Renowned University Recognizes ASCP Leader
Monday, June 17, 2013
A native of New Orleans, Fred Rodriguez Jr., MD, MASCP, has faced adversity many times. 2005 was the pinnacle of those best and worst times. He and his family survived Hurricane Katrina intact, but his laboratory at the New Orleans Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VA Medical Center) had to be completely rebuilt. His beloved father died, but his first grandchild was born. It was also the year that Dr. Rodriguez began his ASCP Presidency, starting one month after Katrina.
Watch Dr. Rodriguez’s acceptance speech for the prestigious ASCP Mastership in 2012. He acknowledges ASCP as the brightest jewel of his many career accomplishments.
While ASCP has been critical to his advancement as a leader in the pathology profession, Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Medicine in New Orleans is the foundation for his education as a physician and for his long tenure as a faculty member. In recognition of his career-long achievements, the School of Medicine at LSU Health Science Center New Orleans on June 8 named Dr. Rodriguez as one of three 2013 Medical Alumni of the Year.
“I was surprised and flattered to be among such amazing doctors, including my chief mentor, Dr. Jack P. Strong,” says Dr. Rodriguez, the Emma Sadler Moss Professor of Pathology at LSU Health Science Center School of Medicine. “Even more singular, my spouse Susan, all four of my children, their spouses, and my four granddaughters were in town and made the award ceremony very special.”
“Fred is a great mentor and a wonderful example of a pathologist who is involved in all aspects of laboratory medicine,” says Gregory N. Sossaman, MD, FASCP, System Chairman of Pathology at Ochsner Health System, New Orleans and Treasurer of the ASCP Board of Directors. “He understands that pathology involves the entire laboratory team, which is why he has fit in so well at ASCP.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Rodriguez has juggled two full-time jobs: working in pathology at the VA Medical Center and in the academic world at LSU. His dual roles as Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service at the VA Medical Center and pathology professor at LSU have deepened his enthusiasm and his knowledge about the profession.
“I get a big bang out of one-on-one interactions with students, especially when they are grappling with a concept and suddenly I see the 150-watt light bulb come on,” Dr. Rodriguez says.
ASCP further expanded his horizons and taught him to think strategically and globally. “I learned that leaders have global perspective and vision,” Dr. Rodriguez says. “Leaders do their best to move an organization forward and are never satisfied with the status quo.
“I’ve applied those principles at the VA. I keep learning new rules and finding the best ways to use my skills in pathology to help clinicians and patients.”
While he has had many mentors, Dr. Rodriguez singles out Dr. Strong for his help in becoming a pathologist and faculty member and Carolyn Sue Walters, MHS, MT(ASCP) for getting him involved with ASCP.
In turn, Dr. Rodriguez has served as a mentor for former LSU students such as Dr. Sossaman and Randall Craver, MD, who serves as Medical Director of Laboratories at the New Orleans Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez has transformed adversities into opportunities. His innate talent, rigorous career, and involvement with ASCP have made him a multi-faceted leader in pathology.