For more than 40 years, Patricia Ellinger, MSEd, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMSSBCM, has forged new pathways in the education and certification of medical laboratory professionals, elevating the stature of the profession. Ms. Ellinger, a nationally recognized medical laboratory leader, recently delivered the Barbara M.Castleberry Lecture for Laboratory Professionals at ASCP 2013 Chicago.
In recognition of Dr. Castleberry’s contributions to laboratory medicine and for her efforts in promoting and exemplifying the highest qualities of a laboratory professional, ASCP established the annual Barbara M. Castleberry Lecture in 2011. The lecture is presented at the national ASCP annual meeting every year to recognize an individual whose career mirrors the achievements of Barbara M. Castleberry, PhD, MT(ASCP).
Ms. Ellinger’s commitment to service is exemplified in the work she has done throughout her career—as an educator, supervisor of a major blood bank laboratory; and as a 35-year ASCP volunteer, including as Chair of the ASCP Associate Members Section (now the Laboratory Professionals Council), as Chair of the ASCP Board of Certification (BOC), member of ASCP BOC certification exam committees, and member of the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences Board.
“As laboratory professionals, we have the opportunity and responsibility to get outside our comfort zone and share our talents in our communities, as well as in underserved countries,” Ms. Ellinger says. Although she semi-retired a decade ago, that turned into full-time work developing an innovative new program—the Medical Laboratory Technician-to-Medical Laboratory Scientist degree at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minn.—which helps to address the workforce shortage.
Patricia Ellinger is an ASCP Representative on the NAACLS Board of Directors.