NORTHFIELD, Ill., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The College of American Pathologists Foundation (CAPF) will award more than $140,000 to help meet the medical needs of victims of Hurricane Katrina through the CAP Foundation Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. The Foundation received $70,000 from members' gifts and in-kind support from the medical industry, which was matched dollar for dollar by the College. The CAP Board of Governors established the fund, through the Foundation, in September 2005 to help those areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. "We are pleased to offer financial assistance to help those communities affected by Hurricane Katrina re-establish medical pathology services to medically indigent patients," said Thomas M. Sodeman, MD, FCAP, president of the College. "The Foundation fund provides the College with a unique opportunity to lend a hand to our colleagues in Louisiana as they work toward delivering quality health care to those in need." The CAPF will award the dollars through organizational grants and resident stipends. The organizational grants will serve to re-instate the delivery of medical pathology services -- funding equipment, salary support or supplies. In addition, the CAPF will offer grants to residents in the form of $500 stipends to help replace uninsured lost or destroyed educational tools and other related training needs, such as travel expenses and lodging required to continue their training. The Foundation Board of Directors and a team of seven pathologists, who are involved in either the hurricane affected area or Foundation humanitarian grant-making efforts, reviewed the grant applications. Currently, the organizational grants will be awarded to the following facilities: The Blood Center, New Orleans, La. will receive $25,000 to resume blood collections and services to New Orleans and surrounding regions. Funds will be used to purchase blood bags and other needed blood bank supplies, as well as equipment such as computers and centrifuges. "We experienced the devastation of Hurricane Katrina first-hand. Our facility was flooded with four feet of water for three weeks following the storm," said Tim Peterson, MD, FCAP. "These dollars will truly help us rebuild the Blood Center to provide safe and reliable blood services to the community." Washington St. Tammany Regional Medical Center, Bogalusa, La. will receive $20,373 to purchase equipment to set up a cytopathology section in the pathology department. Cytopathology services formerly were provided by the New Orleans state hospital system, but are no longer available due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. "In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the population of Bogalusa and surrounding areas grew significantly, and, consequently, we saw our patient volume dramatically increase," said William P. Newman, III, MD, FCAP. "We greatly appreciate the assistance from the College, which will allow our staff to deliver quality health care to our patients." Louisiana State University, Department of Pathology, New Orleans, La. will be awarded $30,000 to support the salary of a board-certified transfusion medicine pathologist and to purchase equipment and services needed to utilize and expand the virtual microscopy program, including resident training. Earl K. Long Hospital, LSU Health Sciences Center, Baton Rouge, La., which is part of a statewide system of charity and teaching hospitals, will receive $16,500 to purchase pathology textbooks and reference manuals, along with other pathology-related equipment. In addition, Biogenex will donate an Autostainer, which will be used to perform histology work that was previously done at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans, which is temporarily closed due to damages from the hurricane. LSU Health Sciences Center, University Medical Center, Lafayette, La. will be granted $12,000 to purchase equipment, including microscopes for the Pathology Department, histology equipment and teaching materials. In addition, Genzyme will donate two sets of reference books to the LSU Pathology Residency Program for use in the relocated training facilities. "Our staff has seen their workload increase tremendously with the closing of the main facility in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," said Kelly Sorrells, MD, FCAP. "These much needed resources will be greatly appreciated." The CAPF promotes science and education in an effort to improve the delivery of pathology services to patients and expand medical research and funding of individual research projects. In addition, the Foundation is dedicated to encouraging leadership in the field of pathology as well as providing community service. The College of American Pathologists is a medical society that serves nearly 16,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.
SOURCE College of American Pathologists Foundation