Our sincere congratulations go out to Ann as she celebrates her 40th year in nursing this May. What a ride it’s been so far! One of Ann’s memorable experiences early in her career was that one night when she cared for Mrs. Ford (of the Ford auto manufacturing family). Ann must have made quite an impression on Mrs. Ford as she was bequeathed $100, months after her patient passed away. If this is a sign of things to come, as far as impressions go, then it is a very good one!
Ann grew up in suburban Detroit at a time when women were not expected nor encouraged to pursue higher learning. However, her father believed in education, and advocated for her to pursue a degree. With choices for women traditionally limited to Nursing and Education, Ann chose the former because “I like math and science”. Ann graduated from the University of Michigan in June 1976, and worked for the VA Hospital and then at Beyer Memorial Hospital. It was while working at a camp in the Catskills of New York that she met Ahmad, her future husband. As a young nurse in Detroit, Ann remembers that it was a time when diversity among peoples and cultures were defined by religion – “you’re either a Protestant or a Catholic. “When there isn’t a lot of diversity, everybody has the same concept of what medicine should be”. Relocating to California, the Ahmadis’ pioneer spirit and broad-mindedness allowed them to feel right at home in the richly diverse state. Ann’s career flourished as she interacted and cared for people from different cultures with differing concepts of what healthcare should be. These convergences poised Ann to be sensitive and versatile as a healthcare professional.
Ann began her journey in the Golden State as a general medical/surgical nurse, quickly progressing into the ICU, and the Cardiac Care units. In 1987, Ann participated in a California state-initiated pilot project – an outpatient cardiac cath lab in San Jose. Ann’s position as the lab’s transition planner and manager was her introduction to the world of Transition Planning. Subsequently, she would become the Administrative Director of a health systems’ heart and lung institute.
With a solid nursing experience, Ann turned her sights to yet another endeavor – a computer start-up. As co-founder of Resolution Health, Ann and her team worked with a huge database of information from insurance companies to generate best practices for improving the quality of care which were then shared with both physicians and patients. It was at Resolution Health that Ann says she became a techie.
Throughout her career, opportunities knock, and challenges abound, and her approach is always one of excitement and positivity. When asked how she wants to be remembered, Ann answered, “I think one of the reasons I like the Cath Lab is because you have the opportunity to be high tech and high touch.” There is no doubt that Ann will always be innovative and “techy”, if she so chooses, and her heart will always touch those who know her.
Here is a glimpse of Ann, through a range of emotions that come to life, as she goes through Life!
|happiest||with||“the birth of my children. Having been a nurse, and having the opportunity to witness this is pretty rewarding because not everyone gets this experience”.
“I had an incremental high working in the cath lab and witnessing the miracle of angioplasty – the immediate change in the coronary artery which prevented someone from having a heart attack”.
|very proud||when||“I had done CPR on a person out on the street. I stayed with her until the ambulance came and took her to the hospital. Weeks later, there was an article in the paper where a family member thanked the people who helped saved her Mom. She survived and was recuperating at home”.|
|sad||while||“working in the ICU and I had a very elderly patient who was dying, and there was no treatment to give her quality of life. She, in fact, arrested and didn’t have a DNR on her, so we resuscitated. When she woke up, she grabbed my arm, and I can tell she was pleading. Later, when we extubated her, she begged me not to let the doctors do it again, and to please let her die. I was very sad that we did not let her die in peace, and had gone against her wishes. During those early days, we were very insensitive about giving people choices to resuscitate, or not to resuscitate. There was no official method for allowing patients choices.|
|grateful||that||“I went to nursing school. In my day, none of the women in the family had ever gone to college. My father, was very much an promoter of education. He said, “Annie is going to college” even if my mom objected.
You either go as a nurse or a teacher. In retrospect, I’ve been able to use nursing to do everything versatile that I have done in my life. If I haven’t been a nurse, I wouldn’t have come to different pathways I’ve gone through with very rewarding and great experiences. Once a nurse, always a nurse. Once a mother, always a mother, so you maintain that feeling that you have something that’s special”.
Here at HTS, it’s Nurses Month because a week is not enough to honor our nurses! Happy Nurses Month, Ann! We are so proud to have you as part of our team!