Winner 1994

20/20: Rush To Read

ABC News PrimeTime Live

Prompted by the death of a Rhode Island school teacher after four of her Pap smears were misread by four different laboratories,Rush to Read investigated a system fraught with problems, in which strict government regulations went virtually unenforced. With the assistance of several leading pathologists, cytologists, and physicians, the PrimeTime investigative team led by executive producer Phyllis McGrady, producer Roberta Gordon, and reporter Diane Sawyer, sent 600 slides to four labs across the country. One lab emerged with a scandalous error rate of 70% and other labs routinely missed abnormal slides-some marked by the presence of obvious cancers. Corrective action was taken as a direct result of this enterprising report. So impressive was the investigation that one cooperating pathologist published the results in a medical journal. For providing a timely investigation into the shockingly unacceptable error rates of laboratories testing for cervical cancer and for precipitating a change, a Peabody to ABC News PrimeTime Live for Rush to Read.