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ASPR Member Profile: Angea Keen, Hawaii

By Lori Jackson Norris, Physician Recruiter, CHW/Arizona, lori.norris@chw.edu

Angela KeenA former career as a television news anchor and medical reporter is proving valuable for Angela Keen in her current role as a physician recruitment professional. Angela is the manager of Physician Services and Physician Recruitment for Straub Clinic and Hospital in Honolulu, HI. Straub is a 159-bed tertiary care hospital with eight clinics and is part of Hawai’i Pacific Health.

“I started my ‘career journey’ about 25 years ago as a radio DJ and was somehow assigned to a news position. Four years later a professor convinced me to transition into television news. I worked as a reporter and morning news anchor for many years. However, the most important part of that career was my specialized work in healthcare,” said Angela. “For about 13 years, I was assigned to follow physicians in clinics, in the OR, in the ER, on missions and in private practice,” Angela said. “My passion was always being with physicians, reporting on new medical breakthroughs and sharing the stories of patients’ triumphs and tragedies,” said Angela. She had hopes of going to medical or nursing school, “but that didn’t fit in with my work schedule,” she said.

“About three years ago as I approached my 40th birthday, I realized I had reached the glass ceiling in TV news and broadcasting in Hawaii. I was seeing signs that it was time to move on to national news which would require moving to the mainland—or choose a different career,” she explained. “I couldn’t leave Hawaii.”

After retiring from her broadcasting career in 2007, Angela entered the field of marketing and public relations. However, her heart was still in healthcare and medicine. “I decided marketing was not my passion.” Soon after, Angela found a way to combine the best of her skills and talents into one job and made the move to Straub. “I was so fortunate to find the career that feeds my passion for healthcare.”

Angela has been with Straub for three and a half years now, overseeing the recruitment for an employed medical staff currently numbering 200. Along with her recruitment duties, Angela is responsible for onboarding, orientation, retention, billing processing for locums and physician reimbursement. However, she said she considers her key role as “physician advocate.”

When considering the biggest challenges of her job right now, Angela said “Learning as I go and time management.” She added that she’s had some great help along the way. “There are three physician recruiters who are a part of our Hawai’i Pacific Health family. They recruit at my sister hospital…Ruthie Reyes, Kathleen Souza and Helene Oyama. They have all been amazing mentors in their own special ways. The appreciation I have for them cannot be expressed in words,” she explained. “Another valuable mentor is my chief operating officer, Art Gladstone. He provides encouragement and loads of valuable tips…from family matters to adjusting to a new career…he has been a shining light. My newest mentor is our new chief medical officer, Dr. Randy Yates.”

Originally from southwest Nebraska, Angela was raised in a bilingual family where she learned several languages at an early age. “I love language so much. I pick it up wherever I travel,” she said, describing herself as a “polyglot.”

“In addition to spoken languages, I am also a nut about reading body language,” Angela added. “I studied this for many years due to my line of work in journalism and interviewing people. Observing their body language assisted me in being able to tell whether they were genuine, telling the truth, just nervous or possibly hiding something,” she explained. Now she utilizes this skill to analyze how well new physicians will interact with patients and colleagues, especially in stressful situations.

Along with seasoned communication skills, Angela also is able to transfer technical skills acquired from her broadcast career to her role as a physician recruitment professional. Well-versed in the use of social media, Angela uses Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Quora.

“I use an iPad and an iPhone as connecting tools. I’ve also used Facetime, Skype and Adobe Connect,” she said. “This technology is especially handy when you are trying to recruit physicians to an island destination such as Hawaii,” she explained.

Angela has been a member of ASPR since November 2011. “I love the camaraderie and the way we support each other. The sharing of knowledge is priceless,” she said. Although it’s a challenge to fit it all in, Angela is beginning to get more involved with ASPR. A fan of the philosophy of “paying it forward,” she has agreed to share her unique experience by providing a presentation on social media at the upcoming ASPR annual conference.

When time permits, Angela continues to do “voice-over work” utilizing her talent with accents and dialects, and also enjoys motivational speaking. “My hobbies include traveling with my husband, Norm; spending time with my dog, Scooter; social media; everyday philanthropy, and technology. My life motto is ‘Educate, inspire, and create change.’ If I can do that every day, it’s a good feeling.”

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Journal of ASPR - Spring 2012

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