Know your board – Chelsy Copeland

January 4, 2021

Chelsy Copeland (CLS ’12)

Technical specialist coordinator, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic in Florida; instructor in laboratory medicine and pathology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Education and career path

  • Medical Laboratory Science Program, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  • Bachelor’s degree, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida

How did you become interested in health care?

I have always wanted to help people. During high school, I wanted to be a pharmacist. When I learned more about the profession, I changed my mind. I wanted to help with diagnoses and figure out problems.

What drew you to your current role in health care?

When I was in college studying biochemistry, Carleen Van Siclen, program director of the MCSHS Medical Laboratory Science Program in Florida, conducted a symposium about clinical laboratory science. I was intrigued by all aspects of the career. I toured the lab at Mayo Clinic in Florida and was in awe. I applied to the program on the Rochester, Minnesota, campus. My didactic courses were in Minnesota, and I returned to Florida for most of my clinical rotations.

I got the best education. Mayo Clinic in Rochester is breathtaking; the whole city is Mayo Clinic! Everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime.

I went from a coagulation key operator in our hospital core lab to a technical specialist, and have now taken over the technical specialist coordinator position in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. I’m a liaison between the IT/software side and our department, assisting the technical specialists with the test implementation process.

What valuable lesson have you learned at Mayo Clinic?

Put the needs of the patient first. What we do in the lab can be stressful. Remember that everything we do is for our patients. I try to live by that every day.

Why were you interested in serving on the MCSHS Alumni Association Board of Directors?

I feel passionately about giving back to help make things better. I was nominated by alumna Stephanie Nunn (CLS ’10) and Carleen Van Siclen.

What advice do you have for MCSHS students?

Make sure the career course you’re pursuing is what you’re passionate about, and do it well.

What do you do in your spare time?

I spend time with my husband, son Tanner (12), daughters Carlei Ann (21 months) and Tori Jean (3 months) and chocolate Labrador Prince.

I’m on the Lactation Subcommittee at Mayo Clinic in Florida; I feel strongly about helping other moms. I also enjoy volunteering as part of the Delta Delta Delta Jacksonville Alumnae Association.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Even though I was in a sorority during college, I’m not afraid to get dirty and do outdoorsy things. I enjoy driving a four-wheeler at mud events.

Recommended reading

Posts about similar topics: