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LSUA Professor Travels to Ethiopia to Combat AIDS/HIV Epidemic

Released: 11/09/2006

Cathy Robinson, phlebotomy coordinator at LSU Alexandria, will miss Thanksgiving at home this year. Instead, she will be worlds away bringing blessings of her own to the people of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Robinson joins five other clinical laboratory scientists for a two week trip in late November to Ethiopia. As a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and a nationally licensed medical technologist, Robinson will help establish a medical laboratory and then teach Ethiopians the basics of laboratory testing using teaching modules created by the Centers for Disease Control and ASCP.

Robinson has always wanted to work with the CDC, and now her vision is coming true.

“To actually make a difference in someone’s life is a dream come true,” Robinson said.

The PEPFAR has already made a difference in over half a million people’s lives in 15 countries in three short years.

According to Robinson, too many times people always focus on the negatives about the United States.

“But this [PEPFAR] is something that the U.S. is doing that’s a global humanitarian project,” Robinson explained.

While in Ethiopia, Robinson will record her experiences and stay in touch with her LSUA students on a Web log or blog created especially for her trip. This blog can be found at

Robinson will return home on Nov. 26.