Ann F. Foster, MD, MPH, FACOG
Hometowns: Taos, NM, and Fulton, MO
Graduation year: Class of 1983. Transferred to U.C. Berkeley to complete a linguistics degree.
Major: Linguistics with a focus on Native American languages
What other degrees have you earned and from which educational institutions?
MD, University of New Mexico
Master’s of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), UC Berkeley
ACOG Women’s Health Policy Fellow
Kellogg Fellow, Social Disparities in Health
AB Linguistics, UC Berkeley
What is your current career position?
I am chief medical officer and gynecologist with Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center in Santa Fe, NM.
Please describe your current work.
I oversee the medical staff, quality and safety for a new hospital in Santa Fe. Most medical professionals will never be involved with the new hospital. They are massive and expensive projects. So I am grateful to have been part of the incredible team that built, staffed and opened a new hospital for the people of Northern New Mexico. On the clinical side, I am a gynecologist and focus on complex gyn and gyn surgery.
What are your future goals?
I am very interested in improving the healthcare delivery system, making it as high quality and safe as possible, more efficient and accessible to people irrespective of their socioeconomic status. Healthcare is a human right, and we all deserve the best care. I love health policy, so I hope get to work at a more national and international level in the future on solving some of these issues.
Outside of medicine, I have a passion for composing music and working in film, so I hope that I can do more of this. I have scored a few short videos, produced one feature film and currently am producing an album for a jazz/alternative artist and oboist.
In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today?
To carry out my duties with integrity and ethics and to make sustainable positive impact wherever I am called to serve.
Were any relationships you formed at Westminster particularly influential in helping you find clarity of purpose?
Wayne Zade stands out as for his total acceptance, support and belief in me, and he has done this for all of his students. I had a fantastic experience with Linda Pickle, German teacher. Anthropology coursework also expanded by understanding of human culture. I enjoyed and respected the intellect of fellow students, both men and women. The science faculty taught me that I needed to develop some serious study skills. I appreciated greatly the few international students at Westminster, including my roommate Ah-Choo Yeoh, who is now a professor in Singapore.
What does being a leader mean to you?
Being a leader is really about serving others. How can I support my staff and colleagues to bring their best to work every day? How can I assure that they feel appreciated and that their creativity and talent can be incorporated into our common goals? It is important to always give credit where credit is due. Lastly, being a leader means taking the time to reflect and reconsider the path we are on and having the courage to change when needed.
What does success mean to you?
My life has been about leveling the playing field. I have chosen work that allows me to live out my values. Doing the implementation of the ACA and expansion of Medicaid in New Mexico was a peak professional experience as New Mexico has the highest rate of uninsured in the United States. Carrying out a project in Central American countries to reduce maternal deaths and assure safe pregnancy care was also very rewarding. Education and healthcare are the two areas which can dramatically level the playing field for humankind. Equal access to quality education and healthcare are both human rights. When we finally decide as a society that we truly believe that, our social institutions and the finances to do it will follow. We are not yet there.
Favorite Westminster faculty member?
Wayne Zade, accepting, kind, so creative.
Favorite spot on campus?
Sitting on the Hill under the fall trees.
Last book you read?
Two books by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground and William Coopers Town. I think I finally understand the history of our country.
2001 A Space Odyssey
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Hiking in the Rocky Mountains or composing at the piano. Depends on the weather!