Ann Diamond, WA HD-12
Running for: Washington House District 12
Ann Diamond first came to Washington in her twenties to lead a volunteer trail crew on Mt. Rainier. The work and wilderness drew her in, but the rural communities held her. These small, proud, independent communities are where a handshake is one’s word, and neighbors help each other regardless of their differences. Ann learned there is no anonymity in a small town: everyone knows your business. One has to demonstrate patience and effectively bridge differences; the slow store clerk may also be the helpful truck driver who pulls you out from a snow bank. Ann will use small town civility, and practical judgment honed from running a successful rural medical clinic, to serve the 12th Legislative District.
Ann earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Harvard University, and then moved to New Mexico to work as an Emergency Medical Technician. In the 1980’s, she moved to San Francisco to earn her MD at the University of California. While working on the AIDS ward of San Francisco General Hospital and volunteering at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, Dr. Ann listened. She heard her patients describe their struggles to find providers, to pay for medications, and to maintain dignity in the face of what was then, a fatal diagnosis.
Medical residency offered a chance for Dr. Ann to return to Washington when she was accepted to Tacoma Family Medicine, a University of Washington affiliate that continues to champion training doctors for the unique needs of rural communities. Upon graduation, with the opportunity to work anywhere, Ann chose to settle on the rugged eastern slopes of the beautiful North Cascades. Together with her partner Jerry Laverty, they built a barn, and then a house, planted a small orchard and garden, and raised their son.
Ann’s parents were first generation Americans who believed strongly in education; they both pursued science careers that included research and teaching. When Ann’s son was ready to start school, she volunteered each week in the classroom. There was no parent-teacher organization at the time, and seeing an opportunity to help coordinate parent availability with classroom needs, Ann founded the Association of Parents and Teachers. After six years as president, she handed off the leadership baton.
In 2000, with the help of family and friends, Dr. Ann built the first medical clinic in Winthrop. From 8 patients on opening day, The Country Clinic grew to serve the medical needs of over 10,000 patients with a staff of 20. The clinic continues to be one of the larger employers in Winthrop, and maintains business and professional ties across Washington State.
Rural medicine requires the physician to provide care in almost any conceivable situation: from a home delivery during a blizzard, when a laboring patient cannot safely travel to the hospital, to stitching a neighbor’s wound in the kitchen. In her remote home, an hour from the nearest hospital and two hours from most specialists, Dr. Ann balanced diverse patient needs while coordinating emergencies with paramedics and regional hospitals. Hard work, long hours, creative problem solving, and compassionate care for her patients were all in a day’s work.
As an independent clinic owner, Dr. Ann was able to respond to the needs of her community by providing free health care to uninsured children every Friday, and organizing free physicals for all student athletes every August. She also sponsored an annual scholarship recognizing a Liberty Bell High School senior who had contributed to the health of the community.
Dr. Ann believes that community health reaches far beyond the clinic walls. Disheartened after 9/11, she decided to take a small step to strengthen the bonds of community and boost the local economy: she started the Mazama Community Market. Fresh produce and people, a chance for families to eat dinner, enjoy live music, run a cider press, compete in an egg toss, and relax with one another during the otherwise hectic summer season. With the support of neighbors and friends, Ann organized the weekly event for over a decade.
After working for 24 years as a successful physician, The Country Clinic has sold to Confluence Health, Ann’s son Cory has moved away to college, and she now has the time and the opportunity to serve outside the Methow Valley. Dr Ann is committed to strengthening North Central Washington’s economic health, to improving access to universal and affordable medical care, and to protecting our public lands. She believes in service, whether volunteering on trails, supporting public education, or providing health care in the greater community. When she sees a need, Dr. Ann rolls up her sleeves, gathers in help, and gets to work. The need now is for responsive representation in Olympia, and with your support, Dr. Ann is ready to work for all of Legislative District 12.
Dr. Ann Diamond currently serves on the Winthrop Planning Commission and on the Board of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, Eastside Trustee. She continues to work part-time as a community physician in Chelan and Wenatchee.