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Celebrating Our People – Meet Anna

August 31, 2022 Posted in: Patients & Providers  2 minute read time

Anna Secrest, RN, always knew she was going to be a nurse. In her 30 years in health care, she reflects on her position as a nurse manager and how she is still right where she wants to be.

“I’ve always known I was going to be a nurse,” said Anna, Saint Joseph London fourth floor medical-surgical unit nursing manager. “I love the joy it brings me. There’s nothing like it in the world knowing you’ve taken care of somebody when they needed it.”

Anna said her mother and grandfather passed away when she was young. While the losses were difficult for her, she said the courage and strength she saw in the nurses caring for her mother and grandfather inspired her.

Anna Secrest

As a nurse, Anna draws her strength from her faith, the support of her husband and family and guidance from her director, Heather Morgan.

“Without God, none of it would be possible,” Anna said. “I believe He called me to be a nurse. There are days I question it, like after a stressful day or week. Then He’ll show me.”

Anna also sees humankindness through the nurses caring for patients on her floor, inspiring her to be the best leader and resource she can be to support them. In fact, Anna was named Leader of the Year at Saint Joseph London in 2021, proving her dedication to impactful leadership.

“We’ve had nurses bring things from home for patients who have been here for a while,” Anna said. “Last year, we had a patient who had been here for a while and really wanted potato salad. We didn't have that here, so a nurse made sure that when she came to work the next day, she brought potato salad. The look on [the patient’s] face was wonderful; you can’t match that. I tell people all the time that this is the absolute best place I’ve ever worked.”

Outside of work, Anna and her husband travel to visit model train museums and ride historic steam engines around the country. She also loves to go on scrapbook retreats with friends she has made through her hobby.

“We started on Facebook as members of groups, then we all would get together [before COVID-19],” Anna said. “After the pandemic, one group member got Zoom and opened it up for all of us to interact and have fun in a safe way.”

Anna said scrapbooking is a form of therapy for her, an outlet for her creative side and a way to funnel stress into something productive.

“When you go to cutting paper, putting stickers on and decorating, it’s a form of therapy because it’s something you made and you can be proud of,” Anna said. “I love making cards to give people. In fact, the year before last during the Christmas gift exchange for employees, I handmade over 100 cards for employees.”

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