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ASCP’s Education Tsar Champions Knowledge for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Monday, June 03, 2013

At a time when the future of health care is often ambiguous, Suzanne Ziemnik, MEd, ASCP Vice President of Continuing Professional Development, has demonstrated an unparalleled vision to anticipate major societal trends, including molecular genomics, personalized medicine, informatics, and the laboratory of the future. Her career-long passion for quality education for physicians and healthcare professionals has, ultimately, helped to strengthen the healthcare delivery system.  

“Suzanne has brought broad and deep expertise in the area of continuing education, tremendous energy, prodigious organizational capacity, and consummate professionalism to her role as education tsar of ASCP.”
—Steve Kroft, MD, FASCP

In recognition of her dedicated service as a leader, educator, and mentor, as well as for her professional contributions to the medical and continuing education communities nationwide, Ms. Ziemnik recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions.

“Suzanne has brought broad and deep expertise in the area of continuing education, tremendous energy, prodigious organizational capacity, and consummate professionalism to her role as education tsar of ASCP,” says Steve Kroft, MD, FASCP, 2012–2013 ASCP President-Elect and former Chair of the Commission on Continuing Professional Education.

“Her vision of personalized learning, based on a comprehensive curriculum matrix, once a seemingly impossible goal, is rapidly approaching fruition through her leadership. The structures she has created for managing an incredibly complex educational portfolio have achieved the status of industry best practices.” 

Ms. Ziemnik has held numerous leadership roles through her involvement with the Alliance, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, the Continuing Medical Education Congress, and the National Task Force on Continuing Medical Education Provider/Industry Collaboration.

“I’ve become a zealot for the pathology and laboratory medical community,” Ms. Ziemnik says. “I really do use my connections nationally to promote the role that pathologists and laboratory professionals play as diagnosticians in the clinical care setting. That has helped ASCP create much more robust educational programs for our members.”

Under her leadership, ASCP has collaborated with other organizations on several significant grants:

  • A $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Training Residents in Genomics Working Group received this grant for on an innovative program teaching genomics to pathologist residents. ASCP serves as a sub-contractor;

  • A grant of more than $434,000 from Celgene Corporation to design, develop, and implement a curriculum about how to diagnose and treat Myelodysplastic Syndromes, a rare, but potentially deadly cluster of blood and bone marrow disorders that are extremely difficult to diagnose; and

  • An independent professional education grant supported by Pfizer Inc., to develop a new initiative, in collaboration with the American College of Chest Physicians, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Neb., and the France Foundation, to train interdisciplinary specialists how to diagnose patients with non-small cell lung cancer at an earlier stage using new models of targeted therapies and personalized care.

“Suzanne came to us with a very strong background in medical education,” says Melissa P. Upton, MD, FASCP, 2013–2014 Chair of the Commission on Continuing Professional Development. “Under her leadership, ASCP has reached out and obtained more than $1 million in grants for products that no one previously thought were possible.”


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