MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Alejandra Meza, a first-year student in the West Virginia University School of Medicine Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) Program, spent 10 days last month in Gaborone, Botswana, assisting with a six-day training for histopathology laboratory staff at the National Health Laboratory (NHL).
Meza, originally from Los Angeles, was one-fourth of a team of pathology professionals sent by the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to southern Africa on a global health trip August 1-13. Their mission was to instruct 17 participants in the theory behind the histotechnology practices outlined in their instruction manuals.
Histotechnology is the process of grossing, or cutting, fixing and staining a tissue sample on a slide to be examined and diagnosed by a pathologist.
Cherie Germain, P.A., director of WVU’s PA Program, recommended Meza for the team because of her prior histology experience and her experience working with limited resources in an Army combat support hospital.