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2021 CAP Outstanding Communicator Award

Established in Honor of William L. Kuehn

The CAP Outstanding Communicator Award, established in 1991, honors William L. Kuehn, PhD, and recognizes outstanding communication contributions strengthening the image of pathology.

Valerie A. Fitzhugh, MD, FCAP

The College of American Pathologists presents Valerie A. Fitzhugh, MD, FCAP, with the 2021 CAP Outstanding Communicator Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to patients, the public, and the CAP through her commitment to communications.

During COVID-19, Dr. Fitzhugh leveraged her role as a pathologist and worked tirelessly across multiple communication channels to improve public understanding of the pathologist’s role and build public trust in laboratory testing. She enhanced the image of the pathologist in patient care, providing clarity, context, and essential information to help consumers navigate the complexities of COVID-19.

As a CAP member, Dr. Fitzhugh contributed leadership and communication skills to help guide the development of the organization’s new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for members and is an active House of Delegates member. Dr. Fitzhugh also had many notable media achievements in 2020 in her role as a CAP COVID-19 media relations resource, earning coverage that included a live segment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” She partnered with CAP media relations on COVID-19 vaccine outreach. As the country navigated the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Fitzhugh blazed new trails as a pathologist, woman of color, and clinical trial participant, all to guide patient populations of color.

Dr. Fitzhugh is interim chair and associate professor in the Department of Pathology, Immunology & Laboratory Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. She is also interim chair and associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Additionally, she serves as chair and medical director of the Department of Pathology at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey.