Hello everyone! As we near the end of the academic year, and get ready to welcome summer, I hope everyone is doing well and healthy. This is a very prolific year for the ASC, and I am very excited
and energized to see our committees working so hard and our members continuously coming up with projects to better our Society. On April 30, 2021, the ASC Executive Board met virtually for our interim meeting. The Board was very encouraged with the progress the committees have made during the first quarter of 2021 and is excited to see these new projects come to fruition.
The ASC held a very successful ASC companion meeting at the recent United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Annual Meeting. The companion meeting entitled “Cytological and Clinical Updates on HPV Vaccination and HPV Mediated Diseases of the Female Genitals, Anus, and Head & Neck” was moderated by Charles Sturgis, MD, and included speakers Robert Goulart, MD, Michael Rivera, MD, Jennifer Roberts, MBBS, and Deanna Teoh, MD, MS. Thank you to Dr. Sturgis and all of the speakers for a fabulous session and sharing their knowledge!
This year, I have asked each of our committees to give one online session via the ASC YouTube Channel (@cytopath1951) #WeeklyWebinars.
On Wednesdays throughout the year, the ASC has been sponsoring FREE WEBINARS. While there is no CME associated with these presentations and they are for educational use only, we are delighted to see more and moreindividuals watching these and sending us their positive feedback. The sessions include information on the ASC as well aseducational sessions by prominent cytopathologists and cytotechnologists. For a list of the sessions, please visit the ASC website – https://cytopathology.org/page/liveonlineseries. Better yet, subscribe to our YouTube channel and let us know ifyou have any suggestions for future sessions!
The ASC launched a podcast (CytoPathPod) in January, which is available on Apple Podcast and Podbean. The ASC Podcast has special guests to highlight ASC and cytopathology activities. Eleven episodes have been posted. Including abook review on Dr. Edmund Cibas’ latest edition of Cytology: Diagnostic Principles and Clinical Correlates, an update on The Paris System with Drs. Eva Wojcik and Dorothy Rosenthal and a discussion about the ASCCP and ACS Guidelines with Michele Smith, MS, SCT(ASCP) & Diane Davis Davey, MD.
In January, I formed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and appointed Dr. Alarice Lowe as Chair and Dr. Michele Reid as vice chair. Its four primary goals are (1) Reviewing the ASC’s policies todetermine any opportunities for improvement, (2) Outreach opportunities (both international and domestic) in the areas of education, pathology services, (3) Development of a pipeline for ASC’s provision of earlycytopathology and cytotechnology exposure to medical and high school students, and (4) an ASC membershipcensus/demographic survey with questions regarding gender, racial identity, and country of birth/affiliation. In February, the ASC’s DEI Committee underwent a diversity training session. The virtual training was led by ACGME DEI leadership Bonnie Mason, MD, FAAOS, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Sunny Nakae, PhD, MSW , Senior Associate Dean-Equity, Inclusion, Diversity, and Community Partnerships atthe California University of Science and Medicine. The purpose of the training course was to strengthen bothdiversity awareness and inclusive practices. The team is currently working on a virtual summer studentprogram. This program will allow high school students the opportunity to gain an in-depth perspective andexposure to science and medicine with a focus on pathology and cytology. It will aim to discuss the tools thatare necessary for success in medicine, and particularly pathology. This in-depth program consists of five pre-recorded and four optional live Q&A sessions, which will be provided in July 2021. Students who attend all pre-recorded sessions and complete the pre- and post-session surveys will receive a certificate of participation. Kudos to our hard working DEI committee, in such a short time they have accomplished a lot, and they have alot more ideas and energy coming our way.
A membership survey designed to explore ways to increase ASC membership benefits and to better serve the educationaland professional needs of the membership and cytopathology community was launched on April 23rd. Results of thesurvey are being compiled and will be included in a future issue of the Bulletin. \All members who participated in thesurvey received a cup of Starbuck’s coffee on the ASC!
Dr. Amy Clayton, Secretary-Treasurer, reviewed the ASC current financial status and stated as of March 31st, the ASC was at 73% of the projected budget for revenue and 66% of the projected budget for expenses. Dr. Clayton also presentedthe 2021-2022 Financial Budget on behalf of the ASC’s Budget and Finance Committee for budget approval.
