Newswise — NORTHFIELD, ILL. — The College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) announced today the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on initiatives to advance the delivery of cytopathology services and improve patient care.

The non-exclusive collaboration will enhance the relationship between the two organizations to advocate excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine and improve standards and quality of patient care. The agreement illustrates a united leadership on activities critical to the specialty of cytopathology while allowing each society to maintain its own identity and governance.

“The CAP and ASC have teamed in the past on initiatives to improve patient testing,” said CAP President Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, and medical director at Nebraska Methodist Health System in Omaha, Neb. “The MOU with ASC will allow us to leverage our collective expertise and resources to enhance patient care through educating our members, developing guidelines to standardize testing, and advocating on state and national legislative and regulatory issues.”

As a recognized worldwide leader in laboratory medicine, the CAP serves more than 18,000 board-certified physician pathologists. The ASC is a distinguished professional organization of more than 3,000 physicians, cytotechnologists, and scientists who are dedicated to the cytologic method of diagnostic pathology. The first well known and widely utilized cytopathology test was the Pap smear, which is considered to be the most successful cancer screening test in medical history.

“Our increased collaboration with the CAP will help us to continue to work together to improve test utilization and patient outcomes not only here in the US, but worldwide,” said Ritu, Nayar, MD, president of ASC and professor of pathology and director of cytopathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill. “Our united efforts will allow both organizations to better serve our members, the laboratory community, and patients.”

Some of the initial projects under consideration include:•Sponsored courses offered at each organization’s annual meeting •Joint support of women’s health issues through the CAP Foundation’s See, Test & Treat® program, to improve the level of patient engagement with underserved women by providing free cervical and breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and follow-up care in a single visit•Improved communication and collaboration for the development and enhancement of the human papillomavirus (HPV) proficiency testing, evidence-based guidelines, and patient-centered advocacy outreach

The CAP and the ASC have approved the MOU and formal collaboration begins in April 2014.

About the College of American PathologistsAs the leading organization with more than 18,000 board-certified pathologists, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. The CAP’s Laboratory Improvement Programs, initiated 65 years ago, currently has customers in more than 100 countries, accrediting 7,600 laboratories and providing proficiency testing to 20,000 laboratories worldwide. Find more information about the CAP at Follow the CAP on Twitter: @pathologists. About the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC)The ASC, founded in 1951, is a distinguished national professional society of over 3,000 physicians, cytotechnologists, and scientists who are dedicated to the cytologic method of analysis and early diagnosis of benign, precancerous and malignant processes at various body sites. The ASC vision is “Saving Lives One Cell At A Time: Through Education, Advocacy, Innovation and Teamwork”. Additional information about the ASC can be found on the internet at and you can follow us on Facebook as the American Society of Cytopathology and on Twitter: @cytopathology.