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    The Patient Champions

    Steering Committee

The Patient Champions Steering Committee is comprised of pathologists, laboratory professionals, and public members who collaborate with the ASCP Patient Champions team to shape the vision and strategy of the Patient Champions program. Committee members guide the strategic direction, help determine potential partner organizations, identify events and conferences to help promote our Champions, and review medical information for the program.

Jeffrey Myers
Jeffrey Myers is A. James French Professor of Diagnostic Pathology, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and Quality, and Director of MLabs in the Department of Pathology at Michigan Medicine. Following residency training in anatomic pathology at Washington University in St. Louis and a fellowship with his mentor and lifelong friend, Anna-Luise Katzenstein, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he was a member of the Mayo Clinic staff in Rochester, Minnesota where he served for a decade as Division Chair in Anatomic Pathology. He has served in a number of leadership roles for national organizations and is Past President of the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology (ADASP) and the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP). His interest in surgical pathology with a focus in thoracic pathology is complemented by a strong commitment to quality, safety, service excellence and innovation. His current focus is understanding the value of working directly with patients and families to transform their experience of care. Together with Michele Mitchell, a Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) in Michigan Medicine’s adult Patient and Family-Center Care (PFCC) program, he co-chairs the Department of Pathology’s Patient and Families Advisory Council (PFAC). Their vision is to create and nurture a patient and family-centered culture of diagnostic medicine and personalized pathology care.
Lee H. Hilborne
Lee H. Hilborne is a Senior Medical Director in Medical Affairs for Quest Diagnostics. He completed his MD degree from the University of California, San Diego and his residency in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Hilborne serves on a number of editorial boards and was a long-term member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and president from 2007-2008. He was also a member of the AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel and now serves as ASCP advisor to CPT and co-chair of the Proprietary Laboratory Analysis (PLA) Technical Advisory Group (PLA-TAG). He previously served as the Quest Diagnostics’ medical director for the West Hills laboratory and national medical director for quality. He is also a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine, at UCLA and was the Director of the UCLA Center for Patient Safety and Quality. He is also a consultant to the health program at RAND in Santa Monica. Dr. Hilborne has published many articles related to quality of care, medical appropriateness, and patient safety. He is passionate about patient safety and quality – making sure that patients get the right diagnostic tests at the right time and right cost – and strongly embraces the ASCP Patient Champions program so that non-laboratory individuals can learn more about the contributions of laboratory medicine to saving patient lives.

I chose Transfusion Medicine because I cherish building partnerships with my patients. As a provider of apheresis, I have the flexibility to speak with my patients about their diagnoses, treatments and alternatives without the intrusiveness of insurance companies dictating my time. It is this relationship between the patient and me that pushes me to become a better physician. Through these interactions, I have valued the ability of my patients to advocate for themselves by asking questions or seeking second opinions. By being their own advocates and understanding their diseases, I feel that these patients are able to ensure better care for themselves.

I am currently the Division Director of Transfusion Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Prior to joining UAMS, I was the Medical Director for Donor Services and the Associate Medical Director of Transfusion Medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital. I completed my residency and fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Constantine Kanakis is currently a resident physician at Loyola University Medical Center in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. A Chicago native, he has a proud background in laboratory medicine as a board-certified Medical Laboratory Scientist for nearly 10 years before he began his pathology postgraduate medical training. He has held various roles as a generalist, transplant/transfusion senior, QA/QC, education coordinator, and hematology technologist. He has also contributed to public health at home and abroad leading arbovirus prevention and detection in the Caribbean and addressing laboratory logistics regarding COVID and testing principles in the early months of 2020. He has been an advocate for the advancement of medical diagnostics, education, global/public health, and patient engagement throughout my career and delivered a TEDx talk called "Unrecognizable Medicine." He is enthusiastic to be serving on the Patient Champions Steering Committee, as he believes patient advocacy is one of the most important principles of practicing medicine. He shares, “Though we may have various roles, the central purpose of all our work is for patients. The overall experience of moving through the diagnostic and treatment processes can, and should, always be improving; from effective test utilization to direct patient-to-pathologist connectivity, our laboratory medicine profession is poised to address safety, efficiency, and accuracy. It should not stop there. We may be expert medical laboratory scientists, physicians, or patients, but we cannot move the practice of medicine forward without compassion, communication, and collaboration.”
Cullen M. Lilley, MD, MS, MA, MB(ASCP) is a pathology resident at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before medical school, he worked as a microbiology technician and later a microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contracted through IHRC, inc. At the CDC, Cullen worked in the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch where he worked with advanced molecular diagnostics and reference testing for Listeria, Vibrio, Yersinia, and Enterobacterales. Currently, Cullen is interested in the interface of the laboratory, education, and society, and hopes to pursue pathology and ethics in his future career. He shares, “As a former laboratorian, developing ethicists, and student of medicine, I am very passionate about the interface between the world of pathology and laboratory medicine and the public. This interface is not often explored, but I find that patients and their families are often more impacted by a pathology report or lab test than most other fields in medicine.”

Kamran Mirza is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical Education, and Applied Health Sciences at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health in Maywood, Illinois.

Dr. Mirza graduated from Aitchison College in Lahore, Pakistan. He completed medical school at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his Ph.D. thesis work at the University of Illinois at Chicago and his AP / CP Pathology residency at the University of Chicago.

