December 13, 2004: Headlines: COS - Pakistan: Health Services: The Charleston Gazette: Pakistan RPCV Ann Stottlemyer retires from West Virginia state government

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Pakistan: Peace Corps Pakistan : The Peace Corps in Pakistan: December 13, 2004: Headlines: COS - Pakistan: Health Services: The Charleston Gazette: Pakistan RPCV Ann Stottlemyer retires from West Virginia state government

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 8:14 pm: Edit Post

Pakistan RPCV Ann Stottlemyer retires from West Virginia state government

Pakistan RPCV Ann Stottlemyer retires from West Virginia state government

Pakistan RPCV Ann Stottlemyer retires from West Virginia state government

Sandy Wells: Innerviews
# 'I've always gone with the flow'

Caption: All smiles as she contemplates the next phase of her working life, state Senior Services Director Ann Stottlemyer will end a long on-and-off career in government health care and elderly programs when Gov. Bob Wise steps down next month. Photographer: Chris Dorst

You’ve read her name in the paper a hundred times: Ann Stottlemyer, director of the state Bureau of Senior Services. She also directed the Public Employees Insurance Agency and the state Medicaid program and was deputy director of the state Health Department.

Progressing logically through an ever-evolving career, she has moved in and out of state government since Jay Rockefeller hired her to organize his private library as a candidate for secretary of state.

Now, she’s moving out of government for good.
- advertisement-

At 64, the respected advocate for health care and the elderly will bow out of government work for the final time when Gov. Bob Wise leaves office.

In a candid exit interview, she talked about her Irish Catholic girlhood in Pittsburgh, the Peace Corps duty in Pakistan that defined her, surviving breast cancer and coping with hereditary tremors. Mostly, she talked about her work.

She will work again. She’s just waiting for the right nongovernment offer.

“My family is from what is known as Lower Northside Pittsburgh. I grew up in a very Irish neighborhood. My maiden name is Maloney. I wanted to be a nun. Or maybe a teacher. My mother was a librarian, so I wanted to be a librarian. And that’s what I’m educated to be. I have a master’s degree in library science.

“I got my undergraduate degree from Bethany College and got married right out of college. My husband and I joined the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps had just started. It was the Kennedy era and I was a Kennedy kid.

“That year, Bethany had the highest percentage of its graduating class to join the Peace Corps of any college in the country.

“We went to Pakistan. There was an East Wing and a West Wing. We started in Peshawar. You had to be very careful where you traveled. People were occasionally kidnapped. We were close to the Khyber Pass where a lot of refugees came during the Afghan war.

“We lasted five months before they transferred us to East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh. It was a much more open society. I taught grade school.

“You know how you have certain points in your life that are real setting points that kind of change your life forever? That was definitely it. Being educated by nuns, they gave you an education that said you had to care about people. But that never really came into being for me until I was in the Peace Corps. Then I could see what that meant.

“We were there two years. We traveled to Thailand at one point and were on a beach having a beer. We looked out in the water and there was a boat. Soldiers came off the boat, American soldiers. They were some of the early military advisers that were training Vietnam soldiers. They hadn’t seen an American woman in I don’t know how long, so they sat with my husband and me and bought us beer all afternoon. That’s how we found out about the Vietnam War.

“We traveled back through Europe. Goldwater and Johnson were running for president. All the way back, Europeans kept saying, ‘You Americans won’t elect Goldwater, will you?’ They were dead set against the war and Goldwater. We came back and became part of the Peace Corps Volunteers Against the War.
- advertisement-

“I went to graduate school in Pittsburgh. My mother worked as a librarian at the university. She quit a job she loved so I could go there, because families couldn’t be together like that. I never thought about what a big sacrifice she made until later.

“Fred hadn’t been drafted because we were in school, so I got pregnant so he wouldn’t get drafted. When we moved here, nobody would hire me because I was pregnant. I didn’t work until I was pregnant with my third baby. Jay Rockefeller was looking for somebody to set up a library for his private office when he was running for secretary of state, so I set up his private office for him.

“A friend heard about that, and I got a job with the old Commission on Aging, setting up a library for them. When they needed someone to set up an information and referral program, I was there. Then they needed a nursing home ombudsman and hired me for that.

“From that, I ended up directing the certificate of need program. It was so logical that I somehow got into health care planning. That was the love of my life, working with health care.

