A tribute to a dear friend and colleague by Paula Mister, Education Coordinator, Medical Microbiology
Core Lab’s education and development coordinator Christine Hostetter retired on April 10, 2020, after a 40-year productive, fulfilling career. Chris began her Hopkins career as a Chemistry tech in 1980 upon graduation from Salisbury University with a degree in medical technology. She knew in high school exactly what she wanted to do after realizing that nursing was not a good fit, but understanding the importance of laboratory science in the care of patients was. As a result, a lifelong passion evolved: helping young people explore the laboratory as a career in healthcare.
Throughout her decades of service to Pathology, Chris made many notable contributions. As she developed bench skills and confidence, she was drawn to quality improvement for patients: her first idea was to use smaller lancets for collecting infant blood. She was promoted to lead tech in 1985 and faced many challenges including inspections, tough evaluations, short staffing, new instruments, and the AIDS epidemic. She became Chemistry QC lead, a natural fit that used her skills of attention to detail, communication, and organization. In 1990 she became education coordinator, a move that meshed her people and technical skills. Organizing student rotations, meeting with MLS/MLT program faculty, starting centralized new employee orientation, collaborating with colleagues, editing Lab Notes, and setting up new tests widened her horizons. Clinical Chemistry merged with Hematology to become the Core Lab, and she became acting supervisor of processing and worked with phlebotomy.
In later years her focus changed to outreach – she had a passion for teaching students about our profession. Thus, the “Adopt A Class” Fourth Grade Program for local elementary schools and the Dunbar High School Summer Scientist Program were born. Pathology joined Radiology, and Dunbar students became “Diagnostic Detectives,” 17 years and counting, where each department presents information and activities for one to two days during a summer session. Chris coordinated the junior volunteers and the summer job interns. She was instrumental in the reopening of the CCBC MLT program, and was an integral part of the Baltimore Area Medical Laboratory Professionals Group, which coordinated two expos and two summits to raise the image of our profession.
Chris’ passion never waned. She attended and presented at several national ASCLS CLEC (lab educators) conferences and mentored Pathology staff with posters and displays. She won the 2011 ASCP Regional Member Award and the Best Educational Poster Award in 2013 for the Dunbar Program, giving credit to everyone she worked with. Chris was been a stable, mentoring force in Pathology for students, employees, and colleagues. She has spoken of a “magical working relationship” with her fellow education coordinators, and I agree – we were quite the team!
Chris, our deepest wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable retirement. Your passion for the profession and for teaching others about it will live on! And now some words from your other colleagues:
“Chris was such a wonderful mentor. She shared her passion for laboratory science with everyone she could. I was blessed to have worked with her on several community outreach activities to develop students’ emotional and social competence, to encourage managing their emotions and empathy for others. I am extremely grateful for the guidance and friendship she provided me over the years. She will truly be missed.”
Lorraine Blagg, Education Coordinator, Transfusion Medicine and Lead Education Coordinator for Pathology, Johns Hopkins Hospital
“I first met Chris Davitt when she was put right next to me in organic chemistry in 1977 and she has remained a friend ever since. She is one of the most thoughtful and reflective people I know. She has a calm, analytical way about her that inspires confidence in students. There are countless laboratorians and the patients they serve who have benefited from her experience, guidance and hard work!”
Diane L. Davis, Professor and Program Chair, Medical Laboratory Science Program, Salisbury University
“During my 20+ years of professional interactions with Christine Hostetter, a most productive situation was her effort to re-activate the affiliate agreement for MLS student rotations between Johns Hopkins Hospital and Morgan State University. She realized the need for challenging clinical practicums and worked diligently; she was very candid and professional. Christine, thank you for all of your contributions to MLS education.”
Diane Wilson, Program Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program, Morgan State University
“Chris Hostetter and her team have been an incredible resource for the MLS students at Stevenson University. Working with Chris was always such a pleasure. She has a thoughtful, steady approach to scheduling rotations in order to provide a stellar educational experience for as many students as she could. We can’t thank Chris enough for her years of dedicated service and wish her the best in retirement.”
Lara Biagiotti, Program Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program, Stevenson University
“We wish Chris the best! She has been great with our students in the 16 years I have been at Delaware. Thank you!”
Leslie Allshouse, Program Director, Medical Laboratory Science Program, University of Delaware
“I have worked with Chris Hostetter since I became clinical coordinator for the MLT program at CCBC. Chris welcomed me, provided ideas, and welcomed our students at Hopkins. She was willing to double up on students, helped us modify rotations and begin overnight rotations. I will miss her enthusiasm, warmth and kindness. Thank you Chris, for your amazing contribution to the medical laboratory science community, and for simply being a great person. I will truly miss you.”
Karen L. Beck, Clinical Coordinator, MLT and Histotechnology Programs, Community Colleges of Baltimore County