Staff Spotlight – Ana Cary, MD

Dr. Ana Cary is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and works primarily at the North Liberty clinic.

I have been married to Chris Cary for 16 wonderful years. We have a very spunky 7 year old daughter who keeps us busy going to her swim classes and voice classes. I am 100% Mexican and like to think I bring some much needed spice to my husbands life and because of me my daughter is pretty spicy as well.

We enjoy family fun nights-we order pizza and allow everyone to eat while watching a movie together. Of course popcorn is eaten as well during these nights. We also enjoy the beach which is the one of the main things I miss about not living in California anymore. 1-2 times a year we vacation to a sunny beach location. We like Cancun a lot and Hawaii.

My dream job? I would say something not far off from what I do now. I very much enjoy walking beside parents through all the ups and downs of child-rearing. After a while you start to feel like part of the family and routine well checks begin to feel like a visit catching up with old friends. It’s a job that does not feel like work at all which has always been what I’ve considered “just livin the dream”.

Most fascinating place I’ve ever visited? Probably visiting my mothers childhood home in Hidalgo, Mexico. It was a shack with only 3 walls. She said that’s how it was when she was growing up as well…..3 walls? What?

Favorite meal or restaurant? Anything my mother makes, she is amazing and the smells from her kitchen can make anyone’s worries and stresses fade away. She visits every Summer and makes anything I want-tortillas, enchiladas, arroz, frijoles, guacamole, tamales. And no, I have not found a restaurant anywhere in Iowa that comes anywhere close to her cooking.

Favorite sports team? The Raiders. I know-not a popular choice but that’s been my team since I was in grade school. I even have a Raiders jacket! I went to the super bowl to watch them play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. I did not wear my jacket to that game because my brother in law was playing for the Bucs so I had to switch teams just that once.

Favorite book or movie? This depends on my mood. I really like romantic comedies (surprise surprise) but I also enjoy all action films. For a favorite book…I feel like I should say something smart, The Red Book….obviously.

I wouldn’t say this is a fun fact but I grew up on a grape farm in central California. My parents still live there in the same house. I grew up completely despising any and all school vacations because that meant I had to work more in the grape field my father owned. It was always his dream to have his own farm because growing up he was a migrant farm worker and he always told himself he would one day have his own farm. Every Summer break I would pick grapes, roll the trays, shake and box them and we sold that to Sun-Maid. We worked from sun up to sun down. Every Winter break I would prune and tie the grape vines. It was NOTHING like A Walk In The Clouds. Also, my mother is one of 13 children and my father is one of 8. I have a whole lot of cousins.

Staff Spotlight – Amy Beckmann, RN, BSN, CNN

Amy is Assistant Nurse Manager for the Pediatric Dialysis & Non-Oncology Infusion Units.

I have worked at UIHC for the last 6 years. I started working part time in pediatric dialysis after a move from Minnesota in 2013. I have worked in pediatric nursing for 18 years and it is my passion! The last 3 years I have been in the role of Assistant Nurse Manager for L2 of the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

My husband, Michael, and I have been married for almost 17 years. We have two children, Hannah 14yrs and Caden 12 yrs. Michael works in Youth Ministry at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. The kids attend Linn Mar Schools as 9th and 7th graders.

As a parent of young teens, I spend a lot of time at their activities in my free time! This fall I enjoyed watching my daughter participate in many marching band competitions and activities. As a family we enjoy being outdoors and camping. Our favorite camping stops are state parks. We have covered many of the Minnesota State Parks and enjoy discovering Iowa State Parks. I also enjoy reading, baking, and puzzling.

This last summer we visited Alaska as a family. This was my second visit to Alaska and I cannot get enough of its beauty. I am grateful for the vast wilderness and ability to explore its diversity. A few favorite memories were kayaking on a glacial lake, watching a glacier calve, hiking in the mountains where rivers run clear, watching wildlife, and long summer days full of sunlight.

Favorite food? I love a good margarita pizza!

As a Minnesota native my favorite sports teams are the Minnesota Vikings and Twins.

