May 12, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)
“I am proud of the high-quality medical care we provide to our patients, and the comfort we are able to give to their families.” — Dr. Anne M. Burns, Angel MedFlight Co-Medical Director
There’s an old adage that goes, “When some people walk into a room, they improve the atmosphere.” As she greets you with a firm handshake and big, warm smile, you can tell Dr. Anne M. Burns is one of those people.
“Dr. Anne” has been Co-Medical Director of Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, since November of 2009.
Every working single mother deserves a lot of credit. Even in these “post millennium” times, for a woman with a family, especially a single mom, to have a busy career she’s passionate about, while making time for her family, volunteering and (heaven forbid) having a social life, still means finding the right balance between work and life.
We caught up with “Dr. Anne” to ask her how she does it “all.”
When she’s not consulting with the Angel MedFlight medical staff, her “day job” is working clinical shifts in the St. Joseph’s Hospital Emergency Department in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, where she is also the Medical Director. She’s been in practice for 11 years, and is one of 15 doctors at St. Joe’s who specializes in Emergency Medicine, and she is board certified.
Dr. Anne came to Angel MedFlight through a recommendation by Angel MedFlight’s Medical Director, Dr. John Shufelt, who asked her to join the team. As Co-Medical Director for Angel MedFlight, Dr. Anne provides consultation and direction to the Angel MedFlight medical staff, sometimes even while they are in the air working to save patients’ lives.
“We work closely together, with attention to detail to deliver superior medical service to our patients,” she says.
As Angel MedFlight’s Co-Medical Director, Dr. Anne reviews patient cases, and helps determine the most efficient and effective life sustaining and saving techniques to improve methods and achieve the best outcomes for emergency patient transports.
Growing up in Arizona, Dr. Anne watched how her father, long-time Scottsdale urologist, had a passion and dedication for the patients he saw through his practice. She admired how his patients praised his work. She remembers a time when a grateful patient wrote a thank-you letter to her father for saving her life, and how he treasured that letter.
Although her mother was a “stay-at-home-mom” by choice, she knew her bright young daughter could continue on to college and pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, like her father.
“In my parents’ days, a lot of women just stayed at home because they weren’t encouraged to work if they didn’t’ have to or want to,” she explains, “But my mother saw how well I was doing in school and encouraged me to keep going.”
After attending Arcadia High School, in Scottsdale, Dr. Anne left for California and earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She did her residency at Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from 1999-2002.
She says her biggest challenge, as a single mother, is keeping her work and home life with two young boys in balance. She admits that her busy schedule sometimes doesn’t make room for a “social life,” but quickly adds she’s working on that, too.
When her boys were young, her mother helped take care of them while Dr. Anne was getting her career underway.
Although her busy work-volunteer-mom schedule keeps her plate full, when she has the opportunity, she would like to do more hiking, running, playing tennis, and mostly, spending time with her two sons, now ages 11 and 7. She makes it a point to be involved with their school, even volunteering as a homeroom mother.
She says one of the causes close to her heart is volunteering each year to help with the PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers) “Children Helping Children” Fashion Show and Luncheon. The event helps raise funds for a Tucson-based research center specializing in childhood diseases.
She attended the event for several years and was so impressed by the organization she decided to become active as a board member. Three years ago, she even got her two young sons, then ages 5 and 8, to model in the children’s fashion show. Funds go to help the research at the University of Arizona’s Steele Children’s Research Center.
“They had a blast (modeling), after I explained to them that they were helping other kids, they were really into it.” She adds, “As a physician, I’m passionate about medical research to improve patient care, and as a mother of two young boys, I am highly supportive of an event that has children helping other children.”
Another of her passions is her involvement with the Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair Foundation that raises money for Camp Rainbow, a Phoenix Children’s Hospital-sponsored summer camp for children with cancer (past or present).
“My son went to preschool with Elizabeth, so we were close with the family when she was diagnosed with lymphoma,” Dr. Anne explains. “I sit on the Board now, and am running as part of the 30-member team in the Disneyland 10K on August 30.
Dr. Anne M. Burns, Angel MedFlight Co-Medical Director, is a mother, a certified emergency physician and an active member of her local community.
For more information about the Steele Children’s Research Center visit: http://www.steelecenter.arizona.edu/