Jennifer Ammons seems on the image of her grandmother, Ida Johnson, on her bedside desk each morning.
Johnson was a nurse and was born in Sweden within the 1880s. Within the early 1900s image, later touched up with colour, she’s carrying a late Victorian-era nurse’s uniform: gentle blue gown with puffed sleeves, white nursing cap, excessive collar and apron.
Ammons’ mother, born within the 1920s, took after Johnson, turning into Dr. Deborah Johnson, a pioneer as one in all few feminine medical doctors within the time interval.
That heritage is without doubt one of the first issues Ammons thinks about every morning when she rises for work, earlier than she places on her scrubs or dons her pendant necklace symbolizing her 20 years as a nurse with St. Joseph Well being.
“It’s in me to do what I do — I like what I do,” Ammons stated. “And caring for individuals I actually really feel is simply a part of my heritage. They have been such stunning, fantastic caregivers their complete lives.”
Since 1997, Ammons has served as a nurse practitioner with St. Joseph’s Memorial Cellular Clinic, a four-person group of well being care suppliers that serves undocumented and, new prior to now few years, homeless populations in Sonoma County.
For the reason that coronavirus pandemic took maintain, Ammons has spent most mornings fascinated with methods to get her fingers on thermometers or COVID-19 check kits for her sufferers. She has added stops as her homeless shoppers are unfold into lodge rooms for extra social distancing, and she or he’s doing her finest to reply questions and dispel concern.
By way of all of it, she’s attempting her finest to maintain herself wholesome, together with carrying a masks and gloves when she usually wouldn’t.
“I need to be wholesome — to proceed to supply care,” Ammons stated. “They depend on us to come back out and handle them.”
Ammons’ path to cell well being work was circuitous, however in the long run it made sense.
Born in Burlingame, a metropolis of 30,000 individuals south of the San Francisco Worldwide Airport with an outsized portion of the Bay Space shoreline, Ammons would attend nursing faculty on the College of San Francisco.
She later obtained her grasp’s in nursing from Sonoma State College, after engaged on the whole lot from liver and kidney transplant items to cystic fibrosis and neurological rehabilitation.
However she additionally did an internship with the cell well being clinic, and it took her again to highschool, when her mother inspired her to do medical mission journeys with Amigos de las Americas.
She taught first support and did imaginative and prescient screenings in Venezuela. She constructed latrines and taught oral rehydration remedy in Paraguay, and she or he went hut to hut within the barrios of the Dominican Republic offering immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella in addition to polio.
“These experiences — going to Latin American international locations and residing in that primitive life-style — that made me comfy offering well being care with easy means,” Ammons stated.
With St. Joseph’s Cellular Medical Clinic, Ammons stated she has change into a kind of MacGyver. She makes use of plastic luggage, or latex gloves with the fingers reduce out, to maintain wounds clear and dry. She packs Elmer’s glue in her medical bag.