President's Letter

Warm greetings. I hope your summer went well and you got at least a bit of vacation time away from your busy work schedules. Autumn is rushing in and that means our Fall Meeting is very near. I hope you all can make it to Salt Lake City. The meeting starts Thursday, September 26, with a Clinical Pathology symposium chaired by Dr. Ted Pysher. Friday brings a COG Update, platform and poster presentations, awards, the Lotte Straus Lecture, the Reception and an evening Perinatal slide seminar. Saturday begins with a symposium on “Chronic Inflammatory and Premalignant Conditions of the Pediatric Colon,” moderated by Dr. Amy Lowichik, and ends with our Social Hour and Banquet. For those registering for the Sunday Perinatal session, the meeting continues with a symposium on “Developmental Genetics of Congenital Anomalies,” moderated by Drs. Harsh Thaker and Jessica Comstock. A very full, educational and exciting four days. I hope to see you there.

The Society has been busy since the Baltimore Spring Meeting. I want to update the membership on a few of the most important activities the Council and Executive have been involved with over the last six months.

The article on autopsy professional work (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2013;137:228-32) published in the February issue of Archives generated a great deal of discussion, consternation and even a bit of anger from pediatric pathologists. Activity on the listserv related to the article was frantic for several days. A panel of Society members came together to issue a response to the article. This started out as a Letter to the Editor, but evolved into a weighty “rebuttal” Guest Editorial. The Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine has accepted the editorial for publication and it should appear before the end of the year. I want to personally acknowledge Drs. Ona Faye-Petersen, Linda Ernst, Robin LeGallo, Galen Schauer, Alex Williamson and Cristina Pacheco, and the support of the Practice Committee, for putting together the response.

The College of American Pathologists invited the Society to contribute to their Learning Portal about one year ago. The Society embraced this opportunity and I am very happy to report that the first pediatric pathology module, Perinatal and Placental Pathology, has been drafted and edited and is well on its way to being published on the CAP Learning Portal. For this the hard work of Drs. Sarah Keating, Phil Katzman, Michael Caplan, Jessica Comstock, Ana Gomez and Linda Margraf is gratefully acknowledged.

Two areas of the Society highlighted by the member survey conducted in the last year were our website and our publications. Both of these activities are diligently being worked on by the Society.

Dr. John Hicks, the Chair of the Ad Hoc Website Committee, Dr. Rob Ruiz, the Website Editor, and George Clay, our site webmaster, have been reviewing options for updating our website to, among other improvements, better accommodate mobile and tablet interaction and content management. In addition they have been deeply involved with the transition of the USCAP to a new information system. This directly involves SPP membership and meeting functions, such as handling of abstracts, meeting evaluations and CME crediting, and requires some customization to accommodate SPP requirements. These functions mostly run behind the scenes and the new USCAP system won’t replace our website. However, there will be some differences compared to our current system in how membership and CME activities are handled.

Dr. Sharon Geaghan, Chair of the Publications Committee, Dr. Raj Kapur, President-Elect and Dr. Miguel Reyes-Mugica, Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, have organized a retreat to address several issues raised by the membership regarding our publications, Pediatric and Developmental Pathology and Perspectives in Pediatric Pathology. The retreat will be held in Salt Lake City just before the start of the Fall Meeting and several members of the Society, as well as the publisher of PDP, have agreed to take part. Among the higher profile topics on the agenda are online only publishing of the journals and Perspectives ebook publishing. Decisions coming out of the retreat will be brought to Council and those approved will be directed to the Publications Committee for implementation.

This was just a brief review of a select few of the many activities members of the Society contribute to improve, grow and promote our Society and pediatric pathology. If you have ideas that you think would benefit the Society please pass them on to the Executive or the appropriate committee Chair. If you want to contribute more directly to the Society please look at our committees – that is the “front line” of the Society. And don’t forget the “Donate to the SPP” button on the home page of our website!

Glenn Taylor, MD, FRCPC
President, Society for Pediatric Pathology

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