Favorite book or movie? This is a hard question! I love to read and don’t think I could pick a favorite. As for movies, I would have to say Pride and Prejudice from 2005. It’s a movie I could watch over and over.

Fun fact: I grew up in a very small farming community in southern Minnesota where I had only 9 kids in my elementary class.

Staff Spotlight – Mariko Sato, MD, PhD

Dr. Mariko Sato is Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Pediatric Hematology Oncology, since 2014. I am a neuro-oncologist, specialized in brain and spine tumors, neuroblastoma and retinoblastoma. I serve as a site PI for Children Oncology Group clinical trials, conducting over 40 clinical trials at any given time.

I have my family in Utah, going back to Salt Lake City, Utah every month. My 12 yo son spends every summer in Iowa. Most recently I just came back from Utah yesterday, spending time with my family visiting a Haunted house. We have total of 4 cats in both houses.

In my free time I playing tennis, and sew – currently cross stitches and crocheting, playing music- piano, cello and ukulele. I like to cook and bake sometimes. I wish I could have talent to have a creating job, such as an artist, painter, or musician. It is so admiring to move people’s emotion or sometimes move their lives.

Most fascinating place ever visited/lived? Antelope Canyon, AZ.

Favorite meal or restaurant? Tofu Chige Soup at Korean restaurant.

Favorite book or movie? Book: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom Movie: Hunt for Red October.

If I had 3 wishes, they would be: Win lottery 🙂 Win lottery 🙂 Win lottery:).

Fun fact: I do host my house at Airbnb. It is fun making friends from all over the world. I love being here, even though lonely, but supported by great friends, coworkers and community. Thanks for being great place for me.

Staff Spotlight – Jan Wagoner

Jan is an the Office Coordinator for Pediatric Records Management.

I have been at the University for almost 18 years. I have always worked in the Pediatric Department. I was hired as a Sec-II transcriptionist. A few years later the transcription department and chart control department were combined into the Pediatric Records Management Department, and soon after I became the Office Coordinator for this group. I work with six other ladies in Records Management. Our duties include scanning documents, loading faxes from outside facilities, analysis of patient records after discharge, loading labs, processing the mail for Pediatrics, QA of all scanned information, gathering loose core and doc folders from inpatient units and processing that information, and transcription of the NICU patient progress notes.

I have been married for 44 years to my husband, Denny. We have two children, Brad (42), and Bethany (39). We also have 3 grandchildren ages 18 years, 9 years, and 20 months. We have a step-grandson and he has blessed us with two great-grandchildren, ages 3 years and 17 months. My two youngest grandchildren and both great-grandchildren were NICU babies! My husband retired from the Iowa Department of Transportation after 30 years. I have lived in Iowa in the small town of Columbus Junction my entire life.

I spend as much time as possible with the grandchildren, but I really enjoy time with the whole family – that just isn’t as easy to coordinate as I wish it was. Other things I have enjoyed are attending Nascar races, especially the Daytona 500 multiple times. We enjoy going fishing in Minnesota. My sister and her husband run a fishing resort so that enables us to have relaxation and family time! We enjoy golfing, going to Dubuque Greyhound Park and betting on the dogs, Hawkeye Football and Hawkeye Women’s Basketball!

I think I am at the point in my life where my dream job would be retirement! I’m getting close!

Favorite place to visit? We went on a Caribbean Cruise earlier this year to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Jamaica. Beautiful scenery and the colors of the ocean were amazing!

Favorite meal? I enjoy Mexican food – nothing too spicy though!

I haven’t taken the time to read in years – but one book that stands out in my memory is “Let’s Roll” by Lisa Beamer, the wife of 911 Hero, Todd Beamer. I don’t go to many movies, but did recently see “Breakthrough” with Chrissy Metz and thought it was a very good movie.

If I had 3 wishes – 1) Happiness and Health for my family 2) A safe/better world for my grandchildren (all children) to grow up in 3) Publisher’s Clearing House to show up on my front step with that big check!

