College of American Pathologists
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  Six pathologists celebrated for
  stellar service


cap today

October 2005
Feature Story

M. Elizabeth Hale Hammond, MD, was named the 2005 Pathologist of the Year at a ceremony at CAP ’05 in Chicago in September.

Dr. Hammond received the 2005 CAP Pathologist of the Year Award, the College’s highest honor, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and for her dedication to improving the lives of patients.

“I am deeply humbled to be named Pathologist of the Year,” said Dr. Hammond, a pathologist at LDS Hospital with Intermountain Health Care, Salt Lake City, and a professor of pathology and adjunct professor in internal medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine. “I feel privileged to be recognized for doing something I love.”

The CAP presented other awards for work in raising public awareness of pathologists; for public, meritorious, and humanitarian service; and for leadership consistent with the goals of the CAP Foundation.

Dr. Hammond is commended for her service as current chair of the CAP Education Committee and for her commitment to ensuring that CAP educational opportunities fulfill the CAP vision. In addition, she is recognized as a member of the National Meeting Planning Committee. She had served as chair of the CAP Cancer Committee, as a CAP governor from 2000 to 2003, and as a member of the Council on Government and Professional Affairs, Council on Scientific Affairs, and several committees.

Named among the “Foremost Women of the Century,” Dr. Hammond has been applauded for her accomplishments on numerous lists, including “Notable American Wo-
men” and “Best Doctors in America.” She is an expert in cardiac transplantation pathology and in predictive cancer factor evaluation and has published 160 original articles related to these research interests. She is the current and past recipient of numerous grant awards for her research.

Gene N. Herbek, MD, received the William H. Kuehn, PhD, Outstanding Communicator Award for his efforts to raise public awareness about the role pathologists play in preventing illness and determining its cause.

Dr. Herbek has been interviewed numerous times on pathology and health issues by national and local media, and he has championed many community-based hospital initiatives. In addition, as a CAP governor and former chair of the CAP Council on Membership and Public Affairs, and as a Spokespersons Network member, Dr. Herbek has encouraged hundreds of pathologists to become better communicators.

“If our profession is to be understood and valued by our patients, clinicians, hospital administrators, legislators, and insurers, it is imperative that we tell them who we are and what we do for them,” Dr. Herbek said. “I receive this award in recognition of all pathologists who are active, trained CAP spokespersons for our profession and the College.”

Dr. Herbek is a pathologist at the Pathology Center at Methodist Hospital, Omaha. He spent more than 25 years before that serving residents and the local medical community at St. Luke’s Iowa Health System, Sioux City. He was recognized for his outstanding efforts there with the St. Luke’s Physician Hero Award in 2004.

He currently serves as section editor of the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and on the Nominating and Practice Management committees and Internet Editorial Board. He has been vice chair of the Council on Scientific Affairs and the Facilities Planning Team; chair of the ad hoc committees on Tissue and Organ Procurement and Distribution, Strategic Relationships, and Pathologists’ Assistants; and chair of the PAPS Coalition.

Richard J. Hausner, MD, was honored for his dedication to political and community life and for his extraordinary public service throughout the nation. He received the Frank C. Coleman Award for Public Service through his work on the CAP Political Action Committee and the Council on Government and Professional Affairs and in other areas. Dr. Hausner has worked steadily as an advocate to help ensure the College meets its legislative goals.

“I am thrilled that my colleagues understand and share my passion to promote pathology through mentorship and education to help explain the vital role pathologists play in patient health wellness,” Dr. Hausner said.

Dr. Hausner’s conscientious attention to patient care and his dedication to the College and its programs were recognized in 1992 when he received the CAP Foundation Herbert Lansky Memorial Award. He received the George T. Caldwell Distinguished Service Award in 2000 from the Texas Society of Pathologists.

Dr. Hausner served on the CAP Board of Governors from 1996 to 2002 and was a Texas delegate to the House of Delegates from 1984 to 1996. He returned to the House in 2003 as foreman of the Texas delegation. He has been a member of the PAC Board of Directors, Commission on Laboratory Accreditation, Government Affairs Committee, Nominating Committee, Medical Community Relations Committee, CAP Foundation Advisory Board, and House of Delegates Nominating Committee.

He is clinical professor of pathology at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, as well as chair of the Department of Pathology at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center. He is an associate editor of the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

William R. Dito, MD, was awarded the Frank W. Hartman Memorial Award for his many years of service to the CAP and for the contributions he made to the College while chairing its Information Science and Technology Committee and Telepathology Planning Committee.

He was a member of the CAP Board of Governors from 1998 to 2004 and Laboratory Accreditation Program regional commissioner for the Southwest from 1995 to 1998. He received the CAP Presidents Medal in 1997 and 2004, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the ASCP/CAP Distinguished Service Award in 1998. In 2004, he was named an API Honorary Pathology Informatics Fellow.

Dr. Dito, who has been retired from active practice since 1995, held positions most recently as division head of laboratory medicine at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, Calif., chief of laboratory services at Veterans Administration Hospital, Tuscon, and associate professor of pathology at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, Tucson.

He has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, Archives of Pathology, and the Clinical Laboratory Management Review, and he was the editor of Informatics in Pathology, by Grune and Stratton, from 1991 to 1994.

James Versalovic, MD, PhD, molecular pathologist and innovative scientist, received the CAP Foundation Lansky Award for leadership consistent with the goals of the CAP Foundation and his significant contributions to pathology.

“The College of American Pathologists has been very important to me as a vehicle for helping to advance molecular pathology, to enhance quality practices in clinical pathology, and ultimately, to benefit the patients whom we serve. I thank the CAP Foundation for this honor and look forward to realizing a dynamic vision for the future of pathology,” Dr. Versalovic said.

He is director of the microbiology laboratories at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pathology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. He has joint appointment in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor. He also serves as co-director of Baylor’s medical scientist (MD-PhD) training program and as director of its molecular genetic pathology fellowship program.

Dr. Versalovic is associate editor of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics and the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. He is a member of the CAP Molecular Pathology and Microbiology Resource committees, as well as the CAP Foundation awards subcommittee.

He served on the scientific review board for Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas and on the test development and advisory committee on medical microbiology and parasitology, American Board of Pathology. He is chair-elect of the Association for Molecular Pathology infectious diseases subdivision. He received the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Microbiology in 1999.

John R. Benziger, MD, received the CAP Foundation Humanitarian Grant Award. He is chief of pathology and the laboratory director at Maine General Medical Center, Waterville and Augusta, Me. The grant award relates to his work with Partners in Health of Maine, Nica ra gua.

The Humanitarian Grant Award, cosponsored by Olympus America, provides grants to members of the College to fund pathology and medical services to underserved patients in an underdeveloped area of the world. The award will enable Dr. Benziger to establish pathology services at Hospital Nuevo Amanecer in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua and expand and improve patient care in this underserved and isolated North Atlantic region.