One of south Texas “Valley’s” most proactive citizens, Dr. Ann Millard, retired. But has she, really? 

She celebrated with students and friends from Texas A&M, McAllen campus, September 22, 2018, in Edinburg, Texas. The scene was a veritable United Nations of guests, friends and students in her Public Health (Masters) classes. 

Many of the celebrants are also key Valley professionals in various hospitals and clinics throughout south Texas. Their children romped in the pool; others rode horseback. All enjoyed the vegan/vegetarian grilling, presided over by Dr. Millard’s spouse, Dr. Isidore Flores, also a previous professor from A&M. There was no sadness at this retirement party; most know Dr. Millard will not really retire. She will continue her lifelong commitment to public service, serving up scientific advice about health to the inhabitants of south Texas. 

Every Sunday, Dr. Millard can be found at the “Pulga,” the Flea Market of Alamo, along Highway 83. The Clinica, partly supported by the Methodist Health Care Ministries, is open 9:00 A.M to 1:00 P.M. She applies her knowledge gained from her studies (University of New Mexico, University of Texas—Austin) and long experience, much of it in Mexico. She co-authored the book, Apple Pie and Enchiladas: Latino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest, with Jorge Chapa, dealing with subjects that still fascinate her: Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, TB, Occupational Health and Farm Workers. 

Ann (I use first name because we are friends and associate together with Dr. Flores, in the non-profit International Valley Health Institute, focusing on nicotine addiction and diabetes) is always up-beat. She is caring and innately curious intellectually. She “practices what she preaches” and eats “right.” She recently transitioned from “pescatarian” to (almost) complete vegan. However she is not “preachy.” She stresses the scientifically recommended foods and habits, then lets “nature take its course,” with listeners free to change their diet in whatever manner they are able. The exercise regime is more serious: up each morning early, feeding goats and horses. Then, when time permits, Ann goes horseback riding—very knowledgeable in that regard.

I am not able to be as faithful about diet as is Dr. Millard. There might come a time. Meanwhile, Dr. Millard encourages former students and others to follow guidelines from the organization she worked with so long, POD2ER, or Prevention of Diabetes and Dialysis Through Education and Resources. Any who have heard of the most serious health problems of south Texas know of the prevalence of diabetes. Perhaps, through experiences with their own families, they have heard of the pain of dialysis (or the worse fortune of diabetics treated too late). That is the fate from which Dr. Millard hopes to save us. That is why she will not truly retire. Gracias a Dios! Thanks to God.   

Related Post: Click here to watch a video of the free clinic Ann Millard helps run at the Alamo flea market.