The Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley will never be the same once one of their most well known doctors leaves for retirement. After more than 30 years of working at the health center in San Jose, CA, Dr. Ann Verstraete will retire and leave behind a long-lasting legacy of care.
According to an article written in the Mercury News, Verstraete has been an essential part of serving over 20,000 American Indians living in Santa Clara County. Verstraete recalls her early days as a young doctor working at a health center in an overcrowded schoolhouse,
“There were partitions that divided the patients that were waiting, and I sat on the other side so I often knew what patients had before I saw them.”
Over the years, the health center has become more than just a health center to the patients who have been coming for years and for several services including a diabetes program, traditional healing practices and drug outreach programs. Verstraete concludes,
“What has kept me here is that the clinic is just not a medical clinic…families, second and third generations, are who I am attached to because you see them grow. The elders are so sweet and they’re so grateful and thankful for what you’re doing and that’s very rewarding.”