Why I Want to be a Governor
My opinions and beliefs have not changed since I answered this question three years ago in my previous run for the Board. I believe in the mission of the College and wish to continue to promote its tenets of fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology. No doubt all of the key CAP members and staff espouse the same goals. If we didn’t we should not be running for the Board. Each of us, however, may have a different roadmap or points of emphasis. For me, I’d like to see continued substantive emphasis on members.
The dynamic between members and the business side of the CAP has not changed. Some believe operations should be completely distinct from membership. Others are all in on membership.
I take a more nuanced approach. The challenging and difficult but ultimately most rewarding work happens in the seams between major constituencies or activities. The same for the interplay between members and CAP business operations. These should not be viewed as separate silos of activity and attention. During my tenure on the Board I have come to appreciate the hard work and good intentions of staff who are balancing running the business with collaborating with membership. Critical business challenges are happening in real time, and require real-time support. Members can help the business of the College thrive by providing feedback on operations, how it affects their practice, and how best to utilize resources to advance Pathology.
I have three areas of focus: Membership, Education and Information Technology.
Regarding membership, I have been on the CPMD a number of years and now am vice chair. Although staff closely follows growth metrics, I would hope that providing ever-increasing value will lead to increased numbers of dues-paying members. All pathology organizations have trouble with retention. Those of us close to the action know what member benefits cost and we see the hard work associated with even very incremental advances. But getting that message out to the average member in community practice, reference labs, and in academic medical centers is difficult. I’d like to see more emphasis on defining our value, beyond advocacy. Conversations around raising dues often lead to strong voices saying that members receive thousands of dollars of benefits and the dues do not even begin to pay for things. But some members don’t see the value or can’t easily articulate it. Extraordinary efforts to mitigate CPT coding reimbursement decreases are often celebrated as wins if the decrease is minimal but away from the action, members only see the loss in revenue. The perceived bad news overshadows the good news. Through it all, I want to do work that allows members to forge meaningful relationships that last far beyond PT, advocacy, and the national meeting. These are important touch points but the CAP is stronger for the networking it promotes. We need to continually advocate for shared values and collective advancement of our profession.
Turning to Education, I have spent much of my CAP life in educational activities. I have given CAP courses on digital pathology, communications, tumor boards, artificial intelligence, and pathology reporting. I chaired the curriculum committee during the initial drive to create SAMs. I would like to continue to improve CAPs educational offerings by working to make the eLearning program more valued. The online system has some user quirks that hamper its full adoption. I hope to continue my work with the Web Engagement Committee to make more of an impact on the number of products as well as their usability and accessibility.
Finally, Technology is our future. It is time to bury the fax machine. It is encouraging that the College has turned its attention to connectivity and member-facing-web activities and I will continue that effort. Innovation does not have a strong enough presence at the College and I hope to change that. Technology can help make pathology great again by making our brand consistent, connected, and trusted. We must stay connected, keep raising the bar, and continue to cycle forward. That requires technology and innovation and courage to try something new or different that benefits both our members and our profession as well as the bottom line. We can do something impossible by creating a series of possible steps. Technology can’t cure all ills. The person who invented the ship also invented the shipwreck. But we need to responsibly recognize its value and then weave it into the operations of the College.
I want to bring a strong sense of imagination to the College, to help figure out new ways to promote and captivate, new ways to do proficiency testing and new ways to mine the vast amount data within the CAP. We need to leverage the new tools of AI and machine learning.
In the end, it is my goal to make the College of American Pathologists irresistible.