Meet Our Ovation Star
Lakingya Robinson, Andrology/Endocrinology Lab Manager, Nashville
At Ovation, opportunity abounds. This month’s Ovation Star, Lakingya T. Robinson DHA, MHA, MLS (ASCP)CM, andrology/endocrinology lab manager, Nashville, takes advantage of every opportunity to grow her leadership and lab skills.
How Did You Get Into Your Line of Work?
Way back, long ago, I graduated from college with a degree in clinical lab sciences. I was an MT for a number of years, and received my Master’s degree in health administration. I received my supervisor’s license after moving to Tennessee from Chicago, where I was a lab supervisor for a number of years. My experience is mostly in core and molecular laboratory.
In 2020, I decided to get my doctorate in health administration, in an accelerated program, during a pandemic. I have no idea what possessed me to do that in the middle of a pandemic, while short-staffed. However, I graduated on time, at the top of my class, and I wanted to put my degree to use.
There was no room for advancement at my previous company, so I took a chance and applied for the lab manager position at Ovation. I didn’t think I’d get the job, so I was surprised when I got called for an interview. They gave me a good offer, so I took a chance on myself and moved to Nashville in June 2022. It’s been a huge learning curve, with lots of transitions and new systems introduced my first year.
What Is an Average Day of Work Like for You?
Now I’m doing more work in the lab, but in a typical day, I’m checking emails first thing in the morning, meeting with my lab director, and seeing what needs to be done that day and for the week. Then, I’m working on any projects or things that need special attention. There are many meetings throughout the day with our team and doctors. I’m also checking in with the staff to make sure they have what they need and everything is running properly. And of course, I’m jumping in and helping when they are in need of an extra body.
What’s Your Favorite Part of Working for Ovation?
I was nervous about taking this position because I didn’t have management or andrology experience, but Ovation has a strong focus on leadership development, which I love. Ovation is really in tune with their employees, and they offer plenty of leadership training and guidance. Coming to Ovation has been good for me, because they have instilled so much knowledge and encouragement in me. Cherie, our other lab manager in Nashville, is a great source of knowledge, and I go to her often for guidance. I’ve received a lot of reassurance from our executive team, which of course is very comforting.
What Do You Like About Working in Fertility Care?
This field of laboratory work is unique because you see the end result much more than you do working in a molecular lab or working in a hospital. There, you don’t really have any interaction with patients or even with doctors and nurses. That’s the opportunity here; patients write to us all the time, send pictures of their kids of all ages, and thank us for helping them grow their families. Sometimes they’ll treat us to lunch.
What Do You Like To Do for Fun?
I volunteer a lot with my sorority, of which I’m still an active member. We have a March of Dimes walk coming up, and we have a mentorship program and collect diapers to give to teenage moms with newborns. We do a lot of things with the community nationally and locally, and I love doing that.
I also love to travel. If I could just travel all the time, I’d be the happiest person in the world. On this hemisphere, I’ve been to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Cuba and Canada. I’ve also been to Paris, Portugal, Greece, Egypt and Ghana.
I’m a total cat mom to a 13-year-old cat. And I’m a big Grizzlies fan. I’m proud they made it to the playoffs and will be driving back to Memphis soon to catch a game.