May 23, 2014

Mary Ball, RN, MS Retiring from Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine after Career Spanning 40 Years


Mary Ball, RN, MS

Our beloved Mary Ball, M.S., R.N., graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1974 and a Masters in Medical Surgical Nursing in 1980. She started working at University of Michigan May 20, 1974. Her first nursing assignment was on a General Medicine Unit, 6 West in the old University Hospital.

In January 1975 Mary started working in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). She worked in the MICU (later renamed the Critical Care Medicine Unit (CCMU) from 1975 thru Oct 1984. In the CCMU Mary held various roles:  Staff Nurse, Assistant Head Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Head Nurse.  She started in the Pulmonary Clinic in October 1984. She was the only nurse serving in the Pulmonary Clinic and there were no Medical Assistants, only clerical staff.  Later a Medical Assistant was hired when the Taubman Center opened in 1985. Over the years additional Registered Nurses and Medical Assistants have been hired as the Pulmonary Division has grown. Many changes have occurred over the years and Mary’s role evolved significantly in the outpatient arena. She has been a Clinical Nurse IV and the Adult Cystic Fibrosis outpatient coordinator for the last several years working out of Reception C, 3rd Floor Taubman Center.

Under Mary’s guidance as program coordinator, the adult program of the University of Michigan Cystic Fibrosis Center has grown to be one of the largest in the country with approximately 250 patients. As practice patterns changed, Mary organized the system for providing home IV antibiotics to our patients so they can avoid hospitalization. She trained multiple nurses and medical assistants to expertly deliver the complex care that is needed by the patients. She took full responsibility for the University’s participation in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Registry ensuring that the data entered was accurate and complete. She was a major source of knowledge and support for the CF patients.

Mary has been the foundation of our Taubman outpatient clinics for the past thirty years.  She has impacted the lives of so many, including the nursing staff, our fellows, our faculty, and especially our patients.  Mary is the ultimate professional and her presence has greatly enhanced our ability to deliver both timely and high quality outpatient care. We are forever indebted for her unwavering dedication to our Division and to the University of Michigan.

Thanks Mary
Dick Simon and Ted Standiford recognize Mary for her outstanding dedication to our Division and Institution with a sweet treat!  Mary made all our patients’ lives sweet!  Congratulations Mary and best wishes for a fabulous life!