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2019 CAP Laboratory Improvement Programs Service Award

In 2006, the College of American Pathologists established the CAP Laboratory Improvement Programs Service Award to recognize an individual serving within the ranks of the Council on Scientific Affairs who has demonstrated exceptional service.

Thomas P. Baker, MD, FCAP

Thomas P. Baker, MD, FCAP

The College of American Pathologists presents Thomas P. Baker, MD, FCAP, with the 2019 CAP Laboratory Improvement Programs Service Award in recognition of his ongoing leadership in advancing the standardization of pathology reporting in cancer care.

As chair of the Cancer Committee, Dr. Baker has committed himself to advancing the role of the pathologist in the continuum of cancer patient care and improving patient care through use of the CAP Cancer Protocols. Dr. Baker led committee efforts to update the protocols, which included incorporating the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 8th edition cancer staging content, restructuring to ensure the protocols are evidence-based and clinically sufficient for the broad group of end-users and other stakeholders, and improving their usability by pathologists and readability by clinicians. He represented the CAP in presenting these critical updates at several prominent meetings, including at the annual meetings for the CAP, the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, the Association for Pathology Informatics, the AJCC, and the European Congress of Pathology, as well as in joint webinars with the AJCC 8th edition editor-in-chief, Mahul B. Amin, MD, FCAP, for the CAP and the AJCC.

Dr. Baker recognizes the importance of working closely with clinical stakeholder organizations to harmonize pathology and oncology practices, which leads to advancements in patient care through improved and standardized cancer reporting. Organizations he has worked with include the AJCC, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer, the American College of Surgeons–Commission on Cancer (ACS-CoC), the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Baker serves as the CAP liaison to the ACS Cancer Programs. He also serves on the executive committees of the AJCC and the CoC. Through his liaison activities, he has been heavily involved in revising CoC accreditation standards for pathology cancer reporting and in other key activities and issues regarding tumor staging and cancer center accreditation.

Dr. Baker also has worked hard to build enduring partnerships within the CAP to improve the protocols and the content development and release process. Along with Michael A. Berman, MD, FCAP, Pathology Electronic Reporting (PERT) Committee chair, he has guided efforts to synchronize the CAP Cancer Protocols with the electronic Cancer Checklists (eCC), dramatically enhancing both products to better support pathologists in reporting on cancer specimens. Dr. Baker has participated alongside Dr. Berman on joint data modeling projects, maintaining bidirectional liaison relationships to both Cancer and PERT committees; taking part in the Cancer Protocol Oversight Project (CPOP) team; annually reviewing and updating protocol-related CAP accreditation requirements (ANP 12350 and 12385); refining the definition of synoptic reporting; and developing and clarifying joint standards for core, conditional, and non-core data elements. Furthermore, he has supported and provided leadership and expertise in the creation and testing of a single-source database and authoring tool to increase protocol release efficiency and decrease redundancies and error potential between all CAP cancer reporting products.

Dr. Baker is currently a senior civilian pathologist at the Joint Pathology Center Defense Health Agency National Capital Region Medical Directorate in Silver Spring, Maryland. He previously served as director and chief medical officer for the Joint Pathology Center until his retirement from active duty in the Army in 2015.

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