Jo Ann Johnson, the Educational Program Coordinator of the Academy, grew up in Waynesboro, Georgia (“The Bird Dog Capital of the World”). She attended the University of Georgia as a Fine Arts Major, moved to Philadelphia with her husband and, through a fluke, obtained a job as an assistant marketing analyst with a large steel manufacturing company (could it have been because of her southern accent and true southern charm?).
Upon her return to Georgia, she worked at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in the Department of Pediatrics for 16 years. She attended Augusta College (now Augusta State University) at night, majoring in Business Administration, and was promoted to Departmental Manager of the Department of Pediatrics (100 personnel), a position she held for 10 years. She came to the Academy in 1981 with great insight into the inner workings, politics and challenges of a University Medical Center. As Educational Coordinator she worked closely with Nate Kaufman in developing the Academy committee structure, the initial office procedures, policies and systems, and many important behind-the-scenes endeavors. Jo Ann’s remarkable insight has been pivotal to the identification and development of the young leaders of the Academy. She provides support for all aspects of the Education Committee and volunteer course faculty, she has organized documentation for the many successful ACCME inspections, she coordinated the Long-Term Strategic Planning Endeavors, and was instrumental in preparing guidelines for course materials, handouts and disclosure documentation for the IAP Centennial Congress in Montreal. It should be noted that Jo Ann assisted in the communications/correspondences during the IAP era of the AFIP, for Drs. Leslie Sobin, Jack Layton and Kenny Earle; she in essence served as the Secretariat of the IAP during their tenures.
Her various contributions to the USCAP have been essential to the Academy.
Jo Ann does such a wide variety of essential educational functions that it would be impossible to document all of them. Some important ones are listed below.
The year 2006-2007 was one of the busiest years in the 100 year history of the IAMM/IAP/USCAP. In addition to the huge annual meetings (the largest meeting of physician-pathologists in the world) we also had our three other meetings: Diagnostic Pathology, Practical Pathology Seminars and Diagnostic Cytopathology. In addition was our huge IAP 2006 Centennial Congress in Montreal (the largest IAP Congress meeting in history as well). Thus we had six educational meetings in 2006-2007, with over 10,000 physician-pathologists in attendance! Jo Ann was the point person for ALL the educational programs at these meetings.
During 2007-2008 Jo Ann has worked diligently with our USCAP Webmaster- Mr. George Clay and others to institute the following hugely important scenarios:
The First American Board of Pathology SAM (Self-assessment module) (DxCytopath 07), and SAMs for New Short Courses. According to the ABP the USCAP has more SAMS than any other pathology group (www.abpath.org).
Jo Ann was central to the USCAP’s Online Evaluation of all the Academy’s Courses and development of the CME Claim Forms/Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs with post-tests) for the Annual Meeting: this was established for all of our courses (Diagnostic Pathology; Diagnostic Cytopathology and Practical Pathology Seminars) and a huge number of educational offerings for our Annual meeting. In addition, information/links to the Summary of Evaluations sent electronically to Companion Societies, Specialty Conference Moderators, and Short Course Faculty and an online evaluation reporting facility. Some of her other accomplishments include:
1.) Itinerary Planner (electronic) for the Annual Meeting
2.) Audience Response Systems for all four of our USCAP educational meetings.
3.) A Booklet of “Take-Home Pearls” from all 26 Companions and 19 Specialty Conferences for the attendees at the Annual Meeting
4.) Assisting with the initial establishment of the eAcademy (APEC Cases)
5.) Completion of the 100 educational offerings at the 2006 IAP Centennial Congress and placement on the USCAP Website
6.) Placement of 480 “virtual slides” on the USCAP Website and Revision of the Table of Contents for the USCAP Knowledge Hub/Pathology Portal
7.) E-Mail notifications of Abstract acceptance/rejection
8.) Completion of the USCAP Long-Term Strategic Planning Initiatives (I) of Drs. Jeffrey Myers (Education) and David Hardwick’s (Overall) Committee. Almost three-fourths of all goals were met (which is nothing short of miraculous). These could not have occurred without Jo Ann Johnson.
9.) Development of a Special Online Facility accessible only to the USCAP Education Committee (EC) members: The members of the EC can easily access this at any time and see all the reports for our various meetings.
10.) Establishment of electronic Short Course Proposal Submissions: online review and scoring by members of the EC.
Her International Educational Altruistic Endeavors include:
Jo Ann is the recipient of the highest award in international pathology: by vote of the IAP Council, Jo Ann received the IAP Special Gold Medal in 2008 for her outstanding contributions to international pathology education and research.
1.) Since 1984, when the USCAP previously hosted the IAP International Congress, Jo Ann and Jim Crimmins have sent large amounts of educational materials to over 26 underserved IAP Divisions/countries throughout the world (8 South American, 4 Central American/Caribbean, 10 European, and 5 Asian countries/IAP Divisions).
2.) She has sent a great many educational materials (paper; CDs; DVDs) to many additional countries and to many of conferences/congresses held in those countries including (to name just a few): Hungary, Sweden/Scandinavia, PR China, Columbia, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, etc.
3.) “Friends of Africa”: she has prepared educational materials for distribution to 20 of the SubSaharan Countries in Africa (and 60 medical centers/schools therein).
4.) She is the most pivotal person in the development of the USCAP Knowledge Hub/Pathology Portal: This huge endeavor started in about 2001 now reaches 22,000 different pathologists in up to 129 countries throughout the world. The USCAP website gets between 2 - 8 million “hits”/month, and about 600,000 page views/month. Over half of the “hits” are from countries outside of the US and Canada. She is the central person who has made this happen as Education Program Coordinator. Her major job(s) in this regard is to oversee the posting of educational materials (now up to 1900 separate educational modules/endeavors) by our USCAP Webmaster Mr. George Clay, who puts the materials up on our USCAP Website for the world to have access to.
