Kerry Anne Schultz was born in a small Nebraska town, the eldest of six children in a Catholic family whose parents were role models for hard work and heartfelt values. She and her siblings, at very young ages, were taught to be kind to others and help their neighbors. They were also encouraged to think “service above self”, which became Kerry Anne’s guiding life principle.
As a high school student, she realized that her parents could ill afford tuition for a private college, so planning for a scholarship would be necessary. She entered a pageant and became Miss Nebraska National Teenager on the strength of her essay and talent performance (the latter attributed to serious high school violin study). Winning on the state level meant competing in the national event held in Tennessee, where she placed third runner up and was awarded the full academic scholarship she had set her sights on. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in both History and Political Science from Oklahoma City University; and went on to attend Western Michigan University-Thomas M. Cooley School of Law.
Kerry Anne became acquainted with Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital when she was admitted with life-endangering medical problems leading to the premature birth of her daughter. She says,” We are alive today because of the incredible care and treatment we received as patients. I am forever indebted to that hospital.”
When asked to join the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation as a board member, she saw it as a way of giving back. And she wanted to lend her voice to helping others support the ministry. “My heart has always been in service. When you have a goal with a not-for-profit, whether it be fundraising or getting the mission and message of an organization out, when you work towards that goal with others that are like-minded – the organization will receive.”
Occasionally Kerry Anne gets questioned as to how the local geographic region – not being a major metropolitan area – is able to attract world-class providers to the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart. Her response is that exceptional physicians are drawn to the area by virtue of its amenities and quality of life. They also see the support that Ascension Florida gives, and how much the community believes in the facility’s amazing care and treatment of its pediatric patients. The child that is a patient in the Children’s Hospital is “almost enveloped with services that encompass everything.” Kerry Anne often shares with others the success stories of how providers touched the lives of children and families that entered the hospital’s doors.