Woman Wore Different Hats in Career, in Life

Article excerpt

Known for the elegant hats that she wore, Margaret Plutnicki was a community-oriented woman who spent nearly 40 years researching cures for blue baby syndrome and leukemia at Mercy Hospital, Uptown.

"She was a very, very good and thorough worker," said Sister M. Placidus McDonald, who worked under Miss Plutnicki for several years. "Everything was detailed and explained very well."

Miss Plutnicki, of Squirrel Hill, died Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006, in Mercy Hospital. She was 81.

Born March 26, 1925, in Squirrel Hill, she was the daughter of Adam and Wanda Plutnicki.

Miss Plutnicki graduated from the former Sacred Heart High School in Point Breeze and received a bachelor's degree in biology from Mt. Mercy, now Carlow University.

While finishing her senior year at Mt. Mercy, Miss Plutnicki received a degree from the medical technology school at Mercy Hospital.

Soon after graduation in 1946, she began working in the hematology department at Mercy.

Miss Plutnicki began working in special hematology following the arrival of the oncology department.

"It was there that she did microscopic work," said Sister Placidus. "She would review bone marrow slides, and did specialized type of tests."

She later became supervisor of the hematology department.

In the 1960s, Miss Plutnicki began teaching hematology in the medical technology school.

With much love for the medical field and the community, Miss Plutnicki joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia chapter, in 1978.

An active board member and trustee for 20 years, she helped to raise funds for research and patient programs to find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma. …