Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.P.I.D.S., F.I.D.S.A.

Department(s) of Pediatrics
Section: Infectious Disease
UMKC School of Medicine
Education and Background

M.D. - University of Missouri - Kansas City
Residency - Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Fellowship - Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Meet Mary Jackson
How did you come to focus on pediatrics infectious diseases?

I was inspired by the patients I had contact with as a medical student doing my pediatric rotations at Children’s Mercy. When I considered my career choice, I thought I would pursue specialization in pediatric hematology oncology. When I made the decision to enter pediatrics, we couldn’t cure childhood leukemia. Ninety percent of the children with leukemia at that time, died of either their disease or of infections that followed the cancer treatment. My goal in pursuing a career in infectious diseases was to work toward prevention of those infections, so as the therapy for childhood leukemia became more effective, children survived without succumbing to their disease or to infection complications. Now, we can cure 90 percent of childhood leukemia.

What was your first job while growing up?

I started working at age 16, so I learned how to be focused and handle multiple responsibilities. I worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift in central supply in a hospital. I had no idea what I was doing but I had a deep interest in developing the knowledge and skills to do the job. Back in those days you went down to central supply with a requisition order and figured out what it was that you needed and dispensed it from there. I had enough down time that I could do my homework, too, so I kept up with school.

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

I do have a creative side. I’ve done a little painting, some gardening. I’ve enjoyed narrative writing in medicine and was a contributor to the book “Miracles We Have Seen”, edited by my colleague, Dr. Harley Rotbart. I’ve been writing children’s books for the last couple of years, which I’ve enjoyed. I’ve written them very specifically for people in our lives. We have three grandchildren. Poppy is the oldest, she’s 5. I started writing books for her two years ago and I’m on book seven now. She is featured in all of the books in some way, shape or form. She’s now directing what each story is about. I think the books are publishable but I would have to get Poppy’s permission at some point.

Research Focus

Vaccine implementation, judicious use of antibiotics and prevention of antibiotic resistant infections.

Jackson focuses on describing the epidemiology of vaccine preventable infections and studying new vaccines through work with the NIH-based Vaccine and Education Unit at CMH and the CDC-sponsored New Vaccine Surveillance Network. She is a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, where her work focuses on educating practitioners in strategies to reduce vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccine coverage for pediatric and adult vaccines. Her work on reducing injudicious antibiotic use, and optimizing treatment of infections, is facilitated by work through the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at CMH.