Meet Copley’s Emergency Department Medical Director Anne O’Connor

Dr. Anne O’Connor, pictured, joined Copley’s Emergency Department in February of last year. Dr. O’Connor went to medical school at the University of Minnesota and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina, after which she completed a three-year pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Before joining Copley, she worked for seven years as an Assistant Professor at Dartmouth Health, training medical students, residents, and fellows in Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Wilderness Medicine. Mostly recently prior to starting at Copley, she oversaw the transition of the Alice Peck Day Emergency Department as it became part of Dartmouth.

Throughout her training, it was always clear to Dr. O’Connor that she had a special interest in pediatric emergency medicine. She loves kids. From her teenage years, most of her jobs – as a counselor at zoo camp, working at a toy store, as a nanny, and as a tutor in college – were working with kids. This interest has persisted into her professional life. Dr. O’Connor says there tends to be a lot of over and under treatment of kids. “Kids are needle-in-a-haystack situations that can be intimidating or uncomfortable,” she said. “It can be very precise, and if you haven’t seen thousands of kids, it can be really difficult to tease out that one individual who is not doing okay.”

Since joining Copley, Dr. O’Connor has been working with Dr. Steven Soriano, Copley’s Chief of Pediatrics and a pediatrician at Lamoille Health Partners, to assess Copley’s current capacity to provide pediatric inpatient care – and to understand opportunities to expand what Copley can do to care for children as inpatients when appropriate. “There are a lot of kids who can be cared for safely at Copley with our resources as they are. Toward this end, Dr. Soriano and I want to train and support staff to be comfortable delivering safe and effective care in the appropriate situations, to do more to care for our community.”

Drs. O’Connor and Soriano convened a group that includes Donald Dupuis, MD, Copley’s Chief Medical Officer and General Surgeon, Liz Couto, RN, Nurse-Manager of the Emergency Department, Sam Allaire, RN, Copley’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ashley Currier, RN, Med-Surg Manager, Jen Piette, Director of Respiratory Care, and Grace Thompson, Clinic Manager for the Birthing and Women’s Centers. “Our goal is to support the care we are already providing and to support inpatient pediatric admissions,” said Dr. O’Connor. “As a first step, Dr. Soriano and I are developing protocols for asthma, RSV, and dehydration, which Marliese Carlson, RN, Copley’s Nurse Educator, will develop training around.”

Dr. O’Connor says that she and Dr. Soriano are confident Copley can safely and appropriately expand its pediatric inpatient care capacity. “We have a talented staff, and with the right framework and support, I have no doubt that everyone here can become comfortable and confident providing care to children.”

Click to learn about 24/7 Emergency Services at Copley Hospital.