An award winning educator and mentor, Dr. Mirza has been the recipient of several dozen local, regional and national teaching awards. Most recently, he received the 2022 Association of Pathology Chairs Michele Raible Award for Distinguished Education.

Dr. Mirza's educational research focuses on novel pedagogical tools in medical education, the advancement of interprofessional education, and use of social media for pathology education.

Michele Mitchell is a wife, stepmother, and proud grandmother of 10. She enjoyed a 25-year career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Michele held various Information System Division positions including Portfolio Manager in the Corporate Project Management Office where she ran multi-million-dollar healthcare related projects. She is a breast cancer survivor and has served as a caregiver for a host of family members. Since retirement, Michele has devoted her time to patient advocacy. In 2013, she started volunteering at the University of Michigan Health System where she served on the Cancer Center Patient and Family Advisory Council(PFAC). In 2014, she co-chaired the University Hospital PFAC and currently serves as co-chair of the UofM Department of Pathology PFAC. Her volunteer work also includes the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery Program where she provides one on one support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patient. Michele is an officer of the Kachin Strong Foundation. This non-profit organization was formed to honor her late stepdaughter. In 2013, Tricia tragically lost her life to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a 3 ½ year battle with this disease. All proceeds from the foundation fund the UofM Cancer Center Wig Bank. Since 2016, Michele has been volunteering at the American Society for Clinical Pathology(ASCP). Her volunteer work includes supporting ASCP projects, speaking engagements, educational forums, and she co-authored an article on the benefits of patient-pathologist consultations. In 2019, she joined the ASCP Patient Champion Program in order to advance the patient voice. Michele received the 2020 ASCP Patient Champion of the year award. Michele is also the recipient of the 2020 Caregiving Advocate Visionary Award from caregiver.com. The award honors individuals and organizations that act as beacons of hope for family, professional, and volunteer caregivers. Michele feels privileged to continue this journey with her appointment to the ASCP Patient Champion Steering Committee. Michele says she “is honored to have the opportunity to work with the ASCP and is ready to serve in any way she can!”
Anna Cabanes

Anna Cabanes is a cancer epidemiologist and nonprofit executive with 20+ years of experience in research, epidemiology, health systems strengthening, community mobilization and evidence-based advocacy. A strategic thinker, she is passionate about disease prevention and provision of care for cancer control globally.

Anna is currently research advisor at Global Focus on Cancer. She worked 9 years with the nonprofit Susan G. Komen (USA) directing all community health and global programs. Prior, she held positions in cancer research (Georgetown University, USA) and cancer surveillance (Centro Nacional de Epidemiologia, Spain). A native of Barcelona, she has lived and worked in Halifax, Jerusalem, Madrid and Washington, DC. She holds a PhD from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University.

She has a record of leadership and achievements in public health. Her goal is to maximize the impact of scientific research leading to innovations in policy and practice for global cancer control. She has worked with advocates, healthcare organizations and governments, to innovate and integrate new cancer programs within healthcare systems; to develop national policies and establish successful care delivery models; and to mobilize communities through evidence-based advocacy.

Anna has seen the power of patient advocacy - driven by advocate‐led civil society organizations or individuals - in the advancement of cancer policies. She is excited to serve with ASCP Patient Champions to help increase opportunities for patient/pathologist engagement, disseminate best practices and evidence‐based information, and foster the creation of common partnerships and networks.

Deedee O’Brien
Deedee O’Brien is the Executive Director of Ironstone Farm and Challenge Unlimited, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a variety of therapeutic interventions using horses to people with disabilities and mental health issues. Her experiences as the final caregiver for her mother and her partner have taught her the importance of education, gathering second opinions, seeking different opinions, and advocating for loved ones. That empowerment made all the difference in their quality of life as their health deteriorated, and gave her the confidence to make decisions for herself when faced with her own illnesses. She is passionate about working to make that difference for others. She spends her leisure time sitting by the fireplace and reading a good book.

Amy Rothe is an ASCP-certified Medical Technologist and holds a Limited License in Radiology from the Arkansas Department of Health. She is currently serving as the Clinical Laboratory Supervisor and Health and Safety Officer for Natural State Laboratories.

She has experienced firsthand the communication gap that sometimes exists between healthcare providers and their patients. Seeing this fueled her desire to become a patient advocate and provide patients with information about their medical conditions, laboratory testing, imaging studies, and diagnoses as well as communicating the medical necessity of testing and pharmaceuticals to insurance companies on the patient’s behalf. She passionately believes that patients should be a more active part of their healthcare and have the knowledge necessary to make better, more informed decisions.

In addition to her almost 25 years of experience as a medical laboratory professional, Amy is the Co-owner and Creative Director of a successful semi-professional photography business and an avid and competitive equestrian.
Cliff Sullivan
Cliff Sullivan works at Emory University where he specializes in Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking and Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. His academic interests focus on optimizing laboratory testing and algorithms to improve patient care. Dr. Sullivan feels pathologists and laboratory professionals have a duty to educate fellow clinicians on laboratory utilization as well as patients on the fundamentals of the laboratory and its role in their care. One of his goals in patient advocacy is making patients aware of the existence of pathologists and medical technologists. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends while eating good food and drinking delicious cocktails.



Patient Champions Steering Committee Member Application and Role Description