. Virtual and on-site attendees had access to a single virtual platform supplying innovative options for interaction, including the ability to participate in session Q&A, chat with other attendees, and connect with poster presenters digitally. “Birds of a Feather” Meet Ups provided in-person attendees with similar roles in the laboratory the opportunity to have active discussion in small-group roundtable-style sessions. The new Workforce and Career Advancement Lounge gave attendees in Chicago a central hub to discuss career-related topics with mentors representing a wide range of specialty areas. The ASCP 2022 Fellowship Fair allowed programs and residents to connect face-to-face to discuss fellowship opportunities and conduct interviews. ASCP hosted a lively and engaging Opening Reception where attendees could converse with colleagues over appetizers and refreshments and a special once-in-a-century 100th Anniversary Celebration Reception at the University Club of Chicago with socializing, dancing, live entertainment, cocktails, and appetizers. 

Jon Meacham  
From left to right: Presidential historian Jon ­Meacham gave the keynote address during the Grand Opening General Session. ASCP Past President Dr. Kim Sanford and ASCP Immediate Past President Dr. Henry Rinder honor Dr. Vivian Pinn (middle) with the Patient Advocate Award. Dr. Edith Mitchell gave the Scientific Keynote Address.  

Innovative and Progressive Education Solutions

ASCP continues to deliver innovative and progressive education solutions to meet the evolving needs of pathologists and laboratory professionals as they collaborate with the clinical care team to improve patient care. Through a multitude of new multidisciplinary educational initiatives, ASCP is reinforcing pathologists’ and laboratory professionals’ ability to treat specific disease states, including breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer, with a focus on biomarker testing. We also continue to provide education to support members of the cancer care team as they address challenges related to immuno-oncology biomarker testing.

Breast Cancer

As emerging research began to suggest the need for a “HER2-low” classification for breast cancer, ASCP collaborated with Q Synthesis and Clinical Care Options to develop an innovative multimodal educational approach designed to advance knowledge, competence, and performance in pathologists and interprofessional teams in this area. Funded by independent educational grants from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., this initiative provided a variety of educational activities and resources including virtual tumor boards, a cohort-based leadership development continuing medical education (CME) program, and an implementation guide to support pathologists as they begin to prepare for necessary changes to practice. After the FDA approval of a new “HER2-low” breast cancer therapy in August 2022, ASCP and Q Synthesis expanded their offerings, including launching a series of CME Twitter chats and CME Tweetorials to further support pathologists and laboratory professionals.

In partnership with Clinical Care Options, ASCP also developed live and online case-based education designed to help pathologists, histotechnologists, laboratory professionals, oncologists, pharmacists, oncology nurses, and other healthcare professionals to optimally assess patients with HR-positive/HER2-negative early breast cancer for Ki67 expression and accurately report, interpret, and apply results of the testing to optimize therapy selection. Supported by an educational grant from Lilly, this initiative delivered education in a variety of formats, including webinars, podcasts, and live regional workshops for the multidisciplinary team.

Colorectal Cancer

In July 2022, ASCP launched an innovative, on-demand tumor board simulation designed to help pathologists and laboratory professionals gain deeper scientific knowledge and skills in diagnosing, testing, and treating patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer. This simulation was supported by educational grants from Lilly and Pfizer.

Gastrointestinal Cancer

In February 2022, ASCP, in partnership with Clinical Care Options, launched an engaging live and on-demand webcast, downloadable slide set, and expert commentary that highlight practice-changing developments in biomarker testing and treatment for gastrointestinal cancer. This project was supported by educational grants from Pfizer Inc. and Seagen Inc.

Lung Cancer and Disease

We developed cutting-edge education and resources to facilitate best practices in NSCLC biomarker testing and help AP laboratory managers and their teams develop actionable continuous quality improvement solutions to common problems in their workflows for NSCLC biomarker testing. Several highly interactive videoconferences were held culminating in a virtual summit in September 2022, and on-demand recordings were made available. This project was funded through an independent educational grant from Genentech.

