Life-long Campbell resident Linda Ankeny was named a earlier this year by the Campbell City Council. Her work makes her stand out, and Campbell wasn't the only entity that took notice.
The Silicon Valley San Jose Business Journal launched its first annual Health Care Heroes awards program, and Ankeny was one of 18 "Health Care Heroes."
Ankeny, a registered nurse, was nominated by Good Samaritan Hospital, because she has dedicated her career and her personal voluntarism to improving the quality of cancer services to the community. She is president-elect of the Silicon Valley branch of the American Cancer Society.
The Campbell woman was a finalist for the prestigious Nurseweek Nursing Excellence Award in 2003, and the American Cancer Society gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
Ankeny, who has lived in Campbell since she was 2, seems unfazed by this recognition and insists that she is just doing what she loves.
Campbell Patch chatted with Ankeny about what it means to make a difference and who inspires her.
Campbell Patch: How do you feel about being a finalist in this new awards program?
Linda Ankeny: I’m quite honored. It's fascinating to see who the other people are. It's an honor to be thought of at that level. Definitely keeps me wanting to do it.
It’s a surprise. I just do what I do. I don’t see myself as a hero. It’s the right thing to be doing. I just see what needs to be done.
Patch: What was your reaction in being named a Campbell Woman of Distinction?
Ankeny: I’m very proud of my community. It’s nice to be recognized by your own community. Campbell tries very hard to support its community. I'm just one of those supporters. I help those in my community.
Campbell is very supportive of that. My kids, when they wanted to be babysitters, the fire department had classes. I’m very proud of the community of Campbell and how it allows us to grow within our community.
Patch: Who is your Woman of Distinction? Who do you look up to?
Ankeny: Mostly my mother, Frances Kennedy. She was a nurse, my mentor, my inspiration.
Patch: When did you first suspect that you wanted to go into medicine?
Ankeny: I guess it had to do with her dedication, hearing from other people she worked with about how caring and dedicated she was, how much of a difference she made in people’s lives—and I wanted to make a difference, too.
She supported me and my two brothers as well. She provided security as well. And she was a single mom.
Patch: Why oncology?
Ankeny: I started as a new grad; it was where I was put. But it's the courage of the patients that has kept me here.
The courage they have, how they can overcome the obstacles and live life despite all that and wanting to continue to support that.
Patch: What has been your goal throughout your profession?
Ankeny: It continues to be that. Continue to improve the lives of the people that I touch and decrease the fear and anxiety.
I know it's not realistic to think we're going to eliminate that. But it's an ongoing goal.