The Importance of Caring – My Journey into Health Care: Ann Babel

By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital  – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, December 2019

Ann Babel’s father became very ill when she was in middle school. He suffered several heart attacks and was in cardiac failure which led him to retire at age 49.

For the next eight years, he was in and out of the hospital.

Thankfully, Babel’s father got a heart transplant in November 1999 and went on to live more than 19 years.

The care Babel’s father received during his health problems stuck with Babel and that’s what inspired her to enter the health care field.

“The relationships and support we had with his care team were outstanding. I knew then I wanted to be part of the health care system to help people who needed guidance just like my family was given,” she said.

After high school, Babel attended CCC Platte Campus and received her associate degree in office technology. She would then go on to work in a variety of health care settings doing billing and office work in dental offices, family practice clinics, non-emergent ambulance transportation businesses and at federally qualified community health centers.

In 2013, Babel went back to school to get her Bachelor of Science degree in health care management, which she received in 2015. She became a part of the Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) team in April 2018, when CCH acquired Columbus General Surgery, where she was already working as practice manager.

In this position, Babel oversees and manages the clinic’s billing and collection process, clinic operations and compliance, budget preparations and the reporting of monthly financials. Overall, her responsibility is to ensure the clinic runs smoothly.

“Making sure we are prepared for the patient’s visit, makes not only the patient’s experience smooth but it makes a difference in the surgeon’s daily workflow,” she said.

Though her job keeps Babel very busy, she enjoys the work and she also enjoys her coworkers.

“My position at Columbus General Surgery is exactly where I am meant to be,” she said. “The team I share my day with show great compassion and dedication to one another and our patients. Everyone works together to make sure the patients’ needs are addressed. We have a great work family atmosphere.”

Since CCH acquired Columbus General Surgery in 2018, Babel said has also appreciated being part of the CCH team.

“I have wonderful directors and physicians who see that our team has the tools we need to make our clinic successful,” she said. “We have ample training events, collaboration between departments and everyone is always willing to help one another.”

Babel said she is particularly grateful for how CCH supported her, her family and work family while she beat cancer this year.

“I can’t image not being part of this organization during the challenges of 2019,” she said. “I worked through the majority of the days, but when I needed to rest and take care of Ann that’s exactly what I did. My family and my Columbus General Surgery family were ‘my purpose’ I needed to keep pushing forward and my directors, physicians and team supported me 110 percent.”

For more information on Babel, Columbus General Surgery or the positive working environment at CCH, visit