Foundation Helps Pathologists, Patients Perservere
Throughout a difficult 2020, the CAP Foundation never lost sight of its commitment to pathologists and their patients. The COVID-19 pandemic upended not only our daily lives, but health care and society as a whole. Across the US, we faced a reckoning over racial injustice and other inequities whose effects ripple through our health care system. But just as pathologists stepped up to face the challenges of an unprecedented health care crisis, the CAP Foundation realigned priorities and recreated programs to better serve the specialty of pathology and the patients whose lives rely on their care.
In early 2020, as streets emptied and offices closed, pathologists were already hard at work developing accurate and reliable tests for COVID-19. It was a sometimes disjointed, yet Herculean effort taking place in laboratories across the world, and the CAP Foundation was eager to help. Repositioned to respond to the needs of the time, the John H. Rippey Grant for Expedited Research provided grants to five pathologists to fund projects studying COVID-19 assays, PCR antigen and antibody testing, quality control challenges for new tests, and more. The grant continues to help laboratories address the ongoing pandemic and will remain focused on the impact of laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2 on quality and patient safety.
Pathologists did an outstanding job managing their often-overworked laboratories during the past year, and the CAP Foundation did its best to ensure the specialty will always have capable leaders at the helm. The Global Pathology Education Award, Leadership Development Award, and Medical Student Travel Award brought together international pathologists, early-career pathologists, and those considering the specialty into CAP virtual events to experience the top issues, receive award-winning education, and learn from the best pathologist leaders of today. During times of crisis, it’s essential that the Foundation continues to connect pathologists to future leadership roles, whether that’s virtually or hands-on in the community.
For 10 years, the CAP Foundation has mobilized pathologists to connect communities in need to health care systems and lifesaving preventative cancer screening through See, Test & Treat®. In 2020, the need was never greater, and eight health care organizations across the US joined the CAP Foundation to help close the gaps of care for families during a crisis.
Regular breast and cervical screening have significantly increased cancer survival rates, but for medically underserved communities with barriers to care, making an appointment or getting to a clinic is easier said than done—even more so during a pandemic. The CAP Foundation, along with CAP pathologist leaders, clinicians, and sponsoring partners, want to make deaths from these cancers a tragedy of the past, regardless of the obstacles. Thanks to these volunteers and the essential donations from CAP Foundation supporters, over 400 women have one less thing to worry about and can focus on more pressing needs during difficult times.
It hasn’t been an easy year, but we’re proud of the work the CAP Foundation was able to accomplish in 2020. We’re especially proud of the pathologists who took the lead in the worst health emergency of the last century. From these experiences we know—more than ever—that with your support the CAP Foundation will continue to strengthen pathology through good times and bad for years to come.
Carey Z. August, MD, FCAP
President, CAP Foundation
Maryrose Murphy, MS, MBA
Executive Director, CAP Foundation