UPHS — Marquette Heroes | Joe Ackerman, RN

Joe Ackerman, RN, is the STEMI/Chest Pain Coordinator for the Heart & Vascular Center at UP Health System – Marquette.

What is your role at UPHS – Marquette?
I am the STEMI/Chest Pain Coordinator for the Heart & Vascular Center at UP Health System – Marquette.

What was your inspiration for getting into healthcare?
I was inspired to join the healthcare industry first by my mother, who worked in the extended care industry as a registered nurse, Director of Nursing, and Administrator. While growing up, she brought my brothers and I to picnics for her residents, encouraged us to greet residents and transport them around the facility, and even helped us get work on the grounds during the summer months. This exposure to caregiving stayed with me throughout my college years but it wasn’t until the 9-11 attacks until I felt the need to pursue a career in healthcare. After that day, I decided that I needed to use my career to assist people during their most vulnerable moments.

What’s a typical day like for you? What is it like working in this field?
Typical days involve tracking the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients that come to our facility. I ensure that we are following the protocols set by our accrediting body, the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and meeting certain metrics that benefit our patients. I work with many of the surrounding emergency departments and EMS agencies, promoting evidence-based practices and providing feedback when they transfer patients to our hospital.

I also attend health fairs and other community events throughout the year to share information with the public about Early Heart Attack Care and Hands-Only CPR. My goal is for all UP residents to learn the risks, signs, and symptoms associated with heart attacks. With the right training, anyone can help someone who is experiencing a heart event, and I enjoy helping community members feel prepared.

How long have you been employed here? Have you always been in the same position?
I have been with UP Health System – Marquette for 17 years. I started in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as an RN before joining the unit’s management team, eventually becoming the ICU Director. About 3 years ago, I moved into my current position and lead the work required to earn our reaccreditation as a Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI. Currently, I’m filling in for staff in the Cath Lab as a Board Runner.

What are some of your interests outside of work? What is your favorite local gem?
Outside of work, I like to spend time with friends and family. Winter months are full of snowshoeing with the occasional cross-country skiing ventures around Munising where I live. During the holiday season, my focus is on my Christmas Display — I participate in local contests and have previously won 1st place in the Munising Lions Club contest and 1st and 4th UPPCO contest. When the weather clears, I’m usually found at the golf course in Munising listening to Jimmy Buffet. Since 1984, I have attended one of his concerts every year.

My local UP gem is anything around Munising Bay. From the sandy beaches and clear waters to Grand Island, it’s the perfect place to just chill.

What do you enjoy most about working at UPHS – Marquette?
As the regional referral center, we serve a very large service area and provide specialized care that’s difficult to find anywhere else in the UP, making our hospital a unique place to work. We have a talented workforce, who pride themselves in providing quality care to the entire UP. Through all the challenges we’ve faced, we continue to focus on the patients — I take great pride in that.

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