“I am a people-person who really likes science and helping people, so being a doctor combines both. The longer you practice, however, the more you understand that doctoring is an art as well as a science. My advice to young girls is 'if you want to make a difference, being a doctor is not easy, but it is certainly worth it!'”
“FOLLOWING THE GOLDEN RULE!”
Since joining Dreyer Medical Clinic in 1988, Ann West has distinguished herself as a dedicated, caring person who lives the Golden Rule, including her practice of medicine. Says she, simply, "I treat people as I would want to be treated."
As testament to her kindly philosophy, she is very popular with the Fox Valley residents Dreyer serves, many of whom wait as long as six months for a routine appointment with her because she is known for spending extra time with patients in frank, detailed discussion about their health concerns and care issues.
In nominating West to be a Local Legend, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL-14) declared, "Literally, thousands of area women have been the beneficiaries of her skilled, sensitive care."
In addition to serving as Chairman of Dreyer's Obstetrics/Gynecology Department, supervising eight Board-certified physicians, a nurse-midwife and an advance practice nurse, since 1993 West has served in a number of key positions at Provena Mercy Center, including chairing the hospital's Obstetrics/Gynecology Department, heading its Ob/Gyn Quality Assurance Committee and, currently, serving on the hospital's board of directors.
While Dreyer department chair, she was instrumental in the Clinic's 2000 adoption of the ThinPrep Pap Test, which results indicate is 65 percent more effective in detecting cancerous and precancerous lesions in women.
Two areas of special interest to West are vaginal births after Caesarean Section births and hormone therapy. Under her leadership at Mercy Center, the Ob/Gyn Department successfully lowered the rate of C-Section deliveries by more than eight full percentage points below the average for Illinois. Because C-Sections are major surgical procedures presenting risks greater than vaginal deliveries, avoiding them is beneficial to both mother and baby.
Outside the clinic and the hospital, West has dedicated much of her volunteer time to helping educate women on health issues, especially hormone therapy, breast cancer and, of course, abnormal Pap Tests. In 2002, when the nationwide study of hormone replacement therapy was suddenly cancelled, for example, she immediately wrote a reassuring letter to all of her patients which clearly described the issue and its scientific and health implications. Then she led a free community seminar presenting the newest hormone data.
West also maintains a very active church and civic life, sharing her expertise and experience through programs presented free-of-charge on various gynecological topics. A resident of Montgomery (with her husband and three sons), for six years she was a member of the local board of education, three as chairman.
In 1995, as a member of the Kane County Health Department's Access to Prenatal Care Task Force, she was instrumental in improving the health care and medical resources available to indigent and/or uninsured mothers and infants. To this day, she is renowned for accepting "walk in" patients who may have never seen a physician during their pregnancies.
"I enjoy the daily contact with so many different people," West explains. "I love delivering babies and performing surgery and I enjoy the fact that obstetrics is a little unpredictable and never boring!"
Completes Internship and Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago
Joins Dreyer Medical Clinic
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine