Taking the Lead: An Inside Look at Eskenazi Health’s Leadership Featuring Anna Kirkman

This blog post is part of a series titled Taking the Lead: An Inside Look at Eskenazi Health's Leadership. Different leaders throughout Eskenazi Health will be featured, giving an inside look at their work roles, backgrounds, passions and even hobbies. We hope you enjoy learning about some of the exceptional leaders Eskenazi Health is proud to employ.

Hard working, thoughtful, resilient and always willing to accept challenges, Anna Kirkman has been with Eskenazi Health for nine years.

Among her diverse duties as the organization’s senior counsel, Kirkman manages the Eskenazi Health Medical-Legal Partnership, a program that provides civil legal aid to patients to help address social determinants of health. Through that program, she works closely with community partners, including Indiana Legal Services, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels.

Some of her other roles include serving on the Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee and the Ethics Committee; providing legal support to Eskenazi Health Center leaders and the board; representing Eskenazi Health in civil mental health hearings; giving advice and counsel on informed consent, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, patient decisional capacity, advance directives and surrogate decision-making; handling labor and employment legal matters; drafting and reviewing contracts; and tracking government affairs during the annual legislative session.

A native of Indianapolis, Kirkman attended Cathedral High School where her father was a teacher for 30 years while her mother was a small business owner and entrepreneur. She graduated from Villanova University with majors in political science and French, and while in school she spent time in Cameroon, West Africa and in Paris studying French. She attended law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Prior to coming to Eskenazi Health, Kirkman worked briefly at large law firms in Louisville, Kentucky and in Indianapolis, but her professional career as a practicing lawyer began at Eskenazi Health.

Kirkman said her team often jokes that their jobs fall under the “other duties as assigned” category because of the diversity in their job duties on any given day. She believes that variety suits her skillset and professional interests.

She enjoys many aspects of her job, including numerous opportunities to collaborate with patient care teams to help them achieve their goals in a way that complies with the law and benefits patient care. She collaborates with many different disciplines in the organization – people and departments she considers to be her “clients.” She is continually given the opportunity to learn and master new areas of the law.

“The mission of Eskenazi Health and its broader role in the community inspires me, as do our leaders,” Kirkman said. “As a breast cancer survivor, I’ve also experienced Eskenazi Health as a patient and appreciate all the ways in which clinical and front line staff show compassion and provide skillful care. I value being part of a mission and organization that meets people where they are during their most vulnerable life experiences.”

Outside of Eskenazi Health, Kirkman serves on the board of ArtMix, a nonprofit that provides arts programming to individuals with disabilities by providing adaptive equipment and instruction. She also serves on the board of the Indiana Health Advocacy Coalition, an organization that convenes and supports the growth of medical legal partnerships in Indiana.

After completing a medical ethics fellowship in 2017, Kirkman became affiliate faculty at the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics. She is also involved with the local bar association and serves on the inaugural Excellence Award Committee at Cathedral High School.

Selected in 2017 as an Indianapolis Business Journal “Forty Under 40” honoree, Kirkman enjoys spending time with her husband, Clark, and 3-year-old son, Gabe. An only child with 34 first cousins, Kirkman also enjoys yoga and tennis, trying new restaurants around town and keeping up with friends. She believes nothing beats traveling and making memories on vacation.

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