Ana A. Rodriguez, M.D., Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corp. When she came into this world at sunrise on Easter Sunday morning 1938 (the Year of the Tiger) in Ponce, Puerto Rico, you just knew she was destined to soar through life. And soar she did. When Ana A. Rodriguez, M.D., left us on May 22, 2020, she left behind a lifetime of impressive accomplishments.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, she was a triple board-certified physician in pediatrics, endocrinology and nuclear medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from CCNY and, in 1963, graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. In 1980, she joined the Army as a Lt. Col., serving as the first Pediatric Endocrinologist at Brooke AM. Her career eventually incorporated many roles, culminating as Chief, Nuclear Medicine Service, and Director of the associated training program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Rodriguez was a consummate leader, teacher/academician, clinician and role model, especially for women in medicine. Her contributions to the Hispanic Women in Leadership Forum were recognized by the US Coast Guard, and she received the Achievement in Science Award from the Cultural Institute of Puerto Rico.
She authored numerous peer-review publications in two languages and was recognized for those efforts at national and international meetings. Dr. Rodriguez was key to the development of a Center of Excellence for Nuclear Medicine that received national recognition from the American College of Nuclear Medicine. And from the Army, she received an array of awards and medals, including: two for Meritorious Service; Commendation and Achievement Medals; War Recognition Certificate, Lapel Army Button, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and a Legion of Merit Award.
She retired in 2001 and moved to Fountain Hills to be near family. In retirement, she quickly became involved in an assortment of activities, including working at the Visitors’ Center FH Chamber of Commerce, delivering meals for the town’s Home Delivered Meals program, and actively participating in the Fountain Lake Republican Women’s Club. She loved jazzercise and also performed with the Fountain Hills Line Dancers and designed the costumes for their participation in the Senior Olympics.
Dr. Rodriguez was predeceased by her father, Ramon; mother, Dolores, and sister, Velia. She leaves behind her sister, Miriam of NYC; brother, Dr. Ramon Rodriguez and his wife, Mirta of Fountain Hills; godsons, Luis Franco and Juan Carlos Rodriguez who considered her magical; several nieces and nephews, cousins, colleagues and tons of friends who will miss her dearly. Rest well and adios amiga.
Dr. Rodriguez appreciated the care she received from Drs. Andrew Buresh and Matthew Hummel, and for loving care and attention she received from the nurses and phlebotomist at the Virginia Piper Cancer Center at Grayhawk, the staff at the Osborn Infusion Center in Scottsdale and the caregivers from Cardinal Care.
Memorial services will be held at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary, 12065 Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wounded Warriors, Boys Town/Nebraska, or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.