1. Russell, Annie MBA, MSN, BSN, FNP

Article Content

Annie Russell is the associate medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego County, Calif., with responsibility for the delivery of healthcare to over 500,000 members. She directs the primary care delivery service with a keen strategic plan for an environment of creativity to drive results in clinical practice. Courageously, she challenges ambulatory healthcare leaders to embrace mass preventive care efforts-for a half-million people-with the foresight to know the health of the community at large is also her target population. Her professional development is a role model for nurse leaders around the world; she has her sights on global wellness, even when a stadium parking lot is required, and Annie's prophetic challenge to set records with preventive care events is an idea, for all interested in humanity, to consider.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Nursing education is important to Annie; once a graduate of a Diploma Nurse program, she aspires for higher education. Reaping the rewards of life-long learning, Annie Russell is a graduate of University of San Diego, with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing; San Diego State University, with a Master's of Science in Nursing/Administration; University of California, San Diego, with a Family Nurse Practitioner certification; and Point Loma Nazarene University, with a Master's of Business Administration. Her passion for education is evident when revealing her teaching roles: clinical educator in Critical Care/Medical-Surgical and Emergency Medicine at Kaiser Permanente, a BCLS/ACLS instructor, and faculty instructor at the University of California and San Diego State University Colleges of Extended Studies.


Annie has been the recipient of the Region Best Practice Recognition for the Operations Management 101 Program she developed. New managers attend the course to better understand the relationships within the organization, thus patterning the example set by Annie to engage others to positively accomplish grand results. Annie has also been the recipient of the TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) Award, Nurse Economics National Leadership Award, and exceptional contribution awards for Chronic Dialysis Care Implementation and Hospital Rounding Pilot Project. Annie, in every nursing, leadership, and education role, goes above and beyond the ordinary.


In addition to managing a 5-star quality rated delivery system, Annie Russell is a board member of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Clinical Trial Oversight and the California Association of Physician Groups co-chairperson. She applies her clinical knowledge from her experiences in nursing to every role. During "off hours," she works with infirmed and homebound patients to "keep her skills up in nursing." Annie is driven by a desire to bring wellness to her community, even when nursing care is required one-on-one. Her commitment to the professional practice is evident as she role models the White Hmong proverb: "When crossing a river, remove your sandals. When crossing a border, remove your crown."


There's nothing seemingly practical about a vision to set a world record for the most flu shots in a stadium parking lot. Annie imagined influenza vaccinations being administered to Kaiser Permanente members and the community in a convenient drive-through venue. The importance of the idea is to save lives from complication of seasonal influenza. The CDC indicates that, on average, over 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized annually with associated illness related to seasonal influenza.1 The key message from the CDC is to ensure annual influenza vaccinations as a preventive measure. Annie visualized the community hearing the message about the importance of vaccination by medical professionals. Therefore, she invited media to showcase the event in action. With her sight on global wellness, the national media attention on the importance of vaccinations was the highlight of the day. Over 200 managers and physicians volunteered their time by directing traffic and administering vaccines at the event.


In October 2010, the most vaccinations were given (6,215) in 8 hours at the San Diego Qualcomm Stadium under Annie's direction.2 As the event took place, and during debrief, emergency preparedness experts and nurse leaders evaluated mass vaccination planning and delivery. Annie confidently invited the county health inspector, and anyone in the community interested in mass vaccination, to observe the vaccine administration station, traffic was directed to the temperature-monitored administration station, refrigerated vaccine was delivered after an assessment of each person in the vehicle, and the documents were collected for entry into the electronic medical records before the end of the day. As a member of the National Medication Room Design team, Annie can speak to delivery of injections with quality control on the largest scale.


Planning for 2011 initiatives and goals, Annie prophetically made a challenge to the physicians and administrators to accomplish preventive care with world records throughout the year. Her first engagement activity was for each of the leaders on the Primary Services Leadership team to predict how many certified Guinness World Records could be accomplished in 2011 and place their number in a sealed container. Annie's implementation plan is simply to successfully initiate an event, one at a time, resulting as a single focus each month. Her vision is to arouse the community's awareness about the importance of taking ownership of their state of health. The development of the strategy is easy as one-two-three: find a meaningful cause in preventive medicine, determine the best practice, and ask Guinness World Records if it can be certified. She tells her team, "Don't get overwhelmed in the planning, take one at a time."


With intention, she asks for everyone to be engaged in the implementation process to accomplish daunting goals. For the first couple of months "visionary leader" was stated with a hint of exasperation. After the successes of events were announced, the "world record vision" became infectious as each month another incredible accomplishment was revealed. Annie works closely with Guinness World Records adjudicators to ensure measurable and meaningful preventive targets are set, ensuring a positive impact on the quality of care.


Annie Russell successfully led the way in 2011 for San Diego Kaiser Permanente to accomplish 13 additional Guinness World Records. World records certified January through December 2011 were:


1. January-Largest cervical cancer screening event in 8 hours-350


2. February-Most BP readings taken in 8 hours-6,923


3. March-Most colon cancer screenings in 8 hours-551


4. April-Most participants weighed in 8 hours (body mass index calculated)-8,855


5. May-Largest diabetic health screening (diabetic foot exams)-521


6. June-Most eye tests performed in 8 hours-1,109


7. July-Most participants doing physioball exercises at Qualcomm Stadium with the San Diego Chargers-358


8. August-Most skin cancer screenings in an 8 hour period-780


9. September-Most people sanitizing their hands-2,258


10. October-Most screening mammograms in 8 hours-434


11. November-Largest health awareness lesson (antitobacco campaign)-402


12. December-Largest donation of sports balls in 8 hours (promoting active sports keeps children fit and fights obesity)-6,816


13. Two for one in December-Largest donation of sports balls in 24 hours-6,816.



Annie's vision shifted the culture of the organization from being one solely focused on selective prevention toward the targeted group of the Kaiser Permanente membership, to a universal prevention model outreaching to the community, schools, and media. These efforts result in the community becoming more aware of the importance of healthy habits. Kaiser Permanente ranks areas of performance for quality-care initiatives. San Diego's performance positively and significantly shifted three positions in 2011.


Most paramount is the fact that lives are saved by preventive care. Thirteen percent of those screened for cervical cancer on the event day were abnormal and required follow-up. Six hundred and five people participating in the most BP reading taken in 8 hours had a BP reading of more than 140/90. Four hundred and thirty six of these 605 individuals had a normal BP by end of year 2011. Four and a half percent of those screened for colon cancer were positive and required colonoscopy follow-up. Six percent of those weighed in April's world record lost weight. Of the patients with diabetes screened in May, 47% had A1C levels of less than 8 by year end. On the day of the most skin cancer screening, 82 biopsies were performed and 27 skin cancers identified. Seven percent of the 434 mammograms were abnormal and required follow-up.


There's a tremendous amount of worthy comments to share about Annie Russell's work, projects, and professional and charitable contributions. She speaks nationally at quality conferences as a healthcare administrator; she's a local and regional leader in developing and expanding the healthcare delivery system with exciting innovation; and she's involved with the community at the homeless shelter, diabetes fund raising, and community soccer leagues. She has touched the lives of others intimately in the home, at the bedside, with education in the classroom, and professionally in the boardroom. Her most recent record emphasizes the importance of ergonomics habits in the workplace: The largest resistance band demonstration/class of 313 healthcare administrators taking a stretch break on June 13, 2012. Annie Russell invites you to imagine your world record possibilities in preventive care.




1. CDC. Seasonal influenza-associated hospitalizations in the United States. [Context Link]


2. Guinness World Records. Most vaccinations given in eight hours (multiple venues). [Context Link]