Just four days from screening to treatment, from uninsured and undiagnosed to diagnosed and treated. That is, literally, what “See, Test & Treat” means: serving women immediately and efficiently.

Karim E. Sirgi, MD, MBA, FCAP

Karim E. Sirgi, MD, MBA, FCAP

At a Jackson, Mississippi, See, Test & Treat program in January, on a Saturday morning, Tomeka Harps was screened and received a diagnosis of invasive squamous cancer—a very difficult diagnosis to deliver to a 33-year-old young woman. Volunteers immediately comforted her and set up a treatment plan. By the following Tuesday she already had seen an oncologist, and by Wednesday—just four days later—she had started radiation therapy.

Stories like this happen over and over. Someone’s mother, sister, or daughter gets a fighting chance for survival at every See, Test & Treat program. That “fighting chance” comes from you, through your volunteerism and your donations. The foundation is grateful for what you do, and the patients are, as well.

Each one-day local See, Test & Treat program serves 50 to 125 underserved women at participating medical facilities around the country. These disadvantaged women, as you well know, face a significantly higher mortality rate from preventable cancers than the general population.

The CAP Foundation is much more than a feel-good-about-ourselves kind of organization. Donations of time and money are truly investments in our profession. The return on this investment accrues directly to you—allowing your professional colleagues to gain an education and exposure that they wouldn’t get during a normal residency or fellowship.

Time, of course, is our most precious resource and many amazing CAP members freely donate time as volunteers at See, Test & Treat programs.

The investment of time isn’t enough to sustain the foundation’s programs. Our financial support comes from the College of American Pathologists, many outside companies and organizations, and CAP members like you.

My chief goal as president of the foundation is to increase awareness of the impact the foundation has in our communities. Successful in my professional and business life, I’m ready to give back to the community. The CAP Foundation is an intelligent investment in the future of our specialty. It is the “soft diplomacy” touch our membership collectively contributes back to our internal and external stakeholders.

Recently, I asked a few friends and colleagues to estimate the percentage of CAP members who donate to the foundation. After guessing numbers in the range of 25% to 30%, they were surprised to learn that only 4% of CAP members are donors.  As an organization, I know we can do better.

While we pathologists serve as the brains of medicine, Ms. Harps’ story reminds us that we are the heart, too. In the spirit of “I don’t care how much you know, I really want to know how much you care,” the CAP Foundation is our collective opportunity to demonstrate how much we care.

Our communities have many women like Tomeka Harps. Join me in helping to raise our contribution level beyond 4%. Please donate today to show where your heart is.

We owe it to someone’s mother, sister, or daughter.

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