5.) The IAP Executive and IAP Council and officers of the IAP Divisions are informed about all of our extensive educational offerings (i.e., the USCAP Knowledge Hub/Pathology Portal) regularly, and they then send this information to their IAP Divisional members.
Thus in total she has served over 70 underserved countries/regions of the world in multiple ways at multiple times for many years (actually decades). Jo Ann certainly has a “Servant’s Heart” and no one is more deserving of this award for her contributions to education throughout the world.
When Jo Ann is not attending to the varied needs of her many offspring in the Academy’s faculty and membership, her hobbies include reading, gardening and cooking (her friends call her the “dessert queen”).
Personal Comments from Leaders of the USCAP:
From: Fred Silva, EVP
Jo Ann continues to be incredibly important to the primary mission of the USCAP - that of Education. That continues to be the reason that we are. Jo Ann has shown over 25 years extraordinary dedication and passion about the USCAP, our education, our faculty, our members, and our altruism. She is one of the very, very best “self-starters” I’ve ever seen in my over 30 years of “Administration”. What she has done could fill a book (actually it has: see this USCAP Annual Meeting Program Book!). She sees what has to be done, and does it! (Very well). No one has contributed more to the educational success of the Academy and our profession than Jo Ann. She stands with the Drs. Abbott, Mostofi, and Kaufman as the top contributors to our educational offerings.
From: Nathan Kaufman, Secretary-Treasurer 1979-91
What a wonderful honour! You richly deserve it. I'm hoping that I’ll be able to come to Boston to see you receive this award, and to help celebrate with you.
From: David Hardwick, Past President and Past Chair of the Education Committee
Jo Ann has been a virtual Treasure. Her compendial knowledge, organizational capacity and extraordinary judgment about educational matters and individual educators has been an invaluable asset to all! As Chair for the Education committee for a half dozen years and two ACCME reviews, I relied heavily on Jo Ann who consistently “delivered the goods!!”
From: Henry Appelman, Past President
The USCAP prides itself on its educational accomplishments, and many of the people that make USCAP education so special are the volunteers who are members of the Education Committee the chairpeople of that committee and the short course coordinators. But these folks come and go, yet the educational excellence of the USCAP continues year after year. There must be something or someone who acts as the bridge that attaches one group of USCAP educators to the next....and the next....and the next. That someone must be Jo Ann Johnson! Who else could have pulled off this amazing feat but this amazing lady. Some people really get lucky, and the USCAP really got lucky when Jo Ann chose to take such great care of us. Jo Ann, we adore you!
From: Virginia LiVolsi: Past President
In addition to all the organizational skills and levelheaded approach to everything the Academy needs done, Jo Ann’s other claim to fame is she is “a cat person”. Over the years she and I have traded stories about the unbelievable felines who have owned us: her Leroy and my Biff. I am sure the incredible animals are wishing Jo Ann all the best on her award. My current group (Pumpkin, Rigel, Rhett and Scarlett) also send their “congratulations”.
From: John Goldblum: Chair Education Committee
Simply put, Jo Ann Johnson IS the USCAP. I come to this conclusion in a very logical fashion. The USCAP’s major mission is education. Jo Ann Johnson has been and continues to be the driving force behind all educational activities for the USCAP. I can think of no person who deserves the President’s Award more than Jo Ann. Innumerable young pathologists (including me, once upon a time) have had their careers touched by Jo Ann, and she is the reason I have had so many fantastic opportunities with this outstanding organization. I have never met a person who is better suited for her job than Jo Ann.
From: Sylvia Asa: Past President
I am thrilled to see Jo Ann receive this recognition for her years of devotion to the Academy. Jo Ann has been the heart and soul of the organization for as long as I have been a member. She has dedicated her life to the educational activities that are organized by the USCAP. She knows the people inside-out and she has a 6th sense that leads her to always pick the right person for each job. Jo Ann is a friend, confidant and resource to many members, and many of us have sought her advice, help and support over the years. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude as individuals and as an organization. Thank you, Jo Ann, and congratulations on this much deserved award!
From: Jeff Myers: Council, 13 year span on Education Committee as member, Short Course Coordinator and Chair; Co-Chair Long Term Strategic Planning Initiative
One of my most powerful memories of the USCAP is the first meeting of the USCAP Education Committee that I attended in Atlanta in 1995. It was the first time that I got to see both Fred and Jo Ann in action, and I could not have been more impressed! Fred for the amazing efficiency with which he managed a complex and highly productive meeting, and Jo Ann for her encyclopedic knowledge of our history and the players. In a quiet and unobtrusive fashion, she knew just the right time to offer softly stated insights of the sort essential for high quality decision making. Over the years I’ve come to see her ability to keep us on track as Jo Ann’s greatest strength. In ways that might be easily overlooked she manages to synthesize a deep understanding of the needs of our membership with her knowledge of the players and stakeholders in academic anatomic pathology. It remains unclear to me how she develops her uniquely accurate and powerful insights, but I personally suspect it reflects her skills as a keen observer of the human race. That is a skill not easily taught but essential to allowing an organization as small as the Academy to do very big things. Truth is that without Jo Ann much of what has been accomplished over the last 30 years would look very different.
From Christina Isacson: Education Committee Short Course Coordinator
Jo Ann Johnson is the “heart” of the USCAP - generous, kind, helpful, smart, funny, honest, hard-working and genuine. With her friendly demeanor, lovely smile and soft southern accent, she charms us all into doing our best and even gets us to do more than we thought was possible! Thank you Jo Ann, for everything you do every day!