Ann Kruger has always been drawn to the field of medicine. Growing up in Cleveland, she worked as a babysitter for a woman who was an emergency room nurse. Through her, Kruger heard stories of the compassion, knowledge and clinical skills required of nurses to provide life-saving care for patients — all of which helped nurture her passion for the health care industry.
Kruger began her career in nursing at the pediatric intensive care unit and emergency department of a children’s hospital, which eventually led her to her administrative role as vice president of ambulatory services at Arkansas Children’s.
In her day-to-day duties, Kruger leads the services that include primary and specialty care clinics, the emergency department and the dialysis program for Arkansas Children’s. She collaborates with physicians and other hospital leaders to develop, implement and manage ambulatory care and contributes to the growth and development of the hospital system by formulating goals and strategic initiatives.
“It is the challenge that makes me love coming to work each day — consistently balancing competing priorities and working toward making each person I come in contact with feel that they have my undivided attention,” Kruger said. “And that we can come up with plans and solutions that enhance the overall experience for our patients and families and team members.”
During her time at Arkansas Children’s, Kruger has helped lead the expansion of care through the building and opening of the Southwest Little Rock Community Clinic in 2017, the expansion of the Jonesboro Clinic in 2019, and the planning and design for the primary care clinic in Pine Bluff.
As part of Arkansas Children’s strategic planning process to fulfill their promise of “unprecedented child health, defined and delivered,” the hospital system plans to continue its growth and expand clinical programs and services across the state for Arkansas children. But Kruger said that the hospital is also undertaking a broader initiative with overall child health as the focus.
And for Kruger, at the heart of that promise is teamwork, passion and excellence — something she sees in full display at the hospital every day.
“Teamwork is at the core of what we do and how we care for patients. From the clinical and non-clinical team members, it takes a full team to provide effective and efficient care,” she said. “Compassion means that we coordinate, communicate, cooperate and collaborate in order to provide the highest level of service to our patients and families and to each other. Excellence is the achievement of highest standards and service to patients and families.”