From the ASCP CEO - October 2023

By Blair Holladay - October 01, 2023

lab professional wearing goggles and a mask

From the ASCP CEO - October 2023

Leaders within pathology and laboratory medicine must possess a multitude of qualities, at the heart of which is a profound understanding of the laboratory’s foundational role in patient care. Leaders must be able to communicate clearly both inside and outside of the laboratory, as they share their knowledge in the ever-evolving landscape of medical advancements. Leaders must embrace innovation as a cornerstone of the laboratory, as a way of continuously contributing to the progression of medical science that ultimately improves patient care and outcomes. Leaders do not let their commitment to quality and patient safety flag, but rather establish and uphold rigorous standards and protocols to ensure accuracy and reliability of laboratory results, and to reinforce the trust that healthcare teams invest in the laboratory every day, with every patient.

Perhaps most importantly, pathologists and laboratory professional leaders do not confine themselves to the four walls of the laboratory. They understand that the dissemination of research, knowledge, and collaboration happens everywhere, not just within their own institutions. As important as it is to lead within the laboratory, leading outside of the laboratory is equally valuable, and fosters a deeper influence on healthcare.

In this issue of Critical Values we look at the many facets of leadership, and how it is being demonstrated in today’s healthcare environment. There are leaders everywhere you look, each bringing their unique perspective that will help shape the laboratory now and into the future.

We are pleased to share the most recent cohort of 40 Under Forty and Top 5 honorees. For almost a decade, this program has spotlighted 40 highly accomplished pathologists, pathology residents, and laboratory professionals under age 40. The Top 5 honorees rose above this group of highly motivated, innovative leaders, and were chosen for their significant current contributions and future goals for growth in the field.

This issue also shares a profile on John Baci, Executive Administrative Director of Anatomic Pathology at Boston Children’s Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, who developed an internship program that connects high school juniors and seniors with hospitals and laboratories to teach these kids about careers in the laboratory sciences. The program has been successful, and Mr. Baci notes that it’s a win-win for everyone: The hospitals and laboratories get energetic, interested young students to help them do work; the students get incredible exposure to the sciences and career possibilities, since when it’s time to fill a job, Mr. Baci will turn to their interns first.

Our members inspire us every day to continue our leadership as the top professional organization for pathologists and medical laboratory professionals. We continually seek partnerships with outside organizations to leverage our influence in both local and global health. In 2022, ASCP was awarded a multi-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under its OneLab Network, to help strengthen the laboratory workforce in the United States. As part of this grant, ASCP harnessed the knowledge of experts in the field and developed a virtual learning series Building Bridges Across the Laboratory Community. In the article, “Building Bridges to Elevate the Laboratory: ASCP’s Support of the CDC’s OneLab Initiative” Critical Values Editor in Chief Molly Strzelecki takes a closer look at the four webinars and their key takeaways and best practices.

Leadership in pathology and laboratory medicine goes beyond simply excelling at technical expertise. The dedication needed by these individuals and their commitment to continuous learning will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on patient care and the laboratory community, making us all StrongerTogether.

Thank you for being a part of this outstanding community. Please send me your comments and suggestions at My very best to each of you.

Blair Holladay