Annah Harrigan is a Medical Assistant at St. Joseph Hospital’s Cancer Center. She’s been with the hospital in various roles for 21 years.
Harrigan shares, “Caring for patients is my honor. Often patients are worried or even scared. I hold their hand and care for them at their appointment visit. I want to comfort them, put a smile on their face or laugh and make a difference in their life. I’m on a journey with them.”
Annah is well-respected throughout the hospital for her deep compassion and generous spirit. In addition to caring for patients, over the years she has rallied her co-workers, fellow parishioners and community members to support her efforts to give back to Africa.
She says, “When people ask me where I’m from, I say Africa because I want to represent Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and all other African countries.
Soon after Annah came to the United States in 2000, she began attending Trinity Baptist Church in Nashua. There she met a couple who had done mission work in Africa. Annah, inspired by their efforts, started a clothing drive at church for children living in Kenyan orphanages.
“My colleagues believe deeply in the hospital’s mission to provide healing and care for the whole person. When they are asked to support a hospital initiative or an independent project to help others they always generously respond,” says Annah.
“When I shared what I was doing with my co-workers they wanted to help. They donate clothes all the time. I have so much to give to those in need.”
In addition, the St. Joseph Hospital team helped fund the drilling of a well at the Chazon Children’s Center in Kenya, which gave 430 children access to clean water as well as donated medical equipment, including incubators, microscopes and blood pressure monitors to clinics in Kenya and Uganda.
On one mission trip, Annah was asked by a friend if she was able to help with sunglasses donations for people in Peru. Due to the country’s high elevation and persistent poverty, most people suffer with vision issues.
Annah shares, “I put out the call to church members and co-workers and in just days I had 400+ pairs of sunglasses for Peruvian people.”
Annah believes helping others is a calling. She adds, “When I visit Africa, and I see the children and adult faces, I know I’m making an impact. I know how blessed I am – and when someone, somewhere is suffering – I want to help them.”