In addition, we hosted a session entitled “The Molecular Biomarker Revolution in Metastatic NSCLC” at the ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting in September, which was also streamed on ASCP’s Facebook. This session and its enduring resources were funded by an independent educational grant from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

We also launched a case-based microlearning series titled “Diagnostic Challenges in Respiratory-Fibrosing Interstitial Lung Diseases,” which was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Immuno-Oncology

In partnership with Q Synthesis and OncoLens, ASCP has developed an educational systems-based quality improvement program designed to engage pathologists, pathologists in training, laboratory professionals, laboratory administrators, and other members of the cancer care team as they address challenges related to immuno-oncology biomarker testing. Funded by an independent educational grant from Bristol Myers Squibb, this program includes two online modules, as well as systems-based quality improvement projects with two hospital-based cancer centers.

RECOGNITION

ASCP’s last 100 years of growth, innovation, and advancing pathology and laboratory medicine would not have been possible without our members. In 2022, we honored our members for their commitment to the profession, worked to increase the visibility of your vital role in healthcare, and developed new membership features to support you as you shape the future of the profession.

Campaign to Increase Visibility of the Laboratory

As a part of our efforts to increase the visibility of the laboratory, ASCP participated in a campaign with USA Today on blood health. For this campaign, ASCP shared our expertise on the critical function the laboratory plays in blood health in an article titled “The Blood Specialists Saving Lives in the Lab,” which reached 450,000 readers. We also developed an informational video that was shared on targeted social media channels to demonstrate to viewers the role of the laboratory and received more than 100,000 views.

To showcase the vital importance of the laboratory team during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASCP produced Against All Odds, a documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes to learn more about the key role pathologists and laboratory professionals played during this public health crisis. Visit www.ascp.org/against-all-odds to watch the documentary, which debuted at the ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting, and share it with family, friends, and colleagues.

In addition, ASCP created a short television segment educating viewers on the essential contribution of pathologists and medical laboratory professionals to patient care. At the end of the segment, we included a link that viewers can use to access ASCP’s Against All Odds documentary. The segment aired in Fall 2022 on PBS stations across the United States and can be viewed at trivue.org.

New Features to Support Members

In 2022, ASCP members gained access to local chapters, an addition that stemmed from ASCP’s alignment with the Clinical Laboratory Management Association in late 2021. ASCP’s 20 chapters provide all ASCP members with the opportunity to attend local networking events and collaborate with other pathologists and laboratory professionals about issues affecting the laboratory.

ASCP also added a new membership package created with the laboratory administrator in mind, which became available to laboratory professionals, pathologists, and affiliate members renewing their membership for 2023 or joining as a new member. In addition to the benefits of a traditional ASCP membership, the new package provides access to specialized online communities connecting Laboratory Administrator members to discuss the issues they face in the laboratory and a curated selection of management courses to improve their skills and help them move to the next level. Members are able to track these courses on their dashboard and receive CME for each course completed.

We have also been developing new ASCP Communities for other special interest groups. These communities will launch in 2023 to keep members connected with one another via online message boards and document sharing.

ASCP Patient Champions Program Expands Efforts to Empower Patients

The ASCP Patient Champions program continues to highlight the role of the laboratory team in patient health. In 2022, the program added 11 new Patient Champions for a total of 41 Patient Champions who each have shared their stories to help patients understand their diagnoses and the right questions to ask about laboratory testing. The program continued to expand our patient education materials and translated all of these materials into Spanish. The ASCP Patient Champions program was also recognized by Kidney Trails, an organization dedicated to helping those that may be facing kidney disease, with the 2022 Kidney Trails Impacting Generations Award for our efforts to share patient stories, create awareness about the laboratory, and make a positive impact on the world today.