“I moved over to director of the health office and supervised construction projects. When Sally Richardson left as deputy director of the Department of Health, I became deputy director.

“Then Arch Moore got elected, and I left state government and went to Shawnee Hills. Governor [Gaston] Caperton asked Sally to become director of the Public Employees Insurance Agency and she asked me to come work for her as deputy director.

“When the Medicaid job with the Bureau of Medical Services came open, that was just too appealing. My concerns are for the old and the poor. I went to be director. It was an amazing job.

“It was easy to get sucked into just thinking about the providers, the hospitals, doctors, dentists, because they got reimbursed, and they were there in your face all the time. I had to keep remembering that the purpose of Medicaid was to take care of poor people.

“When Governor [Cecil] Underwood got elected, I was out again, and I went to work for the West Virginia Medical Institute. Then, Gov. Wise asked me to take this job. It’s been great working for him because he’s so forward thinking in terms of health care.

“Do you want the story on Bob Graham and the Wyoming County Committee on Aging? We knew he was making a high salary, but we didn’t know how high. Medicaid is the major funding source for those directors, not us. Graham had mounted a campaign to get a third of the lottery money, although the legislation doesn’t say that. A couple of seniors approached Senator [Ed] Bowman and told him if he wouldn’t support that, they would vote him out of office. That made him mad.

“He’d heard rumors about Graham’s salary and asked me for the salaries of all the seniors directors. One of the ones who wouldn’t tell us was Bob Graham. I have the best fiscal director in the state. He went to the IRS Web site and got the information. When we looked at Graham’s salary, we were amazed.
- advertisement-

“Senator Bowman said he wasn’t going to release it, but he told some people, and one of them said something to the press. They sent me a [Freedom of Information Act] request, so we gave them the information. And you know where it went from there.

“He’d made nearly $500,000 the previous year. It needed to come out. Our audits don’t have that kind of information in them. Now we have new stipulations in our contracts that would have been difficult to put in before.

“I’ll retire from state government when Governor Wise leaves, but I will keep working. I just don’t know what I’ll be doing. I keep waiting for someone to say they’ve got a really interesting job for me to do.

“I’m totally healthy. I don’t have Parkinson’s. I know it looks like that, but I have something called essential tremors. It’s an inherited thing and more common than people realize. I have an extreme case. When I was a kid, my hands shook and they called me Shaky. Interestingly enough, I was a majorette, but I dropped the baton a lot. It’s embarrassing, but it doesn’t affect your mind or anything else.

“I had breast cancer years ago. My breast was removed, and I had chemotherapy, and I’m cured. I had to deal with a reporter then who was doing an article and wanted me to say it was awful to lose a breast and that it made me feel less like a woman. I kept saying, ‘No! No! I was afraid I might die! Losing a breast is no big deal.’ So she took me out of her article.

“I’ve always gone with the flow. I have friends who had clear visions of what they wanted to do, but having a plan doesn’t always work. I took what came up and it’s always worked. I didn’t think I wanted this job, but I’m so glad I took it. I’ve had so much fun.”

To contact staff writer Sandy Wells, call 348-5173 or e-mail

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."

December 10, 2004: This Week's Top Stories December 10, 2004: This Week's Top Stories
Dodd says Rumsfeld's answer was unacceptable 9 Dec
RPCV Blake Willeford runs classic movie theatre 9 Dec
RPCV says education is key to curbing AIDS 9 Dec
RPCV Dannielle Tegeder opens exhibition 9 Dec
Shalala 1st Woman In Touchdown Club 9 Dec
"Today we have a new country" says Toledo 9 Dec
DDN wins Investigative Reporting Award 8 Dec
Celeste on Panel to study Colorado finances 8 Dec
RPCV leads Rotary Club medical team to Togo 6 Dec
Vasquez to speak at Hawaii, Wisconsin commencements 6 Dec
Tom Murphy warns Pittsburgh on budget abyss 2 Dec
Venezuela RPCV Martha Egan runs Pachamama imports 30 Nov
more top stories...

RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.
Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes
Take our new poll. NPCA members begin voting this week on bylaw changes to streamline NPCA's Board of Directors. NPCA Chair Ken Hill, the President's Forum and other RPCVs endorse the changes. Mail in your ballot or vote online (after Dec 1), then see on how RPCVs are voting.
Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: The Charleston Gazette

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Pakistan; Health Services



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.