By - January 04, 2024
ASCP welcomed more than 1,500 attendees from around the world to gain valuable knowledge from renowned faculty spanning pathology and laboratory medicine at the ASCP 2023 Annual Meeting, October 18-20, in Long Beach, CA.
Two distinguished general session speakers, actor and patient advocate Rob Lowe and Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett-Helaire, inspired the audience. Mr. Lowe shared his story about having several family members who had cancer and how that empowered him to become an advocate for cancer patients. He was also presented with the ASCP 2023 Patient Advocate Award.
During the Scientific General Session, Dr. Corbett-Helaire shared what led her into science and her involvement as leader of the Vaccine Research Center’s coronavirus team at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, where she studied coronavirus biology and vaccine development. The vaccine developed by Dr. Corbett-Helaire and her colleagues was central to the development of what would become the Moderna mRNA vaccine and the Eli Lilly therapeutic monoclonal antibody, and ultimately, help end the worst respiratory-disease pandemic in more than 100 years. In a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Gary Procop, CEO of ABPath, and Dr. Hannah Wang, Director, Molecular Microbiology & Virology at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Corbett-Helaire talked about the technology that led to the vaccine’s development and potential future applications for this technology.
Meanwhile, ASCP’s annual awards luncheon lauded exemplary members whose leadership has shaped the Society and the profession as well as ASCP’s 2023 40 Under Forty Top Five honorees. The luncheon featured the presentation of the inaugural ASCP Resident Service Award, presented by ASCP Past President Dr. Barney and his wife, Sandra Barney, to acknowledge a resident with outstanding achievement in ASCP volunteer service. The award was presented to Constantine Kanakis, MD, a senior pathology resident at Loyola University Medical Center and adjunct faculty in the graduate MLS program of Loyola’s Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health.
During the meeting, ASCP hosted more than 60 local high school students at NextPo, where they were immersed in a morning of real-life scientific experiments and learned about careers in the medical laboratory. One academically talented senior student was presented with ASCP Foundation STEM Student Scholarships.
On October 20, ASCP 2022-2023 President Marsha Kinney, MD, MASCP, passed the leadership mantle to incoming ASCP President Robert Goulart, MD, MASCP. Dr. Goulart is the associate chief of anatomic pathology and the director of quality and patient safety at UMass Memorial Health and a professor of pathology in the Department of Pathology at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in Worcester, MA.
Before the start of the Annual Meeting, ASCP CEO Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM, welcomed global health leaders and other dignitaries from around the world for the Union for International Cancer Control’s World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Long Beach. Dr. Holladay shared an update about ASCP’s work with Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa initiative which showcased ASCP’s commitment to battling cancer on a global scale.
ASCP also hosted a pre-meeting workshop on the growing role of artificial intelligence in the laboratory which was very well received. In addition, the Society held a 5K walk/run. The early morning run along the harbor in Long Beach drew more than 100 participants who helped raise funds to support the ASCP Foundation.
Another social opportunity that engaged individuals prior to the start of the Annual Meeting was a wine tasting, led by Bruce Smoller, MD, FASCP, who shared his expertise about “diagnosing wine.”
Although the ASCP 2023 Annual Meeting is now over, planning is already under way for the ASCP 2024 Annual Meeting, which will take place in Chicago from September 4-6, 2024. Visit ascp.org/2024 for details.
There is still an opportunity to access 90+ recorded sessions from the 2023 Annual Meeting. These recordings are accessible for purchase through April 20, 2024. Recordings will be available via the ASCP 2023 Annual Meeting App and virtual meeting platform, accessible at ascp.org/2023.
ASCP has received a $750,000 grant from the Alliance for Women’s Health and Prevention (AWHP) to analyze recent trends in cervical cancer screening and detection among a diverse population of women who are underrepresented in the data used by the U.S. government to set screening guidelines, with a goal of advancing policy that drives equitable access to healthcare among all women and girls.
“We are proud to partner with ASCP and invest in this important research, which will help lay the groundwork for more comprehensive and equitable cervical cancer screening guidelines, and ultimately help save lives," said Millicent Gorham, CEO and Board Chair AWHP.
ASCP will utilize the data to inform the healthcare community, patients, patient advocates, and policy makers of current trends in cervical cancer screening and detection in a more diverse population than is currently available in the scientific literature.
ASCP will work with a geographically diverse set of clinical sites around the country to look at retrospective data from patients to identify how frequently they receive cervical cancer screenings and review the history of their results to ascertain if there is a higher prevalence of cervical cancer in these diverse communities. ASCP will utilize its established HIPAA-compliant quality registry, the National Pathology Quality Registry (NPQR), to aggregate, standardize, and study historical data on cervical cancer screening and detection, serving as a trusted central hub. The aggregated data will be analyzed to identify recent trends in cervical cancer and precancer detection rates in diverse populations, as well as other relevant clinical and socioeconomic factors available.
ASCP has received a $100,000 grant from the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) to fund an initiative, Promoting Diagnostic Excellence by Improving the Communication of New Cancer Diagnoses. The Society is one of 11 member-specialty societies to receive a $100,000 grant from CMSS.
The CMSS grants are funding an array of projects to support the development and dissemination of resources and programs to improve the timeliness, accuracy, safety efficiency, patient-centeredness, and equity of diagnostic outcomes for patients in the United States.
“ASCP is pleased to receive this CMSS award, which will help us to review current guidelines regarding the notification of patients of a cancer diagnosis and to develop a set of best practices to make sure these results are communicated in an effective, consistent, and timely manner,” says Sachin Gupta, PhD, MBA, MLS(ASCPi)MB, LSSBB, CPHQ, Scientific Director of the ASCP Center for Quality and Patient Safety.
Under the 21st Century Cures Act, patients may now obtain their test results immediately after they become available in their electronic medical records. “Health systems and providers need to be prepared to respond in a uniform manner that adheres to best practices to provide quality patient care,” Dr. Gupta says.
Denver Health has achieved the designation of a Leading Laboratory from ASCP and The Joint Commission, becoming the third health system in the nation to receive this prestigious distinction. The Leading Laboratories designation is the gold standard for laboratory excellence and provides visible and public recognition of a laboratory’s meaningful achievements in improving patient outcomes.
Denver Health’s laboratory was recognized for its outstanding work and its focus on assuring the best patient care, while working to advance the visibility of the clinical laboratory. Their laboratory demonstrates an awareness of the importance of open communication and a positive environment through transparent communication with the laboratory community. Exemplary forms of community service and collaboration with other healthcare disciplines, such as nursing, were highlighted as well as innovative strategies to recruit younger people to become laboratory professionals.
Denver Health joins two other healthcare institutions designated as Leading Laboratories, Lutheran Hospital of Indiana and Torrance Memorial Medical Center, near Los Angeles, CA.
ASCP communications writer