Surgical Pathology at The University of Vermont Medical Center

The Surgical Pathology Department is supported by a staff which includes 20 Assistants, 4 rotating Pathology Residents - including the "Hot Seat" resident, 6 Laboratory Assistants, 5.5 AP Support staff, and 14 Histologists. The laboratory is open Monday through Friday from 4 am to 11 pm, and Saturday 5 am to 1 pm.

Surgical Pathology provides specimen processing for surgical/biopsy samples received at the UVM Medical Center. Our specimen mix includes inpatient cases from across the UVM Medical Center Health Network, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Littleton Hospital and Cottage Hospital, and a large number of outpatient samples from a diverse referral base. In 2016, approximately 43,000 surgical specimens were processed. An average case generates 7 slides; but the number of slides can vary from 0 (gross only) to 100 slides for a complicated case.

Once specimens are received by laboratory assistants, they are sent to one of 7 cutting stations. The cases are reviewed grossly by a Pathology Resident or Pathologists’ Assistant (overseen by an attending pathologist). Sections are taken and processed by histology in an overnight/early morning procedure through which glass slides of the tissues are produced.

Many of the slides are then previewed by the "Hot Seat" resident who may provide clinicians with preliminary diagnoses. The following day, these cases are reviewed by the Attending Pathologist (with the Pathology Resident) who renders the final diagnoses. The cases that are not reviewed by the "Hot Seat" are typically signed out within 24-48 hours from receipt by an Attending Pathologist.

The attending staff in Surgical Pathology have expertise in both general anatomic pathology as well as specialty areas including gastrointestinal pathology, dermatopathology, gynecologic pathology, breast pathology, neuropathology, soft tissue pathology, pediatric pathology, hematopathology, renal pathology, genitourinary pathology, pulmonary pathology, and cardiovascular pathology.

The Histology Laboratory currently performs over 50 different special stains, including 18 muscle histochemistries on all types of tissues. The Immunohistochemistry (IHC) area utilizes over 170 different antibodies on their state-of-the-art autostainers for IHC. Additionally ISH is performed for Her2, EBER, and Kappa/Lamda.


  • Division Chief Anatomic Pathology: Alexandra Kalof, MD
  • Medical Director Surgical Pathology: Nora Frisch, MD
  • Medical Director Histology: Abiy Ambaye, MD
  • Manager, Anatomic Pathology: Timothy St. John, CT (ASCP)
  • Supervisor, Histology: Valerie Cortright, HTL (ASCP)
  • Supervisor, Autopsy, Surgical Pathology, and Lab Transcription: Michelle Schwartz, PA (ASCP)

Laboratory Contact Information

If you have any questions about Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, please contact Laboratory Customer Service, at 847-5121 or 1-800-991-2799 or Fax 802-847-5905. University of Vermont Medical Center, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine-MP-103, Burlington VT 05401.

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Licensure and Accreditations

American Association of Blood Banks
American Society For Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
College of American Pathologists-Main Campus
College of American Pathologists-Fanny Allen Laboratory
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments '88 Main campus
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments '88 Fanny Allen
Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy
New York State Department of Health, Clinical Laboratory Permit