NAACLS is very pleased to introduce its new Board of Directors’ President, Fred H. Rodriguez, Jr., M.D. Dr. Rodriguez was appointed as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Representative to the NAACLS Board in 2008. He served as Treasurer from 2011-2012 and President-Elect from 2012-2013. He has been the Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the New Orleans VA Medical Center since 1984, and Professor of Pathology at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans (member of the Pathology Department Faculty since 1977).
Dr. Rodriguez, a career federal pathologist, entered into the service of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at the New Orleans VA Medical Center in January 1979. He served as a general staff pathologist with an emphasis in diagnostic electron microscopy, immunopathology, and renal pathology, as well as serving as the Medical Director of the VA School of Medical Technology in New Orleans. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Immunopathology. In August 1984, he was appointed the Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the New Orleans VA Medical Center (a post that he holds to this day). He continues to perform patient care service work in anatomic and clinical pathology on a daily basis at the New Orleans VA Medical Center as well as performing other administrative duties.
During his career in the VA, Dr. Rodriguez has served in a variety of capacities. In 1988, he was appointed by Dr. Eleanor Travers, the then National Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to represent the Department at the House of Delegates of the College of American Pathologists. In 1991, he was also appointed by Dr. Travers to represent the Department at the Advisory Council of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and to represent the Department at the Intersociety Pathology Council. Dr. Rodriguez, to this day, continues to represent the VA at these various venues having been re-appointed by Dr. Travers’ successor Dr. Theodore Beals. From 1991 to 1992, he served as the Acting Chief of Staff at the New Orleans VA Medical Center. In January 2002, Dr. Rodriguez was appointed by Secretary Principi as Dr. Beals’ successor to the post of the National Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As National Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dr. Rodriguez promoted the conversion of VA medical technologists from Title 5 to Hybrid Title 38 employees, initiated the re-engineering of the VA VISTA computer software package, had oversight of the redevelopment of the VA blood bank software program, and was directly involved in a number of patient safety initiatives to improve the identification of patient laboratory specimens. Dr. Rodriguez concluded his service as the National Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of the Department of Veterans Affairs in February 2008. For his federal service, he received the Edward Rhodes Stitt Award from the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States in 2006, and the Calendar-Binford Award from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in 2007.
In addition to his VA activities, Dr. Rodriguez has also been very involved in undergraduate and graduate medical education. He has been a member of the faculty of the Louisiana State University (LSU) HealthSciencesCenter, Schools of Medicine (Department of Pathology) and Allied Health (Department of Medical Technology), in New Orleans since 1977. He progressively rose through academic ranks to the level of Professor and, in April 2005, he was appointed as the first Emma Sadler Moss Professor of Pathology at the LSU School of Medicine. He is the coordinator of pathology residency training at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans. He lectures in anatomic and clinical pathology, and is the Director of a 100 hour introductory course in laboratory medicine for second year medical students at the LSU School of Medicine. In 2005, the Department of Pathology at the LSU School of Medicine was selected by the graduating class as the best preclinical Department. He is the author or co-author of over 60 scientific papers, abstracts, posters, books or book chapters, and workshop presentations. From 2001 to 2004, he served as an Assistant Editor of the journal “Laboratory Medicine.”
Dr. Rodriguez has also been active in multiple professional pathology organizations. He is a Fellow in both the College of American Pathologists and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. From 1989 to currently, he has served as a laboratory accreditation site surveyor for the College of American Pathologists. From 1986 to 2000, he served in various capacities (including on the Board of Governors) of the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Board of Registry in 2001. From 1999 to 2002, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). In 2002, he was elected Secretary of the ASCP, in 2003, Vice President, in 2004 President Elect, and he served as President of the ASCP in 2005-2006. During his tenure with the ASCP, he has served on various committees (e.g., nominations, awards, government relations, bylaws, finance, etc.), various taskforces (e.g., governance, etc.), and has chaired several ad hoc groups (e.g. the taskforce on volunteers). In 2009 he received the Israel Davidsohn Award for Outstanding Service to the ASCP.
Dr. Rodriguez has also been active in various community and service organizations including the New Orleans Ronald McDonald House, the University of New Orleans Alumni Association, the St. Martin’s Episcopal High School Alumni Association, the LSU School of Medicine Committee of 100 Champions of Excellence, and the Jesuit High School Blue Jay Band Booster Club.
In addition to the honors and awards listed above, he has also been the recipient of the following honors:
- Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society
- Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
- Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society
- Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare
- Who’s Who in America
- Alumnus of the Year, LSU School of Medicine, 2012
In December 2013, he and his wife, Susan, will celebrate 40 years of marriage. They have four grown children (Alison, Rusty, Kathy, and David), all of whom are themselves married. They have four granddaughters (Ava age 8, Molly age 6, and Piper Age 1, who live in Cincinnati, and Claire age 1, who lives in Atlanta).
Dr. Rodriguez’s personal interests include fine dining, travel, cooking, attending Broadway road shows, photography, and gardening. He is an avid New Orleans Saints football fan, having been a season ticket holder since the inception of the franchise in 1967 (and an attendee of all home games except for 12 games since the inception of the franchise).
Dr. Rodriguez said that he looks forward to serving as an agent to carry out the decisions of the NAACLS Board of Directors. We welcome him to this esteemed position!