Ann Pettigrew M.D., M.P.H.
Ann Pettigrew M.D., M.P.H.

Obituary of Ann Pettigrew M.D., M.P.H.

Ann Hallman Pettigrew (84) died peacefully at her Santa Cruz home with her husband of 62 years and her son beside her. She is survived by her loving husband, Thomas Pettigrew, Professor of Social Psychology and Sociology at Harvard University for 25 years and now a Research Professor at U.C.S.C.; her beloved son, Mark; her two grandchildren, Aysha and Yousif; her brother, G. Victor Hallman III; and her niece, Susan Hallman Leeds.

 

Born in Oak Park, IL, Ann's mother and father were bacteriologists at the University of Chicago. Later, her father served as research director for Campbell Soup Company. But it was her maternal aunt, a pioneer in radiology, who inspired Ann to become a physician.

 

In 1952, Ann graduated valedictorian of Moorestown High School and entered Radcliffe College, then the women's part of Harvard. Told that medical doctor was not an "appropriate" profession for "ladies," Ann nonetheless enrolled in pre-med courses where Harvard men vastly outnumbered women. Ann was the only one in her Radcliffe class of 233 to go on to medical school. Her most cherished experience was singing in the Harvard/Radcliffe glee club with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in performances of Romeo and Juliet by Berlioz.

 

Ann married her husband, then a Harvard instructor, in 1956. Tom soon flew to South Africa to conduct race relations research. After graduation, she joined him and on their return hop-scotched across Africa and Europe to begin their life-long love of travel. Ann was one of only five women in a class of 66 at Boston University Medical School. She graduated in 1960 near the top of her class, and after internship began a residency in pathology.

Gross inequities in health care for the poor, minorities, elderly, women, and children plus the 1960's new health programs led to her life-long commitment to improve care for these underserved groups. She entered the joint residency program of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In 1966, the happiest event of her life occurred - the birth of her son, Mark. She was among the first group of women physicians to receive a Josiah Macy, Jr. scholarship from the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study. This program helped women pursue medical careers while coping with family obligations. Ann received her Masters Degree in Public Health in 1966 and was elected to the Delta Omega Honor Society. After completing her residency, she was certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in 1972.

As director of Massachusetts' health facilities licensure and certification programs, she was most proud of revising and establishing perinatal and pediatric programs throughout the state that led to a significant reduction in premature and newborn deaths. She also promoted and developed Neighborhood Health Centers to bring high quality health care to poor and minority communities.

 

This work became a model for other states and led to her appointment to a National Academy of Sciences Commission. She served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate other state programs. She was also appointed to the Women's Advisory Committee of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C. and was listed in Who's Who of American Women. In 1976, Ann became the Assistant Director of the Cancer Control Program of Boston's Sidney Farber Cancer Center. She organized and served as Executive Secretary of a statewide committee to coordinate cancer programs. And she evaluated cancer control programs throughout the nation for the National Cancer Institute.

 

Later, Ann worked for several years as Health Careers Coordinator at Harvard. Based on both her Harvard undergraduate and medical experience, she developed a Guide for Pre­ Medical students with special materials for women and minorities. She counseled hundreds of students on opportunities in health careers.

In 1980, Tom accepted a professorship at U.C.S.C., and the family moved west. Ann obtained a Federal grant to organize the Pediatric Intensive Care Network comprising ten major pediatric centers in Northern and Central California with specialized services for critically ill children. The Network developed comprehensive regional pediatric emergency and critical care systems throughout the region. Recognizing her work, California's Emergency Medical Services awarded Ann a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Earlier, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1991 commended her for her "unrelenting and exemplary efforts to reduce unnecessary harm and death to California children by creating systems of pediatric emergency and critical care." After serving as the Network's Executive Director for 18 years, Ann retired in 2000. The Network established an annual Ann H. Pettigrew Pediatric Critical Care Lectureship in her honor.

Over her career, Ann published numerous articles - including an early comprehensive review of the incidence, prevalence, and causes of disease by racial and ethnic origin. She served on the Perinatal Welfare Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and was President of the Division of Adult Health of the Massachusetts Public Health Association. An ardent supporter for women's reproductive rights, she served on the Executive Committee of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts. In California, she served on the Hospital Care Committee of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and as Executive Secretary of the California Pediatric Critical Care Coalition. Locally, she served on the Board of Directors of Hospice of Santa Cruz County.

 

Devoted to her family, Ann strongly supported her husband's career. She proof read his doctoral thesis while he was in South Africa and typed his first book on a manual typewriter. She accompanied him as he gave speeches throughout the world. During their years together, they shared a strong commitment for social justice and equality.

 

The most joyous aspect of their lives was their son, Mark. He graduated with highest honors from Harvard and received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies. She was especially proud of him because he is a compassionate person as well as a wonderful son and father. Ann helped to deliver her granddaughter, Aysha, and was devoted to her and her grandson, Yousif. In retirement, Ann and Tom traveled extensively

and often entertained foreign friends in their westside home. In addition, Ann helped friends to understand their health problems and navigate the complexities of health services and reimbursement.

Ann will be remembered both for her extensive health career when there were severe restrictions on women in medicine and as an especially kind person who worked tirelessly to help children and the vulnerable in society. She balanced career and family before the "sexual revolution," and she helped countless young people, especially women and minorities, to pursue their dreams.

 

Per her request, there were no formal services. In lieu of flowers, she requested donations be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz.

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