The 69th Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held hopefully in person on November 11-14, 2021 at Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Nevada (minutes away from Las Vegas) will be very exciting. The Scientific Program Committee, chaired by Dr. Zubair Baloch and Vice Chair, Dr. Christine Booth, has outlined a program that is full of educational opportunities for novice and the experienced attendees.
The meeting will also be available on demand for those concerned about traveling. All Short Courses and Video Microscopy Tutorials are included in registration. The Scientific Program Committee willhave an article soon on the program and keep a watch for emails and social media on the program. The registration material for this year’s meeting will be available in July. Please mark your calendars now for this exciting event! I cannotwait to see you all at our annual meeting.
Dr. Syed Ali, Chair, Nominating Committee, presented the slate of candidates for the 2021 elections as follows:
Vice President Nominees
Barbara Centeno, MD
Momin Siddiqui, MD
Medical Member Candidates
Ronald Balassanian, MD
Mohiedean Ghofrani, MD, MBA
Sinchita Roy-Chowdhuri, MD, PhD
Christopher J. VandenBussche, MD, PhD
Cytotechnologist Member Candidates
Jacqueline M. Cuda, BS, SCT(ASCP)
Sean A. McNair, MPH, CT(ASCP)
The Executive Board Ballots will go to the ASC Membership on Monday, August 30 and will be open for voting through October 1st.
During the Executive Board, virtual meeting, the Cytotechnology Program Review Committee (CPRC) chaired by Dr.Amber Donnelly, Dr. Chuck Sturgis (Vice Chair) and Ms. Deb Sheldon (CPRC Coordinator) were invited to present theupdated Standards and Guidelines (S&G)/Entry Level Competencies (ELCs) for Accreditation of Educational Programs inCytotechnology. Dr. Donnelly noted that the revising of the S&G and ELCs began in 2018 after ongoing discussions and datagathering began more than 20 years ago about the future of the profession. The CPRC is responsible for working with itssponsoring organizations in reviewing and revising the Standards. The CPRC is also required to obtain input andconsideration from their communities of interest (COIs) – i.e. cytotechnologists, cytotechnology school directors,pathologists and employers. The group is hoping that the revisions will be completed and approved by the end of the year.
Dr. Robert Goulart and Ms. Barbara McGahey Frain, Co-Chairs of the Foundation Board, were invited to give an update on Foundation Board activities and the February 2021 retreat.
The purpose of the retreat was to bring together FoundationBoard Members and other interested individuals to assess the current state of the ASC Foundation and to design collaboratively a bold and innovative plan to ensure a strong future for the Foundation. An action plan has been developedfrom the retreat. Items include, a redesign of the current Foundation website, Virtual Happy Hours, Honoring COVID Heroes and establishing a planned giving program. We are looking forward to the upcoming ASC Foundation activities.
Dr. Sara Monaco reviewed the Cytopathology Program Directors Committee activities. The Committee is creating a trialunified timeline and common application for the upcoming recruitment for the 2023-2024 cytopathology fellowship year. A webpage will be created listing the programs that have agreed to the unified timeline and application for applicants. In addition, the Committee has submitted articles on the unified timeline for an upcoming special edition issue of JASC on cytopathology education. Congratulations to the group for their herculean effort to get the cytopathology programs to coordinate! I am sure we will be hearing more from the group later in the year. And by the way, good luck to all the Cytopathology Fellowship Programs for a successful recruitment year.
The Executive Board and ASC Committees are busy and will remain active with input from its membership and the hardwork of Committees. The Board would like to thank the Committee Chairs and Members for their commitment of time dedicated to the ASC. The Board also invites and encourages each member to make suggestions and comments on anysubject regarding ASC activities and to recruit their cytology professional peers to membership in our organization. You may contact the Executive Board through the ASC National Office at (302) 543-6583 or email@example.com. We would love to hear from you – remember THIS IS YOUR SOCIETY!
And finally for those of you in academic practice, wishing all the graduating cytopathology fellows andcytotechnology students a successful and bright future! And a Happy New Academic Year to All!