Fun fact: I have worked a part time job at Sharpless Auctions in Iowa City for over 20 years. They hold a weekly consignment auction on Wednesday evenings. Over the years I have worked as a clerk, cashier, ticket runner, and occasionally in the kitchen, but have been a full time clerk for many years. As a clerk I work with an auctioneer and am responsible for recording the information for items sold. This information includes a brief description of the item sold, the price paid, the buyer’s number, and the lot number of the seller. This can be pretty fast paced at times. I enjoy this job because of the wide variety of items sold, the variety of customers, and the great employees I work with. You never know what you will see at this auction!

Staff Spotlight – Cynthia Waters, NNP

Cynthia is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in the NICU.

I work in the Pediatric Division, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I have worked in the NICU since 1995 and at the UIHC since 1993. I was also the assistant nurse manager in the NICU for 4 years and worked as a bedside RN for approximately 10 years. I also have a Masters degree in Business with a focus on healthcare.

I like to travel, go to movies, go out to dinner, attend concerts and culinary events.

This is my dream job. I work with an incredible team of doctors and NP’s in the NICU. Working at a teaching hospital keeps me motivated and learning all the time. How can working with babies not be fun, right?

I’m a huge Hawkeye fan, and my favorite book of all time is the Thorn Birds.

Fun fact: On a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I trapped porcupines for a local research team.

Staff Spotlight – Anna Schmitz, MD

Dr. Schmitz is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

I’ve been a pediatric hospitalist at the UIHC since July 2019. Prior to that I worked at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. I went to college and medical school at the University of Iowa so I was excited for the opportunity to come back home. My husband, Mike, is also an Iowa native.

I enjoy being active outdoors, running and biking. I’ve been working on expanding our plant collection and have recently learned how to crochet to keep me busy for the winter.

My favorite restaurant is Oasis, I could eat there every day.

I love the Hawkeyes of course, but I also love the Milwaukee Bucks and Green Bay Packers.

Fun fact: I was part of a 6-time intramural flag football championship team while in school at the University of Iowa.

Staff Spotlight – Kristen Surom, BSN, RN

Kristen is a Nurse Coordinator in the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

I just started in this position on July 1, 2019. My background is in Family Medicine, and I worked at the Scott Boulevard Clinic in its former location from 2012 to 2014.

I have five kids and three stepkids, so eight is enough! My husband Clay is the nurse manager for Telemedicine at the VA Hospital. Our kids range in age from 24, 22, 22, 20, 18, 18, 14, and 12.

I feel like I’m still unpacking from my move back to Iowa City at the end of June, but I enjoy biking (I have a streak of biking every day since January 1, 2014) and other outdoor activities, knitting, reading, baking, going to kids’ events, and home improvement projects.

I’ve always been fascinated by rare diseases and genetics, so when this job opened up I leapt at it! I even brought a genetics textbook I had purchased on my own to my interview which I think cemented the deal. My 14-year-old daughter is intellectually disabled, so we had been to the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics as a patient before too!

Most fascinating place I’ve visited? In high school I was a science nerd, so I was in the science club and we took trips over the summer across the US and Canada in a school bus packed with kids and their supplies. I’ve been coast to coast in Canada, but Banff National Park of Canada is exceptionally beautiful. We went sliding on the glaciers up there.

Favorite meal or restaurant? I’m a much more adventurous eater than most of my family, but anything that somebody else makes and cleans up after! I’m not really picky, I like it all!

I don’t follow any sports, but I like watching the sports my kids play.

I’m not much of a movie person, it’s hard for me to sit still for that long. Lately I’ve been reading “The Gene” by Siddhartha Mukherjee because I’m more of a nonfiction kind of person.

If I had 3 wishes, they would be for quality healthcare access for all, success and health for my family, and an infinite supply of wishes.

Fun fact: I won second place in a Trading Places contest on TLC in 2008. I won a Kodak printer, point and shoot camera, digital photo frame, and other photo supplies.

I started in healthcare in 1996 as a medical transcriptionist and decided to go back to school to become a nurse after becoming a single mom of five kids. I accomplished that and also earned my BSN, but I still transcribe on the side as a home business because it’s so interesting.

