At the 1976 annual meeting of the organization then called the International Academy of Pathology (IAP), now the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), the long course was devoted to gastrointestinal pathology.

Due to its success, the first evening subspecialty conference devoted to gastrointestinal pathology was presented the following year at the IAP annual meeting in March 1977. That first evening session was organized by Jack Yardley from Johns Hopkins University, and included Henry Appelman (The University of Michigan), Harvey Goldman (Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School), Bill Hawk (The Cleveland Clinic), Tom Kent (The University of Iowa), Si-Chun Ming (Temple University), Tom Norris (The University of Washington), and Robert Riddell (The University of Chicago). This group, headed by Henry Appelman, organized a group for gastrointestinal pathologists.

Every gastrointestinal pathologist in the United States and Canada received an invitation to attend the first organizational meeting, held at the 1979 IAP meeting. At that meeting, the establishment of a society was approved, and four subcommittees were formed to deal with membership, finances, bylaws, and educational activities. During the next year, all organizational functions were completed, and at the 1980 IAP meeting, the organization was officially established, bylaws were approved, the first officers were elected, the first dues were collected, and the first educational program was offered.

The original name for the organization was the Gastrointestinal Pathology Club. Only later did it achieve “Society” status. In 2001, after the tragic and untimely death of Dr. Roger Haggitt, the name of the society was officially changed to the Rodger C. Haggitt Gastrointestinal Pathology Society.

The organization was developed as a mechanism:

  1. for propagating interest in gastrointestinal pathology
  2. for emphasizing the importance of gastrointestinal pathology as a sophisticated and complex area of pathology
  3. for sharing information among members
  4. for developing joint investigative efforts among its members
  5. for establishing referral centers or referral mechanisms for specific types of case problems
  6. for devising a registry for unusual cases.

The first three of these initial goals were accomplished early on. The Club was recognized as a companion society of the IAP and its first scientific session was presented about a year later. The fourth goal took longer, but it, too, has been fulfilled as exemplified by a published study on adenomas with invasive carcinoma that was shepherded by Harry Cooper. It took e-mail technology to really allow the fifth goal, the referral network, to operate. The development of an e-mail group from the Society, which became an opportunity for members to consult a wide group of GI colleagues regarding problem cases, has been functional sine 1995. The sixth goal, the registry issue, has yet to get off the ground. Currently, the Society has also awards for resident presentations at the USCAP annual meeting and organizes educational symposia at national meetings, including the CAP, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, Digestive Disease Week, and the international congresses of the International Academy of Pathology.

Past Presidents

1980 Henry D. Appelman
1981 Rodger C. Haggitt
1982 Harvey Goldman
1983 Robert H. Riddell
1984 John H. Yardley
1985 Klaus J. Lewin
1986 Donald Antonioli
1987 Juan Lechago
1988 Robert R. Richert
1989 Gerald D. Abrams
1990 David A. Owen
1991 Frank A. Mitros
1992 David F. Keren
1993 Stanley R. Hamilton
1994 Robert E. Petras
1995 Robert R. Pascal
1996 Daniel Sheahan
1997 Cecilia Fenoglio-Preiser
1998 Brian West
1999 Harry Cooper
2000 Audrey Lazenby
2001 Joel Greenson
2002 Mary Bronner
2003 Robert D. Odze
2004 Larry Burgart
2005 Gregory Lauwers
2006 John Goldblum
2007 Elizabeth Montgomery
2008 Wendy Frankel
2009 David Lewin
2010 Barbara McKenna
2011 Alyssa Krasinskas
2012 Sanjay Kakar
2013 Rhonda Yantiss
2014 Marie Robert
2015 Galen Cortina
2016 Jeff Goldsmith
2017 Amitabh Srivastava
2018 John Hart
2019 Michael Torbenson
2020 Rish Pai

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