Mrs. Ellender has had a lifelong interest in medicine, which started when she assisted in her father’s medical clinic. At age 16, she worked summers in a local hospital as an aide in labor and delivery. She attended Louisiana State University Health Science Center where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology (’99) and then went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies at LSU Shreveport (’01). She subsequently worked in and around New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina made landfall. After learning that her clinic had been destroyed, she volunteered to become a medical director of one of the evacuation centers. She followed many New Orleans residents who relocated to Memphis where she has practiced emergency medicine and family medicine since. During this time she also completed her master’s in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Health Science Center in Omaha. Claire left emergency medicine in 2019 to join Christian Brothers University as a clinical faculty member, and continues working in family medicine. Claire is married and has one child. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking, raising chickens and reading about forensics and true crime.


  • BS in Microbiology, BS in Physician Assistant Studies, Louisiana State University
  • MPAS, The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine