ASCP welcomed more than 1,500 attendees from around the world to gain valuable knowledge from top-notch faculty spanning pathology and laboratory medicine at the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting, Oct. 3-5, in Baltimore. With 16 collaborating societies, over 250 hours of education, and the opportunity to build lasting relationships with colleagues spanning the entire field of pathology and laboratory medicine, the ASCP Annual Meeting truly is the premier meeting for the diagnostic medicine field.
Two distinguished general session speakers—each of them agents of change—inspired general session audiences to continue their vital efforts to improve patient care in the United States and around the world. During the Wednesday Grand Opening General Session, decorated Olympic gymnast and cancer survivor Shannon Miller offered her perspective as a patient and advocate for improving health care for women and children. Following the General Session, she participated in a meet and greet at a new ASCP Patient Champions networking forum providing an opportunity to connect patients, patient advocates, and members of the laboratory medicine profession.
During the Thursday Scientific General Session, Thomas J. Bollyky, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics and Development at the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the book, “Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World Is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways,” discussed global health and the future. Mr. Bollyky explored the paradox that recent reductions in infectious disease have not been accompanied by improvements in income, job opportunities, and governance; they have, in fact, provoked unintended consequences. Also during this session, 2017-2018 ASCP President Dr. James L. Wisecarver gave an address reflecting on his tenure as president.
ASCP CEO E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM, presented the inaugural Cindy Johns Lecture, which honors the memory, spirit and legacy of the longtime ASCP member and volunteer leader for her championship of the laboratory medicine profession. A certified laboratory professional by education and training, Ms. Johns, MSA, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM, passed away in December 2017 after waging a courageous, 18-year battle against breast cancer. Ms. Johns was an inaugural member of the ASCP Patient Champions’ Advisory Board and received the first ASCP Patient Champions Award in 2017.
In his presentation, titled “The Path of a Believer—Matching Your Passion with Your Purpose,” Dr. Holladay discussed the attributes of an effective volunteer leader in the medical laboratory profession and the necessary tools to provide a results-driven impact.
Meanwhile, ASCP’s annual awards lauded exemplary members whose leadership has shaped the Society and the profession, as well as a patient who has helped increase awareness and understanding of the medical laboratory. The ASCP Leaders Celebration honored many of these individuals, as well as ASCP’s 2018 40 Under Forty Top Five honorees. In the Exhibit Hall, attendees connected with exhibitors and browsed the hundreds of posters. Nearby, ASCP Foundation donors enjoyed a special donors-only lounge with comfy couches and premium snacks.
During the meeting, ASCP hosted nearly 40 local high school students at NEXTPO, where they were immersed in a morning of live scientific experiments and learned about careers in the medical laboratory. Three academically-talented senior students were presented with ASCP Foundation STEM Student Scholarships.
On Oct. 5, 2017-2018 ASCP President James L. Wisecarver, MD, PhD, FASCP, passed the mantle of leadership to ASCP’s new president, Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP. Dr. Upton is Professor Emeritus of Pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She continues to practice surgical pathology, autopsy pathology, and cytopathology, and she is one of the specialists at the University of Washington in the areas of gastrointestinal, liver, and pancreatic pathology.
During the celebratory Mixology reception at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, the 2018 poster presentation award winners were announced, and 2018-2019 ASCP President Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP, thanked Zubair Baloch, MD, PhD, MASCP, Chair of the Annual Meeting Education Committee, for his leadership and important role in developing the vision for the Annual Meeting. As Dr. Baloch has fulfilled his maximum term as Chair of the Annual Meeting Education Committee, the education program at the 2018 meeting was the last under his leadership.
The ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting’s practical education, personalized activities, and focus on the future truly underscores the innovation and hard work of ASCP members. The 2019 Annual Meeting in Phoenix will expand upon these initiatives and be even more exciting. So, if you missed the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting, mark your calendar now for September 11-13, 2019, and plan to attend the ASCP 2019 Annual Meeting in Phoenix!