40 Under Forty Honorees

In 2014, ASCP launched our inaugural 40 Under Forty program, recognizing the top 40 high-achieving ASCP member pathologists, laboratory professionals, and pathology residents under the age of 40 for their achievements, leadership, and ability to effect change in pathology and laboratory medicine. Out of the 40 2022 honorees, the 2022 Top Five honorees were identified based on public voting and committee selection.

Tiffany Gill, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM, is a tenured professor and coordinator of the Medical Laboratory Technology program at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata, Maryland. Ms. Gill founded the “Medical Lab Lady Gill” YouTube channel, offering virtual learning experiences for medical laboratory science students, current professionals, and promotional material for the laboratory profession, and partnered with the ASCP Council of Laboratory Professionals to create the National Hematology Cell Bowl competition for MLT and MLS students.

Alison Krywanczyk, MD, FASCP, is a forensic and cardiovascular pathologist at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Krywanczyk hopes to increase interest in dual training in forensic and cardiovascular pathology, and to improve interdisciplinary collaboration between pathologists, cardiologists, and genetic counselors.

S. Cristian Lozano, DCLS, MLS(ASCP)CM, is a medical laboratory scientist in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Lozano enjoys serving as a mentor, increasing the visibility of clinical laboratory scientists as key contributors of diagnostic data and laboratory stewardship, enforcing the importance of interprofessional collaborative practices, and focusing on antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

Letycia Nuñez-Argote, PhD, MPH, MLS(ASCP)CM, is clinical assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Dr. Nuñez-Argote’s professional goals are to develop content, scholarship, and relationships with current and future laboratory professionals, and to study and develop strategies to encourage a healthy and productive laboratory workforce. She is actively engaged with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives through her work, as well as professional and community-based organizations.

Catherine M. Stefaniuk, DO, FASCP, is an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati and is board-certified in anatomic, clinical, and molecular genetic pathology. At the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Stefaniuk serves as the director of several clinical laboratory departments including coagulation, immunology, urinalysis, and hematology. Also, she is the director of the Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine rotation where she has worked to create an integrative clinical pathology rotation for residents.

To learn more about all the 2022 40 Under Forty honorees, visit www.ascp.org/40UnderForty.

ASCP Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Throughout 2022, ASCP recognized our members and what we have achieved together over the past 100 years. Members were able to learn more about ASCP’s milestones through a 100th anniversary website and video, as well as show off their pride throughout the year with special anniversary gear. Our celebration culminated at the ASCP 2022 Annual Meeting with anniversary activities that included a live recording of the Inside the Lab podcast, themed giveaways, decade-themed photo opportunities, an interactive timeline, and a special 100th Anniversary Celebration Reception. 

2022 Choosing Wisely Champions Work to Reduce Unnecessary Testing

The Choosing Wisely Champions program recognizes the efforts of dedicated pathologists and laboratory professionals who implement the Choosing Wisely initiative into their own practice and aid in reducing test overuse and waste in healthcare. In 2022, ASCP recognized a new group of Choosing Wisely Champions for their contributions to the campaign.

  • Gregory Sossaman, MD, MASCP, and Elise Occhipinti, MD, FASCP, Ochsner Health
  • ECU Health, Team Members: Yaolin Zhou, MD; Greeshma Sheri, MD; James Manning, MD
  • Heather Signorelli, DO, HCA Healthcare
  • David E. Willens, MD, MPH, FACP; Danielle L. Heidemann, MD, FACP; Daniel Moore, MD; and Christopher Giles, DO, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Division of Quality and Health Improvement and Laboratory Stewardship Subcommittee Department of Pathology, Michigan Medicine, Representatives: Lee Schroeder, MD, PhD; Scott R. Owens, MD, FASCP
  • Geisinger Adult Gastroenterology and Laboratory MedicineRepresentative: Amanda Haynes, DO, FASCP
  • Janet Simons, MD, FRCPC, St. Paul’s Hospital at the University of British Columbia
  • Rajan Dewar, MD, PhD, FASCP, and the High Value Care Committee, McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital
  • Rashid Hospital Laboratory Team, Representative: Dr. Rania Medhat Seliem
  • Sentara Healthcare, Representative: Marigrace Daniel, MLS(ASCP)
  • UCLA Health TeamTeam Members: Alyssa Ziman, MD; Thomas A. Drake, MD; Eric M. Cheng, MD, MS; Arash Shamsian, MPH; Charlemagne Isip; Hazel Oza, PMP; Bernard J. Katz, MD, MBA

2022 ASCP Annual Award Winners

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 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago, 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 healthcare.

