Celebrating the Career & Retirement of Dr. Ellen Lathi!
The Elliot Lewis Center is celebrating the impressive career and well-earned retirement of Dr. Ellen Lathi. After 40+ years treating patients with multiple sclerosis, Dr. Lathi is retiring. Although she is no longer seeing patients, she remains an active and integral member of the ELC team.
While our appreciation and admiration for Dr. Lathi could never be summarized in words, Dr. Joshua Katz wrote a beautiful speech in her honor:
I want to say “thank you”. I have been so incredibly lucky to have Ellen Lathi as a partner. For those of you who may not know the story, before it was The Elliot Lewis Center, Dr. Lathi started the MS Center at St. Elizabeth’s on her own. Through sheer force of will she made herself into an MS expert, started the research program, and hired and trained a full time nurse.
I can’t even begin to list all the accolade that Ellen Lathi has accumulated over her career. I will leave it to someone else, somewhere else to talk about how much she contributed to the world of MS. I want to tell you what it has meant to me personally, to be able to work alongside her for these past 15 or so years.
No other doctor or person has had as big an influence on my medical career as Ellen Lathi. No one even comes close. I really can’t imagine what I would be doing if we hadn’t crossed paths, but I know one thing with absolute certainty… my professional life could never have been this good. How lucky I was that it worked out. How improbable that we meshed so well with each other. Our working together was the most fantastic, unbelievable stroke of luck; the professional equivalent of winning a megabucks jackpot.
She has been a mentor, a partner, and a generous and outspoken advocate for me. I have learned so much from her. And I have been able to rely on her as a compass that points true north, always towards what is best for the patient. Whenever I think I’ve done everything I can to help someone, she always figures out how to do more. She is never satisfied with doing “enough”. She literally stops at nothing to get what she wants for our patients, and for our center. I find myself dumbstruck and humbled by her determination.
Working with her as a partner has meant being able to look forward to work every day. It has meant being able to trust one another, to be able to resolve differences easily (mostly), and to compromise without resentment. It has meant being able to laugh and cry together, to feel understood, and to share the same values. It has meant having a friend as well as a partner.
I have mixed feelings about Ellen retiring. I like to cook and make analogies, and this is what I think it will be like for me: I am happy for her but not having her around will be like cooking without salt. Salt literally makes everything better. I can get used to doing without it, but nothing will ever taste quite as good.
But what I really want to say is the most heartfelt “thank you”. Thank you so much. For way more than I can say. For everything.
On May 6, 2022, the ELC team, past and present, gathered to celebrate and honor Dr. Lathi.