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President's Letter to the Society for Pediatric Pathology, November 2015

Posted November 11, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Society for Pediatric Pathology, and we have come a long way! The Society was founded as the “Pediatric Pathology Club” on March 8, 1965, when 35 pathologists interested in pediatric diseases met in Philadelphia. Now we are a Society of more than 700 members, with two annual meetings, active engagement in education both in North America and around the world, and our own journal. This letter highlights major accomplishments for 2015.

  • 2015 Meetings. The spring meeting in Boston, the fall meeting in Toronto, and the Perinatal Pathology Course in Chicago were well attended, and excellent feedback was received about the educational, scientific and social programs. A special thanks to Gino Somers and Glenn Taylor for hosting the Toronto meeting and to Ona Faye-Petersen and Linda Ernst for directing the Perinatal Pathology Course.
  • 2016 Meetings. The spring meeting will be March 11-13 in Seattle. Two new workshops will be offered, one on pediatric renal biopsies and the other on the pediatric autopsy. The fall meeting will be October 6-9 in Honolulu, hosted by Karen Thompson.
  • American Board of Pathology. Congratulations to Jeff Goldstein, M.D., on his appointment as Trustee for the American Board of Pathology effective in 2016. One of his responsibilities as Trustee will be to chair the ABP Pediatric Test Development and Advisory Committee. Jeff is a past SPP President and currently serves as Clinical Chief of Pediatric Pathology at Mattel Children’s Hospital and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
  • Collaborations with other pathology organizations. The SPP and the College of American Pathologists have established pediatric pathology educational programs on the web-based CAP Learning Portal as a result of efforts led by Linda Margraf, a past SPP President. The Intersociety Council for Pathology Information funds a travel grant for a trainee to attend one SPP meeting per year. The SPP, as a constituent society of the International Paediatric Pathology Association (IPPA), has committed to support attendance for a pathologist from an underserved area at the IPPA Advanced Course in Pediatric Pathology for 2015-2019.
    Pediatric Pathology Fellowships. Currently there are 26 fellows in 18 accredited pediatric pathology fellowship programs; 24 active accredited pediatric pathology fellowship programs exist in the U.S.
  • Publications. The current Perspectives in Pediatric Pathology, edited by Miguel Reyes-Mugica and Manuel Nistal, is in press in Pediatric and Developmental Pathology.
  • Education. Full ACCME accreditation occurred in March 2015. Cristina Pacheco became Education Committee Chair in October 2015, succeeding Hal Hawkins. Thanks to Hal, Sara Szabo, and Cristina for all their work on behalf of education and accreditation.
  • Research. The Research Committee continues to refine the abstract submission process. A new electronic abstract submission system is in place.
  • Website. The SPP website migrated to a new platform in summer 2015 following the transition to a new association management group for the SPP. Many thanks to Chandra Krishnan for his leadership as Website Committee Chair. Thanks also to Rob Ruiz for his past service as editor of the website.
  • Strategic Plan. As a result of the transition to a new association management group and a planning retreat on August 20, 2015, the SPP has a new strategic plan, which will provide a foundation for planning, programs and decision making for the next several years. Ona Faye-Petersen led the discussion of the five strategic plan objectives and proposed actions at the Strategic Planning Committee meeting in Toronto; the mission and objectives were approved by the Committee and discussed at Council. Leaders and co-leaders for the 5 strategic initiatives are: Karen Eldin for Objective 1 on providing value and meeting membership needs of SPP members; co-leaders to be determined for Objective 2 on education, promotion, and advancement of the specialty of pediatric pathology; Chandra Krishnan for Objective 3 on communications; Raj Kapur for Objective 4 for on management; and Charles Timmons for Objective 5 on financial matters.
  • SPP Management. The SPP has a new association management administrative team led by Martha Jones, SPP Executive Director. The team also includes William Stanley (Martha’s assistant), and other professionals with expertise in meeting planning, CME and accreditation, website and informatics support, and other services. The SPP administrative offices are now located in New York City at The Kellen Company. With the leadership of Raj Kapur, SPP Past President, for the strategic initiative related to management, the SPP is actively building collaborations with the administrative management team to ensure effective SPP operational support for 2016 and beyond.

2015 has been a busy, challenging and exciting year for the SPP. We appreciate the outstanding participation of members, committee members and chairs, the Council, and our new administrative staff and look forward to seeing you in Seattle and at future meetings.

Sincerely,

Cheryl M. Coffin, M.D.
President, Society for Pediatric Pathology,
Professor Emerita, Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University

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