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ASCP and ASC Sign a MOU to Partner on Education, Scientific Discovery, and Advocacy

Friday, May 04, 2012

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), effective April 17, 2012, to partner on education, scientific discovery, and advocacy initiatives that will mutually benefit the pathologists, cytopathologists, laboratory professionals, and cytotechnologists who belong to the Societies.

This partnership will enhance their shared missions of interdisciplinary education, scientific discovery, and advocacy; leverage their respective resources and membership benefits; and create administrative efficiencies while allowing each Society to maintain its own identity and governance.

“Collaboration is an important strategy to achieving maximal impact,” said ASC President Lydia P. Howell, MD, FASCP, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Davis Health System, Sacramento, Calif. “No organization has the resources to stand alone. Collaborating with ASCP will help ASC make a bigger and better difference to patient outcomes worldwide. This collaboration enhances the identity of ASC. We are positioning ASC as the cytopathology education provider for ASCP.”

Founded in 1951, ASC defines and promotes excellence in cytopathology, striving for the highest quality in patient care. Started in 1922, ASCP’s mission is to advance excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals.

“ASCP and ASC both have long, rich legacies, and we have worked together often for the common good of our respective members,” said ASCP President C. Bruce Alexander, MD, FASCP, Professor and Vice Chair of Pathology and Residency Program Director, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala. “This MOU formalizes and expands our collaboration to enhance patient care and to work together on state and national legislative and regulatory issues.”

Immediate opportunities for collaboration include ASC providing cytology workshops for regional ASCP educational events for pathologists and laboratory professionals; supplying questions for Resident In-Service and Fellow In-Service Examinations, as well as preparation for a cytopathology board review course; training in high-quality molecular diagnostics in support of scientists working in existing regional facilities; and supporting a single series of cytotechnology Webcasts with ASC and ASCP experts.

“The MOU between ASCP and ASC allows both Societies to align their goals and perspectives about what needs to be done to protect the future of pathology,” said Thomas Bonfiglio, MD, MASCP, former President of both ASC and ASCP. “Their missions overlap, especially in regards to education. Additionally, the resource of the ASCP Washington office is a big benefit for ASC members.”

The ASCP Government Affairs Office will leverage ASCP’s and ASC’s formidable collective membership to advance patient-centric legislation and regulations for cytopathologists and cytotechnologists. These initiatives will be for national efforts such as Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and the Affordable Healthcare Act and local ones such as ensuring states that require licensure include the appropriate scope of practice. For the workforce shortage, the two organizations will monitor the number of universities teaching cytotechnology and encourage program expansion to meet the demand.

“ASCP and ASC share a common goal to advance the profession of cytopathology,” said Dr. Blair Holladay, ASCP Executive Vice President. “Throughout the esteemed history of the ASC, their Presidents and leaders have been foundational pillars within the field. The MOU between the mutual Societies will strengthen ASCP and ASC and further enrich the membership resources of both.”

ASC will participate in ASCP’s Center for Health Services Research for cancer diagnostics and recruit ASC members for the Center’s research projects. ASCP will serve as an adviser for ASC members continuing medical education (CME) needs, leveraging ASCP’s expertise as a premier CME provider. Additionally, ASC will present a Companion Society program at the 2013 ASCP Annual Meeting.

“The MOU offers more resources to ASC members, especially for online education, training in molecular diagnostics, and global scientific research,” said Elizabeth Jenkins, MSOL, ASC Executive Director. “By working together, our respective members will have more opportunities to learn from one another.”


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