Richard J. Zarbo

Richard J. Zarbo


Born: New York City, New York

Academic Degrees

  • BA: The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, 1974
  • DMD: The University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, 1978
  • MD: The University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, 1981

Academic Positions

  • 979 - 1981 Teaching Assistant, Department of Pathology, University of Connecticut
  • 1981 Lecturer, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1984 - 1985 School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut
  • 1985 - 1991 Assistant Professor, then Clinical Assistant Professor (1987), and Clinical Associate Professor (1989), Department of Pathology, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
  • 1994 - 2004 Professor of Pathology, Vice-Chair (2003-2004), Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2005 Senior Vice-President and Kathleen D. Ward Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan


  • The University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine
  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut

Selected Career Highlights

  • A dual-degree dentist-physician: Recipient of a DMD (oral pathology) from University of Connecticut.

  • Two decades of grant funding.

  • As Senior VP at Henry Ford Health System, he consolidated all laboratories across 6 hospitals and 30 delivery sites into one corporate business entity.

  • Created the Henry Ford Production System, which according to Jeffery Liker, author of The Toyota Way, is the closet thing to Toyota (lean management) that he has seen in healthcare.

  • Invented and developed (with Dr. Peter Howanitz) the College of American Pathologists' Q-Probes and Q-Tracks programs. Produced the anatomic pathology Q-Probes. Publication of these at the Annual USCAP meeting helped stimulate the creation of a new annual meeting abstract category, Quality Assurance (1995). The Q-Probes collaborative studies of laboratory quality have now produced over a hundred peer-reviewed publications. The Q-Tracks are the only currently available national set of pathology/laboratory quality measures validated to show quality improvement, overtime, in real practice settings.

  • Collaborates in a multi-site, multi-year study of patterns of diagnostic errors in pathology, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  • Over 200 poster and platform presentations at the USCAP Annual Meetings (from a total of almost 300 abstracts!).

  • Co-Director of the USCAP Long Course on Head and Neck Pathology (2001).

  • USCAP Education Committee member and Short Course Coordinator (1994-1999).

  • Chair, USCAP Publication Committee (2000-2004).

  • Recipient of the F.K. Mostofi Distinguished Service Award from the USCAP (2006).

  • Author of 200 publications and over two dozen chapters/books.

  • Member, Editorial Boards of 10 journals including:

    • American Journal of Clinical Pathology
    • International Journal of Surgical Pathology
    • Modern Pathology
    • Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
    • Head and Neck Pathology
    • The American Journal of Surgical Pathology
    • Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • President of the Michigan Society of Pathologists (2010).

  • Hobbies include repairing old cars (and Porsche's).


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