The Third Annual Pathology Educational Symposium – Another Success!

Well organized … very professional in all aspects … excellent topics sometimes it was difficult to choose which ones to attend … super informative and fun … very convenient location … not able to interact with the Department frequently, so it was nice to meet others within the Department for the first time .. easy flow of everything from registration to swiping for lecture … a clear reflection of the outstanding quality of the faculty, staff and trainees in Pathology … I think everyone who attended came away with new knowledge and renewed enthusiasm in their work …

These were among the overwhelmingly positive comments about the Third Annual Pathology Educational Symposium which was held November 2-4, 2015.

The Pathology Educational Symposium is a unique and outstanding gateway to continuing education for Pathology staff.   Since its inception two years ago, the Symposium is now seen as a great benefit of working in Pathology, an event the staff really looks forward to!

The Symposium is a highly collaborative effort and a central mission of the Department of Pathology’s Continuing Education Committee. This Committee is co-chaired by Barbara Parsons and Lorraine Blagg, and composed of five educational coordinators, Lorraine Blagg, Paula Mister, Christine Hostetter, Karen Bordenet, and Kelly Baloga, as well as other laboratory personnel, leadership and staff from Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview, Howard County General, Suburban, and Sibley Hospitals, and All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

This year’s Pathology Educational Symposium was held again in the Turner Building. Nearly 700 people attended sessions presented by experts in clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, transfusion medicine, surgical pathology, IT, human resources, quality assurance, and more. Among the presenters were faculty, residents, fellows, staff members, and leadership from the Department of Pathology who spoke on a very wide spectrum of topics: hepatitis C; snakebite pathophysiology; urinary cytopathology; the culture of safety in the lab; animal-related microbiology cases; new information technology in SMILE (Patient Safety Monitoring in International Laboratories); quality pediatric and blood culture phlebotomy collections; lung masses; the history of anatomic pathology; a Mercy ship volunteer experience; syphilis serology; patent medicines; postmortem micro cultures; computer security; parasite look-alikes; inventions to alter testing behavior; the history of blood transfusions; Dr. William Welch’s transformative role in American medicine; pharmacogenetics metabolism; Positively Pathology; lab error investigations; antithrombotic therapy monitoring; laboratory management and leadership; autoimmune hemolytic anemia; gut microbiota; and cervical cancer. Pathology presenters accounted for 26 of the 35 lectures, or approximately 75% of the sessions.

This year the Department combined Grand Rounds with the Symposium. Our keynote speaker was Karen Horton, M.D., of the Department of Radiology who spoke on how to improve patient and employee satisfaction.  Dr. Horton’s presentation was very insightful and served as a valuable reminder of the role that each of us plays in the reputation and success of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Another first for this Symposium were the poster sessions. Twelve posters of different topics were displayed with corresponding questions. Staff had to answer 80% of the multiple choice questions correctly, and received one P.A.C.E.® CE credit for five posters, and two P.A.C.E.® credits for ten posters. Special thanks to Linda Gluck for organizing the posters and questions.

Our Symposium was successful in large part due to our energetic volunteer crew who served at the registration desk, as session moderators and leads, and as lunch attendance trackers.   Eunhee Rim, our “manager of volunteers” for all three Symposiums writes,

“Kudos to all volunteers of the Third Pathology Annual Symposium 2015 for their generous support!  Many new staff members joined this year, along with long-term support from volunteers who have continued to contribute their time and efforts since the first Symposium.   It was great team effort. The Symposium ran smoothly all the way through and was enjoyed by all.”

Because of our utilization of JHM’s ActivTracker® software program, the pre-registration process, the attendance tracking, the evaluation distribution, and the P.A.C.E.® certification were extremely fast and almost seamless.

Five of our presentations were webcast and viewed simultaneously by Pathology employees and pathologists at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Pathology manager Monica Gray reported,

“The sessions were well attended at All Children’s, and an overflow room was opened for two of the sessions.  Supervisors covered in some of the lab sections so their staff could attend the sessions.  The timing of the sessions allowed both first and second shifts attend.  With the sessions being recorded, our third shift is looking forward to participating in the Symposium as well.  This was a successful collaboration between our labs.”

It was a very successful Symposium because of the behind-the-scenes work of the CE Committee, the dedicated volunteers, the expert speakers, as well as the staff of the audiovisual and CME offices at Turner. Special thanks and recognition go to Lorraine Blagg for her amazing leadership and organizational skills in the orchestration of the Symposium.


Several sessions are available for viewing and P.A.C.E. ®credits for Pathology employees who were unable to attend the live presentations:

  • Hepatitis C: The End of the Beginning;
  • Difficult or Depressed? Recognizing Depression;
  • From the Morgue to the Molecular Lab: An Abbreviated History of Anatomic Pathology; and,
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: Diagnosis, Drugs, and Transfusion.

Please go to and open the last tab on the right, “Other CE” for details.

The Pathology Symposium Committee welcomes new members and meets approximately 12 times during the year (contact email: [email protected]).


Renata Karlos, B.A.
Staff Assistant
Department of Pathology
The Johns Hopkins Hospital