Meet the team: Ann Councill Brown

Ann is our administrator on this trip. She has been incredibly organized and unflappable, from the time we started planning the trip, on arrival and all throughout the week. It is far from an easy job to manage thirty volunteers from various locales, plan their flights, find a bus, a hotel, meals, coordinate with the hospital staff, work with Lourdes Queen of the Patient Finders to get the patients from 12 hours away and bring them via bus, stick some in hotels, make sure the charts are all in order, track the luggage, arrange for birthday cakes…are you tired yet?

One day this week, we were in the middle of sending patients home. One mom and her son, about eight years old, were in a corner of the ward and insisted on speaking with Ann. No, they did not want me to explain the discharge instructions, no they did not want me to answer any questions, they just wanted Ann. She found a moment to go over to the family, and the little boy presented her with a drawing, saying “gracias doctores.” All who were present were in tears. Suddenly, all of the preparation, details, snags and snafus were forgotten, and we were all right there in the moment, feeling the magnitude of what these trips really do.

Kudos to Ann, and I know we would trust her to lead us to the ends of the earth.


About Shari Salzhauer Berkowitz

Shari is a speech language pathologist and assistant professor of communication disorders at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.
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