Originally established in 1989 as the Frank C. Coleman Award for Public Service, this award honors the memory and work of the sixth president of the College of American Pathologists. In 2006, the name of the award was changed to the CAP Public Service Award Established in Honor of Frank C. Coleman. The award is given to a CAP Fellow who best exemplifies the political, citizenship, and leadership qualities of the late Dr. Coleman and is the highest honor for outstanding accomplishments and dedication to political and civic life and to public service in the US. The CAP presents this award when merited, not necessarily on an annual basis.
Ronald W. McLawhon, MD, PhD, FCAP
The College of American Pathologists presents Ronald W. McLawhon, MD, PhD, FCAP, with the 2020 CAP Public Service Award in recognition of his accomplishments and long-term commitment to public service, including his advocacy efforts to ensure that the work of pathologists is properly codified and valued. Dr. McLawhon is also honored for his commitment to the CAP’s Laboratory Accreditation Program and to laboratory standards.
Dr. McLawhon has been a member of the CAP’s Economic Affairs Committee (EAC) since 2007 and of the Council on Government and Professional Affairs since 2018. As a member of the EAC, Dr. McLawhon is responsible for coordinating the CAP’s responses and advocating to the American Medical Association (AMA) CPT Editorial Panel, which codifies pathologists’ work and provides recommendations for the value of physician services to the AMA/Relative Value Update Committee (AMA/RUC). As chair of the CPT/RUC Subcommittee, Dr. McLawhon is responsible for representing the CAP at numerous regulatory meetings with government officials. He is uniquely qualified to provide the clinical pathologist and laboratory director perspective on numerous issues.
Dr. McLawhon has been engaged in numerous activities that demonstrate a long-term commitment to public service. Since 2015, he has served as chair of the Pathology Coding Caucus—a committee of the AMA CPT Editorial Panel—which reviews and recommends pathology and laboratory medicine codes prior to their presentation to the CPT Editorial Panel.
Since 2015, Dr. McLawhon also has been a member of the AMA CPT Editorial Panel’s Molecular Pathology Advisory Group. In 2015 and 2016, he served on the editorial panel’s Telehealth Services Workgroup. He also served on the AMA CPT workgroups for molecular pathology coding, in vitro diagnostic multivariate assays, next-generation sequencing, and targeted cancer genomic sequencing. At the AMA/RUC, Dr. McLawhon regularly attends meetings to ensure that our committee advisor presents CAP recommendations in the most favorable way possible. He has also served as a technical expert on clinical pathology issues at the AMA/RUC.
Dr. McLawhon’s public service is not limited to his CAP and AMA activities. He has served on the development committee on medical laboratory test utilization for the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (formally NCCLS). He also was an advisor on the subcommittee on clinical evaluation of immunoassays and on the area committee for automation and informatics for the same group. Dr. McLawhon has served on an accreditation review hearing panel for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and he served as the sentinel laboratory director of the Chicago Department of Public Health: Chicago Health Alert Network. He also served on the Illinois State Medical Society AIDS task force and as chair-elect and chair of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s Chicago section. Dr. McLawhon is currently the co-chair for the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Testing Task Force for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.
A former member of the Chemistry Resources Committee and Informatics Committee, Dr. McLawhon has been an inspector and team leader for the CAP’s Laboratory Accreditation Program since 1994.
Dr. McLawhon is a professor and head of the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine, vice chair of business development for the Department of Pathology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and director of Clinical Laboratories and the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine at UC San Diego Health.