Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Mission Ends; Joint Pathology Center to Open

| March 30, 2011

In Beyond Good and Evil, not the PlayStation or Xbox game, but rather the completely unrelated book by Friedrich Nietzsche, he writes, "Digressions, objections, delight in mockery, carefree mistrust are signs of health; everything unconditional belongs in pathology."

If true and everything unconditional does belong in pathology that at some point in time between 1862 and the end of March 2011 it probably was first described or studied, analyzed, demonstrated, photographed, archived, taught and/or catalogued with like and compared with similar and dissimilar forms of itself at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington, DC.   

Readers will know that I have been following the closing of AFIP since the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended disestablishment of the AFIP.  Since the report was released in May of 2005 after multiple political wranglings the AFIP will disestablish and permanently close by mid-September this year. The Institute ceased all education programs on October 1, 2010. Additionally on Oct. 1, the AFIP stopped accepting nonfederal civilian consultation cases. This action was followed by cessation of all research on December 15, 2010.  And on March 31 what remains of their consultation mission will come to a close when the AFIP ceases accepting cases for military members and veterans. All three AFIP missions, and the DoD Tissue Repository mission, will then become the responsibility of DOD’s new Joint Pathology Center.

The AFIP will soon release a book detailing the legacy of the AFIP.  You can see portions of it in the last AFIP Letter recently published.

On April 1, the newly formed DOD Joint Pathology Center (JPC) will beginning receiving miltary and VA cases for consultation to carry on that role performed by AFIP.  The JPC will also have oversight over the vast tissue repository and add its research and educational offerings as staffing allows.  Perhaps they may one day begin to accept civilian consultations as well.

The museum that was housed in the AFIP building will also move to a new location over the next several months and plans on re-opening in the fall.  Check out their Facebook page to see when the exhibits will re-open in their new home.

Category: Pathology News

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