Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Pathology website. We are a full service academic pathology department consisting of Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology divisions as well as our basic science Comparative Medicine section. We are the clinical and academic hub for pathology in the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist system and provide Pathology service line and academic leadership for the Atrium Health Enterprise. With over 50 faculty members here on the Winston-Salem campus, our expertise spans the spectrum of subspecialties in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Last year we performed over 6.4 million billable tests, accessioned over 43,000 surgical pathology cases and 22,000 cytology cases. Our forensic pathologists performed approximately 1900 autopsies. Our Pathology residency and fellowship training programs, along with our training programs in Comparative Medicine, are educating the next generation of pathologists, veterinary pathologists, and researchers. True to our mission, the Department conducts clinical, translational, and basic research. Extramural funding totals approximately $13.2 million in grants and contracts. Department faculty authored or coauthored over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts, many in high impact journals. We are committed to providing high quality, subspecialty pathology and laboratory medicine services to our patients and clinical colleagues. We innovate through research and development, and train students, technologists, physicians, and scientists. We are a unique Department that, in addition to traditional activities and responsibilities of an academic Pathology Department, is an integral part of a larger health system Pathology and Laboratory Medicine service. This allows us to leverage our scale to improve clinical services and academic activities

Please enjoy exploring our website. The below is an excerpt from a recent newsletter to give you an idea of current events within the Department. Please feel free to contact us should you have questions or wish to learn more about us.

The View from the Chair

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you were able to find time to make memories and catch up with friends and family over the holidays. I was fortunate to be able to have my sons spend time with us here in Winston-Salem. This month will mark my second year here at Atrium Health Wake Forest – hard to believe it. Time flies when we are busy and looking back at 2022 – we indeed were busy! Clinically, our AH-WFB department was above target in the number of billable tests performed, an overall measure of our laboratory testing activity. We also exceeded our projected work relative value unit (RVU) targets, a measure of our anatomic pathology service volume. To help achieve this we had nine new clinical faculty (22% of our clinical faculty) and one new research faculty member join the Department in 2022. More are on the way as we expect our new Anatomic Pathology Director, Dr. Haodong Xu, to join us in February.

Dr. Hsi
Together, we validated 37 new clinical tests this past year and despite a triple whammy of water leakage, deionized water drought and instrument performance issues, the core lab completed validation of the automation line and analyzers. We welcomed a new Cobas 6800 in the core lab and obtained automation equipment and went live with a next generation sequencing panel in our restructured molecular laboratory. Anatomic Pathology now has all three major advanced staining systems for immunohistochemistry and chromogenic in situ hybridization to enable more accurate and rapid diagnostic services. All of this instrumentation would be worthless without dedicated and knowledgeable laboratory professionals. You are the ones who make decisions on the correct platforms, validate them, troubleshoot them, operate them and innovate.

Academically, we have also been busy. In addition to teaching students and successfully running multiple residency, fellowship and postdoctoral training pro-grams, our faculty obtained $13.7 million in extramural funding last year, presented research findings at national and international meetings and published 103 peer reviewed articles last year. Many faculty are members of influential national groups involved in practice guidelines, disease classification systems, regulatory matters, clinical trials research, grant reviews and education.

Of course, 2022 saw the announcement of the Advocate and Atrium merger. Laboratory Medicine personnel have been in discussions, which will continue in 2023, to rapidly find ways we can work together to realize savings as well as growth opportunities using our combined talents, expertise and experience. We will continue to keep you informed of initiatives and progress as we continue down this exciting path of working with our new colleagues. Our integration work within the Atrium system in NC and GA continues and workgroups continue to form in Laboratory Medicine and Anatomic Pathology. A Digital Pathology group is working on long term strategy and short term goals, as we undergo an inevitable Digital Transformation.

Looking ahead in 2023, continued integration in our region will be a priority. One large project that will affect all of us at AHWFB and the north central region will be EPIC Harmonization. Work has begun in earnest and many of you have or soon will be contacted as subject matter experts (SMEs) in your laboratory areas. Your engagement and input in the process will be important. Our colleagues in Charlotte and Georgia are already on the Encompass version of EPIC and we will migrate to that in March of 2024. Adaptation to En-compass will likely mean changes to your workflow. Your leaders will be able to help guide and prioritize you work in this endeavor.

There are other clinical, operational and academic goals that we will want to achieve. We also wish to continue to promote institutional diversity, equity and inclusion goals. More to come on all of this. From what I can see, 2023 will fly by as well. Let’s make sure we stop and smell the roses too. Looking forward to a fun and productive year!