MOUNTAIN TOP — When Annette Mann was in third grade she told her mother that she wanted to go to Penn State, she wanted to be a doctor and she wanted to have twins.
Mann, now an emergency room doctor at Lehigh Valley Hazleton, not only accomplished all three of those goals, but she has done so with a sense of resiliency and a positive attitude that define her life.
“I believe that people can be as happy as they want to be,” said the Mountain Top resident.
That attitude is one of the reasons the Times Leader has selected Mann as one of 20 Distinctive Women in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Mann, who has twin boys, Matthew and Nicholas who are seniors at Crestwood, has always attempted to excel at both parenting and medicine.
On a Friday afternoon after an overnight shift in the emergency room earlier this year, both those roles came together. Mann calls it “an absolutely defining moment.”
On that August day, both she and the twins heard a loud noise outside, and knew there was something terribly wrong.
Mann rushed outside with her sons, all still barefoot.
What they found was horrifying.
A family walking in the Mountain Top housing development was struck by an oncoming car, injuring five children and two adults, including an infant.
She told one son to get her stethoscope and the other to call 911.
Mann immediately took action, determining the mother and infant needed the most immediate attention, and instructing her sons as they assisted.
“I can’t say how proud I am of them,” she said. “I told them what to do, and they did it.”
The incident also provided a “coming of age” for the family, in that the boys were able to see what their mom did.
“They never got to see me do what I do,” she said. “I mean, they’ve been on a plane when staff has asked if there was a doctor on the flight. But, this the first time that they really got to see me in action.”
Mann is a strong believer in finding passion in what you are doing.
“One of my sons is into cross country and track, the other into figure skating,” she said. “Both are passionate.”
Mann, 51, an Air Force veteran, graduated from Penn State with a degree in biology and went to medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
She moved to Mountain Top in 2004 and never looked back.
She has been at Lehigh Valley Hospital since 2007 as an emergency room doctor which she said is both mentally challenging and absolutely fulfilling.
“I love the area, my job, my neighbors, my children, my life,” she said.