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

President’s Award
  • Dana Powell Baker, MBA, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM
  • Kamran Mirza, MD, PhD, FASCP
Masterships
  • Jeffrey Myers, MD, FASCP
  • Gene Siegal, MD, PhD, FASCP
  • Kathleen Finnegan, MS, MLS(ASCP)SHCM
  • Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM
Member Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Anthony Kurec, MS, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)H,DLM
Philip Levine Award for Outstanding Research
  • Phyu Aung, MD, PhD, FASCP
Member Excellence in Education Award
  • Carlo Ledesma, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM,DLMCM,QLSCM
Member Excellence in Management Award
  • Anne Walsh-Feeks, MS, PA(ASCP)CM
Mentorship Award
  • James Wisecarver, MD, PhD, MASCP
  • David Gingrich, PBT(ASCP)
H.P. Smith Award for Distinguished Pathology Educator
  • David G. Hicks, MD, FASCP
Israel Davidsohn Award for Distinguished Service
  • William E. Schreiber, MD, MASCP
Ward Burdick Award for Distinguished Service to Pathology
  • Kimberly W. Sanford, MD, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)
Medical Student Award — Gold Award
  • Jerome Givi
Career Ambassador Award
  • Tiffany Gill, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM
  • Wilhelmina Carpio, MLS(ASCP)CM

Pathology Ambassador Award
  • Justin Kelley, MD, MPH
  • Julianne Szczepanski, MD
Patient Champion Award
  • Tanya Cochran Stalker
Patient Advocate Award
  • Vivian W. Pinn, MD, FASCP

REACH & INFLUENCE

The laboratory is the foundation of high-quality patient care. In 2022, ASCP advocated for policies that establish a pathway for the continued success of the laboratory’s efforts to care for patients and developed solutions to promote laboratory quality and patient safety.

Strategies to Expand Medical Laboratory Workforce

After the 2021 publication of a groundbreaking study on the needs of the clinical laboratory workforce by ASCP and the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies, ASCP developed a blueprint of potential interventions titled “The Clinical Laboratory Workforce: Understanding the Challenges to Meeting Current and Future Needs: Blueprint for Action,” which was released in 2022. ASCP also established the ASCP Workforce Steering Committee, which reports to the Society’s Commission on Science, Technology and Policy. The committee examined and ranked the nine core recommendations identified in the Blueprint for Action and began drafting project plans for the highest priority initiatives. Each initiative falls into one of three areas: building visibility of the medical laboratory profession; retention and recruitment; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Society is developing a national coalition of organizational partners, representing a wide range of key groups and audiences, to assist with implementing the Blueprint for Action.

In September 2022, ASCP established a Commitment to Action with the Clinton Global Initiative, “Developing the Next Generation of Laboratory Professionals: Resilient, Inclusive, and Visible,” to develop the next generation of medical laboratory professionals, ensuring they are resilient, inclusive, and visible in all aspects of healthcare. The Commitment to Action will help ASCP and our participating partners raise the visibility of the laboratory and ensure the stability of the laboratory workforce for future generations through advocating for state and federal funding to support initiatives within the profession; identifying and collaborating with underserved community organizations; educating policy makers on the need and benefits of a diverse laboratory workforce, and more.

To inform our workforce efforts and provide information for the pathology and laboratory medicine field as well as academic, government, and industry labor analysts, ASCP continues to conduct wage and vacancy surveys. In 2022, we published the results of the 2021 Wage Survey in AJCP.

