By Timothy J. O'Leary, MD, PhD
A Tribute to Our Members
This is the last Newsletter message I will write as President of AMP. While there are several more months left to my term, it seems appropriate to share at least one of the lessons I have learned while entrusted with this role. This proved to be difficult, since I learned so much during the year, and because the learning experiences were so diverse, ranging from Association management, to regulatory affairs, reimbursement issues and new developments in the science of molecular diagnostics. Indeed, I have often felt as if I were drinking from a fire hose. So, instead of an article based on lessons learned, I will instead make this article both a tribute and a thank you to the AMP membership.
The AMP member is a remarkable individual. She is committed to improving care of patients by translating the newest scientific findings into state-of-the-art diagnostics. He represents industry, regulators, and laboratorians trained as medical technologists, physicians, and other doctoral scientists. Her expertise goes beyond the science of medicine, and encompasses educational theory, publishing, health economics, political science, law, among others. Her commitment to the patient impels her to share her expertise with the AMP membership through the Annual Meeting as well as countless hours serving on committees, reviewing papers for scientific journals, and individually representing the interests of molecular pathology both locally and nationally. The result is that AMP, as a result of an incredibly dedicated membership, has developed an influence which is highly disproportional to the size of its membership.
Although some of these members are recognized as a result of their service on Council, some of our members have taken on highly important tasks that affect much of the membership and are yet seldom recognized publicly. Newsletter editors Teresita Cuyegkeng Redondo and Marlene Sabbath-Solitare have taken on the difficult task of getting articles rounded up from writers, such as myself, who seem congenitally unable to get them in on time. CHAMP moderators Qiulu Pan and Bernadette Wildemore devote their time each and every day to make sure that we are able to communicate effectively with each other. Alexis Carter keeps our Test Directory up-to-date, while Mary Lowery Nordberg edits an incredibly active website. Even former Presidents keep on giving! Karen Kaul chairs the Strategic Opportunities Committee, Jeff Kant chairs Economic Affairs while Jan Nowak serves as a member, Karen Mann chairs both the Nominating Committee and the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, Barb Zehnbauer serves as Senior Associate Editor for The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez and Jan Nowak both serve on Professional Relations, Dan Farkas is Chair-elect of the Program Committee, and Mark Sobel served as Executive Officer until June 2011 (and now recognized as Executive Officer Emeritus). I am sure I have missed something! When one recognizes that this level of commitment is matched not by tens, but rather by hundreds of AMP members (and an incredibly effective professional staff led by Mary Williams), one begins to understand how AMP manages to do it all! It has been truly an honor to work with these individuals, not only this year, but indeed since AMP was initially formed. Thank you for this privilege.
Finally, it is a pleasure to know that Iris Schrijver will be taking over as President. She is both personally and professionally an inspirational leader and I look forward to following her lead as AMP moves into the next stage of its leadership in the field of molecular pathology.