The Life the Profession Made Possible is Donor’s Motivation for Gift

May. 26, 2016

Ann ObergfellThe treatment she received for a sports injury when Ann Obergfell was in high school intrigued her and led her to investigate medical imaging as a career option. Although she knew she wanted to enter the health care field, she hadn’t been sure what she wanted to do until she discovered medical imaging.

Ann Obergfell, J.D., R.T. (R) found three programs in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she lived. She applied to two and was accepted into the program at Parkview Hospital, which was associated with Indiana University in Fort Wayne. In 1979, she graduated with her associate degree and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University in Indianapolis.

Building a Career

While teaching at the University of Louisville, Ann began earning her educational doctorate. “The university required that I complete a doctorate,” Ann recalled. “It didn’t matter what it was in, as long as you were making progress toward a doctoral degree.”

She quickly realized that a doctorate in education wasn’t what she wanted to pursue. That’s when she began studying law. “I had always been interested in law and thought it would be very applicable to working in health care,” Ann said. “I asked my dean if he thought the program would meet the requirement and he said, 'Yes…if you can get in.'” She applied and was accepted, so Ann studied law at night and taught radiologic science courses during the day.

After being away for nearly 30 years, Ann returned to Fort Wayne and the program where her career started when the Parkview Hospital program fully integrated into the university.

“I wanted to move back home and this was the perfect opportunity for me to do just that,” she said. In 2010, Ann returned and guided the integration process. She now serves as a professor and dean of the College of Health and Human Services for Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Although she does not practice law, she is licensed in the state of Kentucky and finds this knowledge to be invaluable to her current position. Ann stated, “I’m not a lawyer in my position, but my knowledge of the law is something I use every day in managing contracts and negotiations in the five academic departments that I oversee.”

Engaging in the Profession

“I have to credit my engagement in professional societies to Ruth Rinehart, who was the program director when I was a student in the Parkview Hospital program,” Ann said. “She was very active and became an ASRT Fellow. She encouraged all of her students to get involved in state and national professional societies and meetings.”

That encouragement led Ann to be a member of the Indiana Society of Radiologic Technologists as well as the Kentucky Society of Radiologic Technologists when she taught at Louisville. She coordinated a few annual meetings over the years for both organizations.

At the national level, Ann has been highly involved with both the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

“I was one of the individuals who spearheaded the practice standards committee with the ASRT,” she recalled. “I served on that committee for almost 15 years.”

She began serving on the ARRT board of trustees in 2010. She will have served eight years, the maximum allowed, on that Board when her current term ends.

Giving Back

Looking back, Ann felt it was important to give back to the career that got her to this point in her personal and professional life. “My career has been very good to me, and the ASRT and ASRT Foundation have provided me lots of opportunities to grow and engage with others in the profession.”

When she heard about the Celebration Campaign, Ann was excited to be a part of it. “I want to support the profession and help move it forward while keeping it strong for the next generation,” she stated. “Giving back through this campaign is my way of ensuring that the future of the profession is bright as the ASRT and Foundation work to protect and advance the profession.”

Ann sponsored the executive lounge at the ASRT office in Albuquerque with her gift to the Campaign. “I chose to sponsor this area so that Sal [Martino] will see it every day,” joked Ann. “But more importantly, my donation will help ensure that the Foundation is around to support R.T.s and students for years to come. That’s the best part for me: knowing that I’m giving back to the profession that has given me so much.”