ASCP, BOC Generate Overwhelming Response to CLIA Personnel Advocacy Campaign

A grassroots campaign by ASCP and the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) to stop a proposal to allow individuals with a nursing degree to perform high complexity testing generated more than 20,000 comments from laboratory professionals and pathologists. In addition to the grassroots campaign, ASCP and the ASCP BOC shepherded two letters to CMS that addressed the nursing degree issue and were signed by other laboratory and pathology organizations.

ASCP Opposes VALID ACT

During 2022, ASCP issued several action alerts urging members to voice their concerns about the Verifying Accurate Leading-edge IVCT Development Act, also known as the VALID Act. The proposed legislation would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration too much authority over laboratory-developed tests. We also worked with the Association for Molecular Pathology, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, and others to educate Congress on concerns pertaining to the current draft of the VALID Act. In September 2022, the VALID Act was excluded from a funding bill signed by President Biden, which was a significant victory.

ASCP Advocates for Effective Test Utilization Amidst Laboratory Supply Chain Shortages

As the pandemic continues to affect the global medical community, supply chain issues have introduced new challenges that impact many aspects of diagnostic testing. In 2022, ASCP conducted a survey to understand the scope of supply chain issues in the laboratory and published the results in Critical Values. Several members of the ASCP Choosing Wisely Effective Test Utilization Steering Committee published an editorial in AJCP that discussed how the medical laboratory team can turn this crisis into an opportunity to strengthen laboratory stewardship efforts using Choosing Wisely and other guidelines. Gregory Sossaman, MD, MASCP, a member of ASCP’s Board of Directors, was asked to discuss both the survey and the editorial on one of the CDC’s Clinical Laboratory COVID-19 Response Calls.

10-Year Choosing Wisely Report

ASCP published a Choosing Wisely 10-Year report, which presents a detailed summary of the ASCP Effective Test Utilization Steering Committee’s work to support the ASCP Choosing Wisely initiative and its impact over the past decade, 2012-2022. ASCP has released 39 recommendations, stemming from seven lists of recommendations and four special SARS-CoV-2 recommendations. Since ASCP joined the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely Champions program, the Society has chosen 46 Champions who have advanced appropriate test utilization in their health systems and demonstrated leadership of a local Choosing Wisely effort.

ASCP Continues to Develop Red Blood Cell Alloantibody Exchange

With leadership from Henry M. Rinder, MD, FASCP, Kimberly W. Sanford, MD, MASCP, MLS(ASCP), and Ronald “George” Hauser, MD, continued to collaborate with AABB to work toward the establishment of a nationwide Red Blood Cell Alloantibody Exchange. The purpose of this database is to meet the transfusion needs of patients with difficult cross-match, in particular, the critical population of patients with sickle cell disease.

ASCP Advocates for COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

In 2021, ASCP joined with the American Medical Association and 14 other medical societies to file an Amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States urging it to support an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule requiring weekly testing and mask use by those individuals who are not vaccinated for COVID-19. In addition, ASCP submitted our own comments and partnered with more than 60 major medical societies and healthcare organizations in a joint statement of support for the OSHA rule. While the Court struck down the OSHA rule, it upheld a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

Patient and Provider CHOICE

Patient and Provider CHOICE: Preserve Choice in Cervical Cancer Screening Campaign

ASCP believes we need to ensure that cervical cancer screening guidelines continue to protect all women and preserve shared decision-making. In 2022, we launched the “Patient and Provider CHOICE: Preserve Choice in Cervical Cancer Screening” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to prepare ASCP members to take action and share their voices to make an impact in ensuring all screening options are available to all women.

CERTIFICATION

Standards that ensure the expertise of the medical laboratory team are key to the profession’s growth and advancement over the years. In 2022, the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) worked to expand our ability to provide excellence in certification.

Certification Growth and Expansion

In 2022, the ASCP BOC surpassed 600,000 total ASCP BOC credential holders worldwide.

