The inspiration for this article comes from one of my favorite quotes: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away," from Pablo Picasso. While Picasso may have been talking about art, I think it also applies to all of us in pathology and laboratory medicine.
One of the hallmarks of our profession is giving. We give daily to the patients we serve, our jobs, our families, and our communities. Also, throughout our careers, others have given to us. All of us know faculty members and mentors who have given generously during our education and training and have helped shape the people we are today.
By giving to the ASCP Foundation, we have an opportunity to support the future of pathology and laboratory medicine. Since the Foundation was created in 2017, more than 4,000 ASCP members have given to the Foundation. While these donors have helped establish our foundation, it only represents 4 percent of total ASCP members. We need more members to support the Foundation and its critical work.
The Foundation focuses on three areas important to everyone who works in pathology and laboratory medicine: scholarships, laboratory visibility, and global health. The ASCP Foundation’s Scholarship Fund provides financial support to outstanding pathology residents to help them expand their knowledge, skills, and professional network and assists clinical laboratory students through scholarships for books and tuition. It also provides grants to directors of Medical Laboratory programs to support the purchase of education-related materials and other training program resources.
ASCP Foundation’s Laboratory Visibility Fund supports public relations and advertising campaigns designed specifically to tell your story and stories of pathology and laboratory medicine. The work that medical laboratory professionals do is critical to patient care, yet it is often hidden from the public. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that our work is understood, respected and valued by colleagues, insurers, the government and the public.
The Foundation’s Global Health Fund supports ASCP’s Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa initiative, which provides diagnostics in countries where access to pathologists or medical laboratories is virtually nonexistent. The Foundation supports partners by helping cover the costs associated with establishing and enhancing labs as well as training local personnel.
In addition to its compelling mission, there is another aspect of the Foundation that is important to note: 100 percent of donations go to member programs and services. The Foundation does not spend any donor dollars on overhead, personnel, or marketing. This means that every dollar that you give goes back out to a laboratory student, resident, ASCP member or program. So, I invite you to join me and support the ASCP Foundation. Donate today by calling 800-267-2727 or make a donation online at www.ascp.org/foundation.