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Anna Liza Rodriguez was born and raised in the Philippines as the middle child of a civilian employee in the US Naval Base in Subic Bay and a housewife. At an early age, sifting through the discarded textbooks and school workbooks from the naval base, Anna was fascinated about life in America and daydreamed about eventually living in the US and working as a doctor. However, with limited financial means, she was propelled to an unlikely career in nursing. Along with her siblings, Anna became a first-generation college graduate when she received her bachelor's degree in nursing.
In 1996, Anna immigrated to Chicago, Illinois. She started as certified nursing assistant in a nursing home while preparing for the RN NCLEX examination. She held various nursing staff and leadership roles in Chicago hospitals including Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Presence Resurrection Medical Center. Anna considers Chicago her home where she and her family resided for 20 years. They moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2016 as Anna was recruited to join Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center as the associate nursing officer of the cancer patient care center. After 5 years in the south, Anna found her way to the northeast joining Fox Chase Cancer Center in 2021 as chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care service. In her current role, Anna pursues her passion for integrating research and clinical care in an academic setting.