The ASCP BOC also announced the establishment of the Diplomate in Medical Laboratory Immunology, DMLI(ASCP), which will launch in 2023. As the first ASCP BOC doctoral level certification, the DMLI certification provides assurance of immunologists’ expertise in immunology, proof of their education qualifications, and a demonstration of their professional competency in laboratory medicine.

ASCP BOC Receives ANAB Re-Accreditation

In July 2022, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board (ANAB) granted the ASCP BOC re-accreditation, which remains in effect for five years. The ASCP BOC now has accreditation for 22 certifications, extending the scope of accreditation to include Medical Laboratory Assistant, MLA(ASCP); Specialist in Cytometry, SCYM(ASCP); and Specialist in Molecular Biology, SMB(ASCP).

ASCP BOC Releases Publications to Guide the Future of MLS Education and Certification

In 2022, the ASCP BOC published the results of two surveys that were launched in 2020 and gathered information to support medical laboratory science (MLS) program directors and faculty in educating students, clarifying current issues, and revealing trends that may impact future program resources. Both surveys, one designed for program directors at university/college and hospital MLS programs and one designed for the faculty of these programs, were published in Laboratory Medicine. The ASCP BOC also conducted a survey in 2022 to gain insight on the impact of COVID-19 on educational programs, faculty, and graduates and plans to publish the results in 2023.

In addition to obtaining information to guide MLS education, the ASCP BOC publishes information related to various aspects of certification. The ASCP BOC’s abstract “Addressing Opportunities & Misunderstandings of ASCP BOC International Certification in the Philippines” was accepted and presented as a poster at the 35th World Congress of the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science and 60th Conference of the Korean Association of Medical Technologists.

Standardization of Professional Nomenclature

After the ASCP BOC and American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) published a position paper on the importance of standardizing the professional title of medical laboratory professionals, the ASCP Board of Certification Board of Governors (BOG) created a Nomenclature Taskforce in 2021. The Nomenclature Taskforce and the BOG agreed that one goal critical to standardization was to transition the ASCP BOC credentials Medical Technologist, MT(ASCP)/MT(ASCPi) to Medical Laboratory Scientist, MLS(ASCP)/MLS(ASCPi), and by the end of 2022, this transition was completed. Also included in the standardization of credentials is the transition of the Technologist in Molecular Pathology, MP(ASCP) to Technologist in Molecular Biology, MB(ASCP) by the end of 2022.

In addition, in early 2022, the CT, SCT, and CTgyn credentials were likewise recognized with new nomenclature. “Cytotechnologist” was changed to “Cytologist” and “Specialist in Cytotechnology” was changed to “Specialist in Cytology.” The “International Technologist in Gynecologic Cytology” credential title was renamed “International Gynecologic Cytologist.”

GLOBAL COMMUNITY

ASCP is dedicated to advancing pathology and laboratory medicine around the world and creating change that makes the laboratory accessible to all. In 2022, ASCP’s Center for Global Health continued to explore innovative approaches and form partnerships to support resource-limited countries with the equipment, training, and mentorship necessary to improve patient care worldwide.

PEPFAR Work in Mozambique Continues

We continued to collaborate with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to provide support and guidance to laboratories and laboratory professionals in Mozambique through activities funded via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

In addition, through engagement with ASCP staff and member consultants, ASCP performed a clinical laboratory training needs assessment to support Mozambique’s Ministry of Health in reviewing current laboratory training gaps and strategically expanding virtual education training resources. Funded through PEPFAR, this project represented a strong and synergistic collaboration between Mozambique’s Ministry of Health, CDC-Mozambique, ASCP staff, and ASCP member consultants toward a common goal to support high-quality and accessible laboratory training resources for Mozambican laboratorians.

Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa Telepathology Site Goes Live

ASCP continues our efforts to provide rapid cancer diagnostics, care, and treatment to underserved areas of the world. After a two-year delay due to COVID-19 and safety issues, ASCP was able to bring telepathology to Haiti this year, allowing for a histology turnaround time of five to seven days and bringing the immunohistochemistry testing turnaround time down from six months to four weeks.

