Lee H. Hilborne MD, MPH, FASCP, DLM(ASCP)CM

2012 ASCP Ward Burdick Award for Distinguished Service to Pathology

“When (the white paper for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) was acknowledged by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then by the World Health Organization…it showed that you really can change the world if you really want to.”
—Lee H. Hilborne MD, MPH, FASCP, DLM(ASCP)CM

As a medical student, Lee H. Hilborne MD, MPH, FASCP, DLM(ASCP)CM, was interested in pursuing health policy as a research career. His interim department chair during his residency at the University of California, Los Angeles, advised against it, saying there was no place for health policy in pathology. The young Hilborne, however, didn’t listen. “Twenty-some years later, it was the best choice I made, and frankly, allowed me to see the value to drive formation of the ASCP Institute for Science, Technology, and Policy,” he wrote.

Dr. Hilborne is Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a health policy researcher at RAND Corporation, in Santa Monica, Calif. He also founded the Strategic Alliance for Error Reduction in California Healthcare (SAFER), lecturing and consulting nationally and internationally on patient safety and quality of care issues. In addition, Dr. Hilborne is the Medical Director for Quest Diagnostics in Southern California. 

Currently, Dr. Hilborne chairs the ASCP Global Institute Advisory Committee and is a member of the ASCP Board of Certification Board of Governors and the ASCP International Commission. He is actively involved in the ASCP’s efforts to fight AIDS in Africa and South America.

His work with RAND Corporation has included guidance for the formation of the National Health Authority for Qatar, evaluation of causes of Gulf War illnesses, and evaluation of pay for performance in Taiwan.

This year, ASCP is honoring Dr. Hilborne with the 2012 ASCP Ward Burdick Award for Distinguished Service to Pathology. The Award, which commemorates the late Ward Burdick, MD, FASCP, a founder of ASCP, recognizes Fellow members who have made a significant contribution to pathology through sustained service to the profession and ASCP.

Of his long involvement with ASCP, Dr. Hilborne wrote, “ASCP is an organization that is committed to the team, to improving our profession, and to enhancing health care at home and abroad.” 

Among all of his accomplishments, he is most proud of the white paper that he co-authored for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which recommended building a model to encourage accreditation of laboratories in resource-limited countries that received PEPFAR support. “When it was acknowledged by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and then by the World Health Organization–Regional Office for Africa—and many countries came together to change laboratory medicine and healthcare in Africa—it showed that you really can change the world if you really want to,” he wrote.

Dr. Hilborne serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Medical Quality, and has served on the editorial boards of Lab Medicine and the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, and on several federal advisory committees. In 2009, he received the American Society for Quality-Los Angeles (ASQLA) 22nd Simon Collier Quality Award.