A former First Lady and First Daughter. film and TV personalities. a former administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. notable individuals, and advocates will share their passion for global health care improvement at the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Annual Meeting in Boston from October 31 to November 3.

Laura Bush and Barbara Bush, Donald Berwick, MD, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, and Ashley Judd will address the 2012 ASCP Annual Meeting’s general sessions to share how their personal and professional experiences have turned them into engaged advocates for access to high-quality care for patients worldwide.

"At the same time that ASCP is bringing together the foremost experts in pathology and laboratory medicine who diagnose and cure cancer and other diseases, we want to show the global perspective of patient-centric care beyond the laboratory," says C. Bruce Alexander, MD, FASCP, ASCP president. "As pathologists and laboratory professionals, we perform patient-centered care every day. However, we need to remind ourselves about why we care for patients and how much difference our commitment to excellence makes to patients here and abroad."

Speakers for the 2012 ASCP Annual Meeting general sessions were chosen for their dedication to health causes around the globe stemming from a variety of revelations and experiences, whether personal, professional, or philanthropic:

Donald Berwick, MD, is the United States’ leading advocate for high-quality health care. Berwick recently stepped down as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For 22 years prior, he was the founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a nonprofit dedicated to improving health care around the world. A pediatrician by background, he has also served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School.

When the actress and humanitarian Ashley Judd became a global ambassador and later board of directors member for YouthAIDS, she realized firsthand the scope and devastation of the disease on people in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, and Cambodia. Strongly motivated by what she has seen of disease and poverty, Judd has become an advocate for a balanced and integrated approach to empower human rights and global health, as well as the prevention of social atrocities.

Most know Bill and Giuliana Rancic as television personalities. Yet health became the center of their lives when Giuliana was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. At the meeting, the couple will discuss how they coped with Giuliana’s diagnosis and their commitment to encouraging women to be proactive about their health.

Former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara Bush, have inspired millions with their tireless work to improve health care worldwide. Since the launch of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, Laura Bush has promoted efforts to include cervical cancer testing and treatment for women receiving antiviral drugs for AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. With Laura’s help, the organization aims to reduce cervical cancer deaths by one-quarter among the women they screen. Meanwhile, Barbara Bush co-founded Global Health Corps to match young professionals with year-long fellowships focusing on health throughout the world.

"Dr Donald Berwick, Ashley Judd, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, and Giuliana and Bill Rancic have turned their visions of a better world into plans of action," says Blair Holladay, PhD, ASCP executive vice president. "They are cultural change agents who are changing how we think about global health care. Their actions inspire change in physicians and patients here and abroad. Likewise, ASCP is involved in changing perceptions about pathologists and laboratory professionals among other clinicians and patients worldwide, and in improving patient care throughout the world."

[Source: ASCP]