After family and friends, Alexandra’s (“Allie’s”) passion in life was emergency medicine. Her interest began in high school where at a swim meet Allie used her life guarding skills to save a student injured in a diving accident. This experience had a lasting effect on her career choice. When Allie transferred to Phillips Academy Andover she became a leader in their Search and Rescue Program. She closely bonded with students and teachers, and loved their motto, which was fittingly, non sibi, not for self.
After graduation from Andover, Allie attended UC Davis where she spent her first college night sleeping on the sidewalk to secure her placement in an EMT course. While in college, Allie worked as an EMT, a wilderness first-aid instructor, and volunteer member of the California-6 Disaster Medical Assistance Team. She was even awarded a special letter of commendation for her first response activities at an Alameda County Fair on July 4th, 1998,
Allie found her joy in helping others. She studied Sign Language and became fluent in Spanish to better communicate with patients. College summers were spent on medical trips to rural clinics in Central and South America where she delivered her first baby whose mother insisted on naming her Alejandra. After being accepted to medical school at UC Davis, Allie continued to volunteer in student run clinics serving the under privileged.
Allie reviewed protocols for California Emergency Medical Services, investigated overcrowding in the emergency department, and authored several Web articles for the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association while simultaneously serving as one of their regional representative. She also participated in several research projects winning the Morton Leavitt Research Award, and presenting a poster at the 2006 American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly.
Tragically Allie was killed in a private airplane crash shortly before she was scheduled to start to her Emergency Medicine residency at UC Davis. She was awarded her medical degree posthumously in June 2007.
On April 30, 2007 the California State Senate adjourned in her memory.
As a medical student, Allie was the west coast student representative for the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association (EMRA). She made a tremendous impression on her colleagues at EMRA; she was dedicated, incredibly productive, and a joy to work with. In May 2007 EMRA renamed their national Medical Student Award in her honor. In addition, the UC Davis Department of Emergency Medicine in Allie’s name established an annual travel award for a resident to attend the national American College of Emergency Physicians and EMRA meetings, and a scholarship fund has been established to provide financial assistance to a UC Davis medical student who demonstrates Allie’s passion for patient care, community service, and preferably a commitment to emergency medicine.
In June 2007 Allie’s medical school class planted a tree and placed a memorial plaque outside the entrance to the medical school. The plaque has a quote from Elizabeth Browning, Twas her thinking of others that made you think of her.