Close your eyes and think of a hospital. You’re probably picturing doctors working tirelessly to diagnose and treat an ailing patient. Nurses bedside, running tests, administering medication and providing comfort. Maybe other care team members — advanced practice nurses, medical assistants, techs — bustling around the halls, jumping in wherever they may be needed.
And while those frontline staff are absolutely vital, there is a whole world of people behind the scenes, without whom those direct care providers would not be able to do what they do.
Ann Rovito leads one such team.
As the director of Clinical Engineering at Children’s Wisconsin, Ann leads a small yet mighty team of engineers and technicians who support the management of medical equipment throughout the system. Just like our doctors and nurses care for kids, the Clinical Engineering team cares for the equipment that supports that care. Their job is to fix and maintain all of the medical equipment in our Milwaukee and Fox Valley hospitals as well as our more than two dozen community clinics. That’s more than 220,275 pieces of equipment — vital diagnostic, life-saving equipment — from isolettes and ventilators to MRIs and surgical robots, and everything in between. Just this year alone, Ann’s team has handled more than 6,800 repair and preventive maintenance requests.
On top of making sure that our medical equipment is functioning properly, the Clinical Engineering team trains and educates staff, and serves as the equipment experts for all new construction and space renovation design projects. These engineers and technicians hold a wealth of knowledge on the equipment we use — saving Children’s Wisconsin valuable time and resources.
“Just like a car can’t operate without its wheels, Children’s Wisconsin can’t operate without our Clinical Engineering team,” said Erin Yale, MM, FACHE, vice president of Surgical and Diagnostic Services at Children’s Wisconsin. “Ann and her team provide 24/7/365 response in all of our care areas and keep the equipment functioning safely for our patients and caregivers. This team of 20 is critical to the success of our organization, enabling us to advance our vision of the kids of Wisconsin being the healthiest children in the nation.”
But their impact stretches far beyond Children’s Wisconsin. Ann and the Clinical Engineering team has been recognized by the FDA 10 times. Thanks to Ann’s leadership and the team’s careful work, documentation and collaboration, safety situations impacting hospitals across the United States have been identified and addressed.
In addition to her responsibility in the direction and management of the Clinical Engineering department, Ann has been a leading force in our Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) work. She is a member of the Asian and Pacific Islander Inclusion Diversity Group — one of our four employee-led ID&E groups that help Children's Wisconsin foster a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment — and is the co-chair of the ID&E hospital leadership team, helping create valuable connections and education for a more holistic, respectful culture. And in a field often dominated by men, Ann has blazed a trail and worked tirelessly to create more opportunities for women.
While she’s not making sure Children’s Wisconsin is running smoothly, she’s been helping young girls discover the power of running through “Girls on the Run.” This non-profit organization uses running and competing to teach girls ages 8-14 years old valuable life lessons. A former college athlete, Ann has been the head coach for the McKinley Elementary “Girls on the Run” team since 2014. She also served on the board of “Girls on the Run of Southeast Wisconsin” from 2016-2018 and coached at the inaugural “Girls on the Run of Southeast Wisconsin Summer Camp” in 2022. Through running, these girls build confidence and connections. They learn how physical health improves emotional health. And they learn their potential is without limit. With chapters all over the United States, “Girls on the Run” impacts the lives of countless young girls at critical times in their development.
Whether it’s within the halls of our hospitals and clinics, or out on the road with her runners, Ann’s impact can be seen all over. The young boy who underwent successful surgery, whose life will no longer be defined and constrained by his illness. The smiling girl who just ran her first mile, forever changing what she thought she was capable of. Ann Rovito is passionate and devoted, supportive and selfless — she is without any doubt one of Milwaukee’s Notable Health Care Leaders.
On behalf of everyone at Children’s Wisconsin, congratulations!
To read a full profile of Ann Rovito, please visit the BizTimes Milwaukee website.