After a 37-year career as a health care provider and administrator, Anne Gloster retired in May.
She says the decision was difficult, and she looks upon her last day with mixed feelings.
“I love my team and I’ve really enjoyed my time in this job,” says Anne, director of renal services for Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).
Anne started in her current role in June 1998, at about the same time the BC Provincial Renal Agency was being formed. She was new to renal care and found the early days in her job very difficult.
“I spent my first six months in a total state of panic. My department had a serious shortage of staff, and the renal population on the island at that time was growing at a rate of 23 percent per year. We didn’t have good systems in place for managing that kind of growth. It was a very challenging time.”
Over the years however, things have gotten much better. To illustrate how far the renal program has come from when she started, Anne refers to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
“When I started in the program we were dealing with bread and water issues, trying to cope with demands – right at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid; whereas now we’re at the top of that pyramid, focused on providing the best possible care for patients.”
Anne gives a lot of credit to the BC Renal Agency for helping with the transformation.
“The support of the provincial renal network has been tremendous and has enriched my job,” says Anne. “We’re able to be creative and try new things, and I have a strong sense that the things I do in my job have a direct impact on patient care. That’s very satisfying, and it’s why I’m still here after all these years.”
Anne started her career in 1974 as a nurse in obstetrics at Grace Hospital in Vancouver. In 1977 she moved back to Vancouver Island (she grew up in Duncan), to become an operating room nurse at Royal Jubilee Hospital, where she stayed for 15 years. Prior to joining the renal program, she managed an in-patient medical unit at the hospital for six years.
Looking ahead to retirement, Anne says she doesn’t have any major plans. At the top of her list, she wants to get a dog – nothing special she says, just a “loveable mutt.” She and her husband, who retires from his teaching job in June, also plan to travel and to spend more time in the garden of their Victoria home.