In addition, we have continued our efforts to enhance labs and train local personnel through the launch of new training resources in French and Spanish for international laboratory workforce development.

New ATOM Coalition to Improve Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

The Union for International Cancer Control, along with ASCP, and multiple partners established the Access to Oncology Medicines (ATOM) Coalition, a new global partnership to increase access to quality-assured essential cancer medicines in low- and lower middle-income countries (LLMICs) and to help countries develop the capacity for their proper use. In the first phase of operations, the ATOM Coalition will support the implementation of intensive coordinated capacity building activities in up to 10 countries, expanding to other LLMICs over time, and will focus on increasing access to medicines in more than half of countries currently classified as LLMICs.

Continued Collaborations to Improve Patient Health

In 2022, ASCP continued to collaborate with other organizations to improve patient care around the globe. We worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in five countries to improve cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment. We continued to support the City Cancer Challenge in the development of clinical/treatment guidelines and other events and resources to assist laboratories in Ghana. We also collaborated with the Union for International Cancer Control to prepare to host the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, which will be held October 16–17, 2023, in Long Beach, California. In addition, as a part of Africa Calls, a program that provides virtual training to pathologists in Africa, we partnered with the American Society for Cytology to expand the program to include cytology as well as histology, and we launched companion telementorship programs for cytology and histology.

COLLABORATION

Establishing a pathway for advancing pathology and laboratory medicine and improving our ability to provide quality patient care requires collaboration. In 2022, ASCP leveraged key partnerships to build the laboratory’s capacity to supply excellent patient care.

CDC Grant to Strengthen Lab Workforce

ASCP was awarded a multi-year grant beginning in 2022 to strengthen the capacity of the clinical laboratory workforce in the United States to respond to public health emergencies and foster the development of a quality- and patient-centric community of practice. ASCP will work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to connect ASCP’s universe of more than 250,000 pathologists and laboratory professionals to the CDC OneLab Network. By harnessing the extensive technical expertise of our members and staff as leading laboratory educators and advocates, this program will embody the mission of the CDC OneLab Initiative and support the development of a sustainable learning community for the laboratory workforce using new and existing resources.

Torrance Memorial Medical Center First in Nation to Receive Leading Laboratories Designation from ASCP and The Joint Commission

Leading Laboratories  
Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, was the first laboratory to achieve the Leading Laboratories designation.  

In September 2022, Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, became the first in the nation to receive the Leading Laboratories designation from ASCP and The Joint Commission. The two-year designation serves as proof of Torrance Memorial’s commitment to laboratory excellence and recognition of their achievements in improving patient outcomes. Torrance Memorial underwent a rigorous application process to receive the designation and had to demonstrate excellence in four key areas: elevating quality outcomes, supporting professional development, cultivating trusted leadership, and promoting laboratory visibility. Launched in October 2021, Leading Laboratories is a designation for Joint Commission-accredited laboratories that recognizes laboratories that demonstrate an exemplary focus on leadership, mentorship, and innovative best practices, and ultimately positively impact patient outcomes. 

DIVERSITY, EQUITY + INCLUSION

Creating a laboratory that represents the diverse world it serves is key to addressing health disparities and improving patient outcomes. Through the ASCP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, founded by ASCP Past President Melissa Upton, MD, MASCP, in Fall 2019, we are furthering our efforts to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive laboratory workforce that reflects the communities it serves.

Equity Matters Strategic Plan

As a part of Equity Matters, a collaborative and anti-racism diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative sponsored by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), ASCP Past President Melissa Upton, MD, MASCP, and Tanya Norwood, MBA, MS, ASCP’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, have been participating in an 18-month training program that included DEI curriculum, tools, and skills training. Leveraging this information and guidance, ASCP is developing a three-year strategic plan to address anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion within our governance and membership. The plan, which will be shared in 2023, will build upon the work we have done over the past three years, which focused on building awareness around pathology and laboratory medicine as career opportunities, establishing partnerships with programs and other associations to promote and advance this strategic initiative, creating mentorship opportunities to provide support, learning and development, and developing educational content and training solutions. To ensure we continue to make impactful and sustainable advancements, our goal is to continuously grow our efforts, expand our relevance and influence, and make improvements that strengthen our members and the profession.