Staff Spotlight – Kathy Lee-Son, MD

Dr. Lee-Son is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation.

I have been in Nephrology for 6 years. I travel for Outreach clinics to Johnston and Bettendorf. I have been the Medical Director of the Pediatric Dialysis Unit and Infusion Center since July 2018.

My husband, Dave, and I adopted our 10 year old son, Gage, in May 2019. He has a great sense of humor and loves anything sports related.

I enjoy swimming. I used to run half-marathons until a toe injury in 2015. I would love to get back into running somehow.

My dream job is to look after kids on dialysis but get them to transplant as soon as possible!

Most fascinating place I’ve ever visited? Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in 2008.

I love Sushi at Sushiya!

Favorite sports team? Vancouver Canucks in the NHL. My favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

My one wish would be to transport myself to see my family on the whim. They are scattered and live in Detroit, Windsor Ontario, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Singapore, and China.

Fun fact: I’ve participated in a Tough Mudder race.

Staff Spotlight – Jill Presler, HR Associate

Jill is an HR Associate in Pediatrics Human Resources.

I’ve been in Human Resources since May 2019- supporting the Department of Pediatrics with overseeing credentialing of new providers and faculty, faculty promotion and annual review processes, license expiration monitoring, and facilitating recredentialing, IPPE and modification of privileges.

My husband Dustin and I recently relocated from Des Moines with our 4 year old Daughter, Quinn. Quinn is passionate about dancing, baby dolls, and Frozen (at this moment). Dustin works for a distributing company out of Cedar Rapids- his passion though, is for his own business working in event entertainment. Check out A Special Event DJ if you are ever in the market for a DJ or photobooth (shameless plug)!

My hobby time is limited- with all the cleaning, laundry, groceries, dance class, etc. – but when possible, I love to craft! My Cricut, sewing machine and I can do all sorts of things! My most favorite pastime is simply enjoying friends and family though- even if the house a mess!

My dream job is to be an event planner and own a wedding venue. I absolutely love paying attention to the details and working to host something special. Whether it be my daughter’s birthday parties or my parents 40th anniversary- I enjoy the opportunity to be creative and the thrill of planning something unique!

Most fascinating place I’ve visited? I went to Ireland in college, it’s the first place I traveled that really took me to experience a new culture and lifestyle. The landscape is breathtaking!

Favorite meal? Tacos. Also, spaghetti, Chinese, and pizza. Soup! I really just like pretty much all food?!

Favorite sports team? Iowa Hawkeyes and Atlanta Braves (osmosis having been with my husband 6 years). But, I’ll be honest, I have zero control over the remote and there is always some sports team on.

Fun fact: I danced for about 15 years- competed in state competitions in High School and competed nationally in College. I once danced live to Lee Greenwood for a basketball halftime.

Staff Spotlight – Michael Colburn, MD, MEd

Dr. Colburn is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and is the Director of the Adolescent Medicine program.

Husband Mike (yes we are both named Mike 😉 and I have been together for going on 12 years. We have 2 fur babies, Archer (a rescue black lab/border collie mix) and Bender (a Shetland sheepdog).

I’m a kid at heart. I enjoy comics, cards, and cocktails. Mike and I are always looking for friends to start up a game night.

My passion is teaching residents how to provide awesome care to adolescents … so I’m kind of already doing my dream job :-D.

Most fascinating place I’ve ever lived? … I have lived in Kentucky … interesting adventure to say the least.

Favorite food? Tacos have a special place in my heart.

I am a UW alumni for both undergrad and medical school … soooo Go Badgers!

Favorite book or movie? I enjoy curling up with a good scare and find myself thumbing through Steven King’s collection of short stories from time to time. I am a fantasy nerd at heart so LotR will always win this question. I enjoy classic stories that are reinvented … especially when the focus is on the villain of the classic tale.

Three wishes: Alright do I Lisa or Bart this … truthfully 1. The health and wellness of my friends and loved ones (and myself) 2. Debts forgiven for my colleagues and family (and myself) 3. To always be able to keep doing what I love and that brings me joy.

Fun fact about yourself? … you will just have to ask me this one in person …