The start of a new year is both a time to prepare ourselves for the coming 12 months, as well as a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 presented us with a continuation of challenges experienced in 2020, as well as new challenges that moved us to shift our thinking about how we work, educate, collaborate, and create. In 2021, the American Society for Clinical Pathology set a course to deepen our connection with our members; raise the visibility of the laboratory both within the context of the pandemic as well as for the critical knowledge we provide to patients and healthcare teams; and continue to leverage our advocacy efforts to create a better community and working environment for every person within the laboratory.
The centerpiece of this issue of Critical Values features our Annual Report, which recaps the major accomplishments of ASCP in 2021. We went above and beyond what we thought was possible, and we did it because of—and for—you, our members. Without you, we would not be able to push pathology and laboratory medicine into new frontiers. We would not be able to provide patient-centric care to people who need it in resource-limited countries. We would not be able to share knowledge and expertise across generations for the betterment of the profession. ASCP’s accomplishments are not a solo endeavor. They belong to you, and to all of us. As you read through the pages of all that we’ve done, which speak to the pillars and mission of this organization, your organization, know that it is all because we are STRONGERTOGETHER.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of ASCP. We kicked off the official celebration both live and virtually at the ASCP Annual Meeting in Boston in October, and we will continue to celebrate throughout 2022 the century of innovation, discovery, and growth ASCP has experienced.
In this issue of Critical Values, we learn more about how ASCP has been advocating to reduce burdensome requirements in reporting quality measures. This will allow more pathologists to participate in payment and delivery reform through Medicare, writes Susan Montgomery, Communications Writer for ASCP. ASCP has proposed several recommendations and concerns for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s 2022 proposed rule.
The article, “Minding the Gaps: Implementation Science Research for Improved Cancer Care in Africa,” also in this issue, discusses ASCP’s involvement as part of the Coalition for Research in Global Oncology (CIRGO). This group of global oncology organizations work collaboratively to improve the coordination of cancer care systems in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa. Supportive of implementation science research, part of CIRGO’s mission is also to identify knowledge gaps across the healthcare spectrum, not just in diagnostics, and find solutions to fix those gaps.
Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how we work, learn, and live. So much of our education has moved online, and Tiffany Gill, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM, is capitalizing on that to bring laboratory knowledge to students around the world. Better known as Lab Lady Gill, in this Q&A she discusses her role in the laboratory community and the drive behind building her YouTube channel with more than 20,000 subscribers.
We look forward to what this new year will bring, and how we can better use our knowledge and expertise to shape patient-centric care. Opportunities are endless, and we look forward to making them come alive with you.
Thank you for your continued support of ASCP. Please send me your comments and suggestions at Blair.Holladay@ascp.org. My very best to each of you.