ASCP Partners With The Lab Drawer™

In December 2022, ASCP forged a partnership with The Lab Drawer™, which offers hands-on kits providing children the opportunity to learn and experience the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines through experiments. Through this partnership, ASCP Career Ambassadors will leverage The Lab Drawer™ kits as a part of hands-on, engaging presentations that raise awareness of careers in pathology and laboratory medicine among middle school and high school students in their communities. By intentionally bringing these presentations to schools targeting underrepresented minorities in medicine and the laboratory, we will work to build awareness around pathology and laboratory medicine as a career among these minorities, which is key to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive laboratory workforce.

CER-SAC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Special Interest Group

The ASCP Curriculum, Educational Resource and Scientific Advisory Committee (CER-SAC) provides leadership in the development and maintenance of up-to-date curriculum outlines to guide ASCP’s educational portfolio. Under the umbrella of the CER-SAC, content specific interest groups in main content areas identify hot topics in the field and support CER-SAC’s efforts as it relates to curricular competency outlines. In 2022, ASCP launched the CER-SAC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Special Interest Group to ensure that the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are infused throughout ASCP’s educational portfolio, allowing for sustainable progress.

ASCP FOUNDATION

As the philanthropic arm of ASCP, the ASCP Foundation provides members with the opportunity to join together to advance diagnostic medicine and public health around the globe. In 2022, the Foundation funded grants and scholarships and supported efforts to advance global health.

ASCP Foundation Supports Global Health

The ASCP Foundation’s Global Health Fund continues to support the efforts of our Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa initiative by helping cover the costs associated with establishing and enhancing labs and training local personnel in resource-limited areas of the world. The Foundation’s collaboration with the Coalition for Implementation Research in Global Oncology continued this year, with ASCP facilitating a second call for grant proposals. Thanks to a generous donation from Bristol Myers Squibb, ASCP was able to award seven grants for implementation research projects in Africa totaling $375,000. The Foundation also partnered with Pathologists Overseas to offer Spanish-language training on laboratory quality management systems. In addition, the Foundation facilitated several equipment donations, including more than 500 textbooks, donated by ASCP and the ASCP Board of Certification, to Ethiopia; textbooks to Nigeria, Rwanda, and Tanzania through a collaboration with BIO Ventures for Global Health; microscopes, donated by Quest, to Uganda, Kenya, and Cote d’Ivoire; and other equipment supporting pathology services to Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.

In addition to our work supporting resource-limited countries through our Partners initiative, we also supported humanitarian efforts to assist Ukrainian citizens. In early 2022, several million refugees fled Ukraine and entered neighboring European countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) sought assistance from the ASCP Foundation to help support their efforts to aid Ukrainian citizens—both refugees and those in-country—with cancer. The ASCP Foundation contributed more than $30,000 to support the WHO in its efforts to coordinate the response. This coordination mechanism will provide a platform for gathering intelligence, convening key stakeholders to develop an integrated plan, facilitating implementation, and monitoring impact.

The ASCP Foundation also continues to support members who have been impacted by natural disasters. In Fall 2022, the Foundation collected donations to assist and support those in the medical community affected by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Ian in Florida.

In 2022, the ASCP Foundation was able to provide $500,000 to our members and laboratory science programs through a variety of grants and scholarships:

  • Travel Grants
  • Medical Laboratory Science Program Director Education Grants
  • Laboratory Student Scholarships
  • Phlebotomy Student Scholarships
  • Resident Subspecialty Grants

REPORT OF THE TREASURER

Download the Audited Financial Statements for 2022 (PDF) .