Dr. Douglas Ansert Jr. spends much of his time at the hospital and the ballfield.
The 34-year-old is a doctor of internal medicine and pediatrics with Baptist Health Hardin. He’s also a coach with the Elizabethtown Area Baseball Commission.
“I just followed my interests and passions,” he said of choosing a career in medicine. “I always enjoyed learning and the sciences and medicines and had a passion for helping others.”
He started at the hospital in 2016 and said the people there and the leadership were a big selling point.
“The practice set up with internal medicine and pediatrics also afforded a unique opportunity that aligned with my interest,” he said.
He said while it may seem cliché, helping others is what he enjoys most about his career. His hope that he can improve the lives of others every day is fulfilling, he said.
While he has been with Baptist Health Hardin, the internal medicine and pediatrics practice expanded in 2021 with the opening of a new clinic at the corner of St. John Road and the U.S. 31W Bypass in Elizabethtown.
Working in the medical field during COVID-19 has had challenges. In the beginning, he said, finding a way to make sure patients were taken care of when people were quarantined at home was difficult. Then, the challenge moved on to improving the infection control process and adjusting work flows to accommodate the process and needs of staff, he said.
“Spending extra time educating myself on the virus, treatments and the vaccine and then spending extra time at appointments sharing that information with patients was a challenge,” he said. “Helping patients tackle the mental health challenges that have come with all of life’s recent adjustments was another one.”
Asked what helped him through those times his answer was twofold: Friends and family as well as colleagues.
“I am blessed to have such a great support group around me,” he said. “We have a very strong and collaborative group of physicians at Hardin and coming together and sharing ideas to best care for our patients had definitely helped.”
Jake Druen, executive director of human resources at Baptist Health Hardin, said he’s known Ansert since he joined the organization.
“Not only does he provide outstanding care to his patients, he genuinely cares for their well-being,” Druen said. “I witnessed one such incident first hand when he cut a round of golf short because he received a patient’s test results and wanted to address some concerns immediately.”
It’s that willingness to put the patients’ needs first is a testament to Ansert’s dedication, he said.
“His commitment to others is just as clear on the baseball field with a team of 5- and 6-year-olds,” Druen said. “He really is a great guy and our community is lucky to have him.”
Ansert coaches in the EABC and recently coached the 6-year-old All-Star team.
“What’s not to love about baseball?” he said. “A few years back, the league reached out and asked for a helping hand in coaching, and it’s hard to resist any opportunity to be on a baseball diamond.”
The team he coaches won a state championship.
“It was an amazing and unforgettable experience that’s hard to put into words, and I could not be prouder of the players,” he said. “They grew so much in a short amount of time and by the end, you could see the kids really enjoy playing and being part of a team when they had never played together before.”
He thinks all his players have decided to come back to play baseball in the fall or spring. Which, he said, is the goal as a coach, to see the kids want to come back and continue playing.
He said if he’s not at work he usually can be found with his family and that’s often at a ball park.
“Looking back, sports had a big impact on my life,” he said. “I hope my children find a similar hobby or passion that can teach them some life lessons and develop lifelong friendships.”