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Challenge Brings Opportunity

Lathika Nair


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, health care organizations across the country needed to stretch resources to meet sudden, unprecedented demands. That included Catholic Health’s regional laboratory in Hauppauge.

Lathika Nair knows all too well.  She and her team worked long into the night each day to process the spiraling volume of inbound tests used to detect the virus.

“We were doing close to 1,000 molecular tests a day,” she recalled. “But we wouldn’t go home until we knew the next shift could handle the volume. Our Catholic Health lab runs 24 hours, 7 days a week and the team within each shift has to be mindful of the next.”

Nair demonstrated impressive leadership during that difficult time, which is why she was promoted to manager of the microbiology lab. “It was an adjustment, taking on managerial responsibilities; we have 35 clinical microbiologists and 4 central receiving coordinators on the team, divided into 3 shifts a day,” she explained. “Lab work is all about being precise and following instructions.”

The 20-year veteran of Catholic Health says challenges have a way of creating opportunities.

“Things are never routine for too long in health care. There are always new technologies and new platforms to master, which tends to create challenges,” said Nair. “But it’s those very challenges that create opportunities for growth. And Catholic Health’s culture of support is what helps you meet each new challenge.” 

Asked if she has guidance to newcomers to the team, Lathika says, “Be open to learning and be open to growth. That’s what keeps our work stimulating.”


Want to join the team? Apply at

Read more Living and Working the Mission stories.

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