Cytology (FNA and Exfoliative):

Highlands Pathology Consultants (HPC) offers the region a comprehensive line of services that includes all aspects of Cytopathology. Our team of experts includes Dr. Kristin Pierce and  Dr. Gregory Stancel who are fellowship trained and board certified in Cytopathology. In addition, our cytology department is staffed with experienced ASCP-registered cytotechnologists.

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Cytology:

The cytology department works directly with multiple disciplines including radiology, pulmonology, and gastroenterology by providing on-sight immediate evaluation of cytology specimens during procedures for both inpatients and outpatients. By providing on-sight evaluations of all types of FNA procedures, HPC ensures the collection of quality specimens that allows them to provide the most accurate interpretation possible. Working with various departments within the hospitals such as ultrasound and CT as well as inpatient bedside assistance, immediate evaluation of FNA specimens during the procedure often eliminates the need to repeat aspirations, reducing patient discomfort and anxiety.

Exfoliative Cytology:

HPC provides the full spectrum of services for exfoliative cytology from multiple anatomic sites including gynecologic and non-gynecologic specimens. For our gynecologic services, HPC offers the enhanced Image Directed CytologyTM  with the ThinPrep Pap Test. This imaging system was the first automated interactive image analysis for cervical cancer screening and has been shown to lower false negative results by as much as 39%. Please visit for additional information on this advanced pap test technology.

Women’s Health:

In addition to the ThinPrep Pap Test, HPC offers the Roche Cobas Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test, providing a rapid, objective analysis for the presence of viral DNA associated with cervical dysplasia and cancer. The  Roche Cobas HPV test provides definitive results for 16, 18, and other high risk genotypes and is performed using residual cells in the ThinPrep sample.

In addition to the Pap test and HPV typing, the following tests may be ordered from the ThinPrep vial:

  • Chlamydia Trachomatis, Qualitative
  • Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, Qualitative
  • Herpes Simplex Virus, 1 and 2, Qualitative

Test Results:

With our experienced staff of ASCP-registered cytotechnologists, greater than 80% of our pap tests are resulted within 48 hours of collection. HPC also offers same day STAT service for pap tests on request when indicated. Additionally, if a cervical biopsy is performed, the pathologist who examines the biopsy will also review the patient’s most recent Pap test providing correlation of specimen results to the clinician.

Surgical Pathology:

Surgical pathology is a subspecialty of pathology practice dealing with microscopic examination of tissue and integration of these observations into a meaningful interpretation. HPC utilizes state-of-the-art methods to provide the most timely and accurate diagnoses possible, including intra-operative frozen section interpretations.  In addition to our eight board certified pathologists, our laboratory staff includes board-certified pathologist assistants and ASCP board-certified histologic technicians who prepare microscopic slides of the highest quality for interpretation by the pathologist. Surgical pathology services are available from HPC 7 days a week, 365 days a year and a pathologist is always on call for immediate consultation regarding all aspects of tissue diagnosis.


In recent years, the technique of immunohistochemical analysis of human tissue has revolutionized pathology practice by providing the pathologist with a unique ancillary tool to provide more accurate diagnostic and prognostic information than ever before. Our  laboratory has immunohistochemistry technology and provides comprehensive diagnostic services for a wide range of antigenic markers using automated staining methods. The laboratory strives to provide accurate, timely immunohistochemical analysis using a broad array of antibodies, including a wide range of hematolymphoid markers to assist in pathologic analysis of paraffin-embedded material.

Specialized Services Include:

Gastrointestinal Pathology:

HPC offers expert gastrointestinal and liver pathology services.  We incorporate a comprehensive menu of immunohistochemistry markers and special stains to assist in diagnosing conditions such as H. pylori, Barrett’s esophagus, and other gastroenterologic diseases.

Gynecologic Pathology:

HPC offers expert gynecologic pathology services.


HPC provides several pathologists with special interest and expertise in hematopathology. Drs. Christopher Heitz and Evan Kulbacki are facile with performing and interpreting bone marrow examinations and evaluating abnormal blood smears. They have each successfully completed hematopathology fellowships and are board certified in hematopathology. Our hematopathologists are available for consultation in the areas of neoplastic and non-neoplastic hematology/hematopathology, including consultation regarding the evaluation of patients with possible hemorrhagic and/or thrombotic tendencies.

Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine:

HPC provides medical directorship for Marsh Regional Blood Center and manages the full spectrum of blood bank services available through its high-level transfusion services. In addition, medical directorship is provided for transfusion services within each hospital of the Legacy Wellmont Health System. HPC offers both limited and comprehensive clinical consults for the evaluation of patients with complex red cell antibodies, autoimmune processes, and diseases that may be treatable by therapeutic apheresis. Consultation is available regarding the evaluation of infants with neonatal jaundice, anemia, or thrombocytopenia. Additionally, consultation is provided for establishing patient care standards and for transfusion reaction investigation.

Medical Directorship and Clinical Pathology Consulting:

HPC has extensive experience in providing Medical Directorship of clinical laboratories for hospitals and physician offices requiring such services to meet accreditation and licensing requirements. All of our pathologists qualify to serve as laboratory medical directors under any and all applicable statutes, rules and regulations. Clinical laboratory directorship services traditionally include periodic on-site visits, observation of clinical performance of laboratory personnel; evaluation of laboratory equipment and supplies; review and recommendation of indicators of quality of care; approval of criteria to be used in specific laboratory related quality assurance; and attendance at regularly scheduled meetings of the medical staff. Services can be customized to fit the needs of the client. Additionally, clinical pathology consulting services are available 7 days per week, 24 hours per day.