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Maguire honored for faith-based service

Ann Maguire celebrates her Woman of Faith award from the Sisters of the Divine Savior last week with her husband, Dr. Doug Rizzo, and their sons, Chris and Nick.

Ann Maguire celebrates her Woman of Faith award from the Sisters of the Divine Savior last week with her husband, Dr. Doug Rizzo, and their sons, Chris and Nick.

Oct. 15, 2013

Ann Maguire of Brookfield has been called to serve.

This service helped her receive the 2013 Woman of Faith award from the Sisters of the Divine Savior in Milwaukee last week.

The intent of the annual award is to shine light on a woman who strives to improve quality of life through service, and inspires others to do the same.

"Dr. Maguire provides a tremendous example of humble service on behalf of vulnerable people in our community," said Jan Penlesky, the director of communications with Sisters of the Divine Savior in Milwaukee.

Maguire was nominated by Michelle Schmit, who described her as a "fierce advocate for the poor."

Maguire is an internal medicine physician at the Sargeant Health Center at Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin who mostly does clinical work for adults with chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

She also has studied how problems with access to healthcare for those with chronic illnesses is keeping people in poverty.

"Our work with unemployed adults in the W2 program showed that physical and mental health problems are among the most commonly reported barriers to employment, yet for so many single adults, it is very difficult to receive appropriate medical care," said Maguire, who worked with Community Advocates.

Along with Community Advocates, Maguire designed programs to educate men and women about common health problems and healthy diet and lifestyles, as well as how to access their benefits.

When Maguire interacts with her patients, she often uses her faith to get herself and them through the trying times.

"I don't necessarily inject God into visits, but a lot of patients want to talk about their faith," said Maguire, a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Parish. "Being a physician can be physically draining, and finding some form of faith to me is beneficial."

She found her passion for serving others as a child in a small town outside New York City.

A 4-H club was formed, but instead of learning about animals, the club focused on community service. In particular, Maguire and the group put their effort into Camp LaGuardia, a homeless shelter owned and operated by New York City.

Maguire and the group performed three holiday shows throughout the year.

She calls being a physician her "calling" and referenced a study that showed doctors who see medicine as a calling rather than a job are more satisfied with their careers and more satisfied in treating their patients.

Maguire has received many awards in the medical field, "but not anything like this."

That's why "it's truly an honor," she told the audience at last week's ceremony.

"I have found the opportunity to work with community groups and the daily interaction of patient care has been a tremendous gift for me personally and it strengthens my faith," Maguire said. "I find the older I get, the more natural it is for me to reference faith in the course of a patient visit.

"I find that my patients crave it. They want to tell me about how God is giving them strength to handle a difficult illness."

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