ACLA Welcomes Karen Lancaster as Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs

January 11, 2023 Categories: ACLA News, ACLA Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) today welcomed Karen Lancaster as Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs.

“Karen brings deep expertise and a proven track record in strategic communications,” said Susan Van Meter, President of ACLA. “Her insights and leadership will be essential as we advance our policy priorities and work to enhance stakeholder appreciation of the value of the clinical laboratory industry in driving patient care.”

As Associate Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Lancaster will lead the development of all ACLA messaging and collateral to showcase the critical importance of clinical laboratory screening and diagnostic testing for patients, innovations in laboratory diagnostics, and the broad clinical and economic value of ACLA members. She joins the ACLA team with more than 25 years of experience, with specialized expertise in health care, academia, pharma/biotech, and the life sciences. As part of that work, she has led several award-winning communications teams recognized for excellence in the execution of impactful, collaborative, and creative campaigns and strategies.

Lancaster most recently served as Assistant Vice President of External Relations at Johns Hopkins University, where she oversaw the media relations, internal communications, social media, and analytics functions in the central communications office of the 10-division global research university. Prior to her time at Hopkins, she was on the executive leadership team as Vice President of Media Relations and Corporate Communications at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), a 14-hospital, academically-centered regional health network. There, she co-led the joint media relations team with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and oversaw critical communications functions throughout the health system, including the University of Maryland Medical Center. Lancaster joined UMMS from MedImmune, the global biologics unit of AstraZeneca, where she was Director of Corporate Public Relations, overseeing marketed brand, emerging brand, and corporate public relations. She also enjoyed a nine-year career with Washington, DC-based Spectrum Science Communications, one of the country’s leading independent health sciences public relations firms.

Lancaster holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) is the national trade association representing leading laboratories that deliver essential diagnostic health information to patients and providers. ACLA members are at the forefront of driving diagnostic innovation to meet the country’s evolving health care needs and provide vital clinical laboratory tests that identify and prevent infectious, acute, and chronic disease. ACLA works to advance the next generation of health care delivery through policies that expand access to lifesaving testing services.

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