“Seeing patients, interacting with them is the best part of the job. I received a stack of cards and letters from patients when I left.”
— Mary Ann Malloy, MD

Foundation creates Career Enrichment Fund in her name

By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent

It’s one thing to retire — it’s another to leave a legacy — it’s better still when the workplace you’ve called home for almost 50 years sets up a new fund in your name.

That has been the story in the life of Mary Ann Malloy, MD, who recently retired from Elmhurst Memorial Hospital after practicing there since 1972. Malloy garnered a certain level of her own fame in the Chicagoland area by delivering a regular medical news segment on Sunday evenings on NBC-TV for the past 20 years.

“The segment was called Living Well and appeared on Channel 5,” Malloy told the Independent. “We talked about major medical issues of the day.”

All good things must come to an end, but sometimes as one thing ends, another begins. As Malloy made plans to retire due to her own health issues, she learned the good news that the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital (EMH) Foundation had established the Mary Ann Malloy, MD Career Enrichment Fund in recognition of her more than 30 years as a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees. The Fund also serves to recognize Dr. Malloy’s distinguished career as an internal medicine physician with Elmhurst Clinic.

“We are pleased to honor Dr. Malloy for all that she has done to engage the community in support of the hospital,” said Ken Wegner, Board Chair, EMH Foundation. “The endowment fund combines Dr. Malloy’s two passions – cardiac care and continuing education. The fund will provide learning and enrichment opportunities in the areas of cardiology or cardiac surgery for Elmhurst Hospital and Elmhurst Clinic employees.”

Malloy practiced internal medicine with a sub-interest in cardiology.

“During the 1980s, I was one of the first doctors to shed light on women and heart disease,” she said.

Malloy champions paramedics on staff in Oak Brook

Asked what she was most proud of in her career, she recalls a time when paramedics employed by a city or village were few and far between. For some reason, the Oak Brook Village Board dragged their feet on it, even when most other municipalities had them for ambulance and fire calls.

“I was the major one behind getting paramedics in the Village,” said Malloy. “I live in Oak Brook and you would have thought they’d have paramedics, but they didn’t — we were surrounded by villages and towns that did have paramedics. I was giving [the Oak Brook Village Board] every nudge I could, saying they were welcome to try having paramedics, that I would help any way I could.”

Then came an incident that changed the minds of the Village officials.

“I was attending a 4th of July celebration in Ginger Creek,” said Malloy. “There’s an island there where they shoot off fireworks. Well, the pro [who was setting off the fireworks] accidentally shot his leg off. I went with the woman coordinating the event to see if I could help. I found out the only thing they had at the event was a transport ambulance. I couldn’t believe there was no one who could treat an injured person, there was no one who could start an I.V.”

Malloy said that prior to the incident, the Village President was opposed to paramedics.

“I’m not sure why,” she said. “I guess he thought it was too costly. No one was in favor except Karen Bushy, who was a Trustee at the time, but was elected Village President in later years. So I put together all the statistics and information and gave it to [the mayor at the time] with a few bullet points on the front and asked him to please approach the Board about it.”

Shortly after, paramedics were made a part of the Village.

Having paramedics in the Village of Oak Brook is a great source of pride to Dr. Malloy, and well-deserved.

The rest of the story…

In 1987, Malloy was serving as president of the Women’s Board of the American Heart Association. The following year, she was elected president of the entire American Heart Association. In 1989, her husband was named chairman of the Association, a position that always goes to a lay person.

“So for a while, I was President and he was Chairman!” she laughed.

Asked her favorite part of her job as a physician, it’s no surprise she has enjoyed her patients most of all.

“Seeing patients, interacting with them is the best part of the job,” she said. “I received a stack of cards and letters from patients when I left. Many expressed gratitude toward me, for being cared for.

“I miss patient contact more than anything, but many of my patients are my friends, so I’m still in touch with many of them. I also miss the staff, the many people I worked with over the years.”

As a graduate of Northwestern University’s Feinberg Medical School in 1967, her class recently held an event in downtown Chicago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

“A classmate picked me up and drove me down there, otherwise I couldn’t have attended,” Malloy said. “I get so short of breath, I couldn’t walk in, but my friend got a wheelchair for me. It was great to see all the people.”

Best of luck to Dr. Mary Ann Malloy as she continues her retirement.

 

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