|Scientific Subdivisions | The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
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Following an intensive review of the mission and strategic direction of the Association for Molecular Pathology, the AMP Council unanimously approved a strategic plan for the organization to guide it in the short-term (through 2011) and mid-term (through 2015). The plan draws from separate surveys of the membership and elected leadership as well as interviews with individuals in the field. It lays out overall goals for the Association, detailed objectives for the current year, and broader objectives for the next four years.
The Field of Molecular Pathology
Molecular pathology is on the cusp of being central to the practice of medicine, as molecular diagnostics begins to guide more accurate and personalized therapeutics. The era of “personalized medicine” depends on the increased accuracy that molecular diagnostics brings. Analytic technologies are expected to become much more sophisticated, having significant implications for the personnel who operate them. Molecular pathology, once a small subspecialty of pathology, is becoming central to pathology, and almost all general pathologists will have to possess at least a basic knowledge of the field. Uncertain regulatory and reimbursement environments are seen as threats to continued development of the field. Health care reform and an increasing focus on health care costs have significant implications for molecular pathology due to the potentially high cost of molecular diagnostics and the relative lack of pathology’s participation at the tables where policy is made.
The AMP Organization
AMP has a strong foundation, a history of rapid growth, both in numbers and influence, and anticipates a bright future. The AMP membership is strengthened by its diverse membership, collegiality, and loyalty to the profession, to each other, and to the organization. AMP members value AMP’s programs, particularly the Annual Meeting and online interaction, in helping them with their daily work as well as in advancing their career. In order to fully capitalize on current strengths and achieve the promise of a successful future, AMP’s programs must focus on current and future needs. Moreover, AMP must develop its capacity to meet the demands of rapid growth, the burgeoning role of genomics in the field of medicine and the increasing attendance of molecular diagnostics in public policy.
The Findings affirmed the current Mission and Vision. AMP Council believes that there is a shared understanding among the leadership and membership of the environmental factors that will affect the field of molecular pathology over the next five years, if not beyond. Further, the Council believes that there is a shared understanding that choices must be made, and priorities set, since both financial and human resources are limited. The Council also realizes that data, as from surveys, do not automatically make decisions clear, and that individual leadership, while clearly important, does not make it automatic that goals will be met. In the first case, considered judgments must be made; in the second, processes must be put in place to ensure that goals are reached. In the Council’s judgment, five strategic issues - three functional and two structural - must be addressed: advocacy, education, innovation and improved patient care, governance, and management. What follows is an overview of the goals and objectives elucidated by Council. An Implementation Committee will work with the AMP Staff Executive to ensure that an effective implementation plan and reassessment systems are developed.
Goal: To be the identifiable and creditable professional organization on all matters concerning molecular diagnostics; to influence relevant policy, especially regulatory and reimbursement, in public and private arenas.
The first year's objectives are intended to lay a solid foundation for high-level influence and emphasize the continued development of philosophical approach, policy statements, a collaboration policy, and institutional mechanisms for managing representatives to relevant policy tables and other professional organizations both within and outside of pathology. In addition, the extent of media relations needs will be determined.
Subsequent years' objectives are intended to see AMP seated at all relevant policy tables and to increase the involvement of leadership and membership in advocacy activities.
Goal: To influence behavior and provide high quality molecular pathology educational offerings.
“Education” is synonymous with all of AMP's activities to influence behavior based on science, and is not limited to live (or digitized) presentations.
The objectives encompass several aspects:
Goal: To foster innovation to improve patient care and patient outcomes.
The advancement of “translational research” is explicit in the mission of AMP. A major strategic focus of the Association will be advancing innovation for the purpose of improving patient care and outcomes. Evidence-based guidelines development is one important way to foster the appropriate utilization of new technology. With the coming tsunami of molecular tests and with their attendant costs, considered thought must be given to their efficient and effective use, from pre-analytic through analytic to post-analytic steps. In addition, AMP will assess opportunities to collaborate with relevant organizations and Agencies in evidence reviews and outcomes studies.
The diversity of AMP’s membership is a major strength of the organization. It is necessary that significant effort be given to providing balance in AMP activities, so that the needs of all the segments of the membership are appropriately addressed. Achieving this balance is essential to keep what is in essence a federation of groups with overlapping but non-identical interests together. Members from industry, academia, and other health care organizations each offer perspectives that can foster innovation and capture its benefits to advance AMP's mission.
Goal: To provide decision-making that is informed and strategic.
AMP has now matured as an organization and is ready to be governed differently than when it was founded. Strategic, measurable annual objectives to which management is held accountable and the explicit tying of budgets to strategic objectives will facilitate an efficient and effective organization. A Board of Directors, focused on mission, strategy and policy, along with an empowered Executive Committee that meets more often than the Board, will enhance meeting AMP’s objectives, especially by monitoring their implementation. The Governance structure will also be enhanced for committees and subdivision leadership to assist their strategic focus and coordination.
Goal: To provide efficient and effective implementation of strategic objectives and administration of the business aspects of the Association.
The principal role of governance is to determine the policies that drive the Association, and the principal role of management is to implement those policies. A secondary role of governance is to oversee - not micromanage - the implementation by management, and a secondary role of management is to provide governance with the relevant information for decision-making. Thus, the objectives to which management are to be held accountable are those of the Association. Budgets and financial reports will be designed to facilitate, and specifically tied to, the strategic objectives. Administrative staff and procedures will be structured to ensure implementation of the objectives.
Goal: Establish AMP as a professional association for all types of professionals related to molecular pathology.
The objectives encompass several aspects regarding broading AMP's membership base and developing workforce programs related to molecular pathology.
Goal: Leverage relationships with other organizations to advance AMP's mission.
AMP will strategically manage current collaborattions and alliance, while developing new ones as unmet needs arise.
Goal: Develop AMP members as leaders in the organization and in the field.
The objectives focus on enhancing AMP member involvement and recoginition as well as promoting professionalism in molecular pathology and moleculr diagnostics.