ASPR Member Profile: Connie Mack, Colorado
By Lori Jackson Norris, Physician Recruiter, CHW/Arizona, firstname.lastname@example.org
When talking with Connie Mack, you get the sense that she is a physician recruitment professional who enjoys talking more about the organization that she works for than about herself. She has worked for Community Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, for eight years in continually expanding roles.
“Community Hospital is a full-service, acute-care hospital licensed for 78 beds. As part of the Colorado West Healthcare System, we offer full outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient care for the Western Slope region of Colorado and eastern Utah,” Connie explained. “Community Hospital brings together expert staff and world-class technology in a healing, family-centered environment, providing a full range of medical services, including inpatient and outpatient surgery, and emergency care. We have comprehensive diagnostic capabilities including state-of-the-art ultrasound, PET/CT, 64-slice CT, digital mammography and cardiac testing.”
“Community Hospital opened a primary care clinic and an urgent care clinic a few years ago, providing the growing community with increased access to primary care,” Connie explained. “We also own a medical office building including a pharmacy, operate an off-site surgery center and provide outpatient services including home health, therapy and EAP,” she said.
The growth of the organization, along with Connie’s obvious passion for her work, most likely contributed to her recent promotion to vice president of business development, overseeing physician recruitment, physician relations, physician retention, and business development.
“We recently launched a population health management program specifically designed for employer groups to improve employee health and control healthcare costs. As healthcare expenses continue to climb, more and more employers are shifting the cost to employees in the form of higher premiums or an increase in their deductable. This, in turn, severely restricts access to routine primary care, impacting the health care system as a whole. Our program focuses on re-engaging employees with their primary care physicians, which is also proving to be a very attractive plan for newly recruited physicians,” Connie explained.
In addition to working with physicians on the recruitment and retention side, Connie also serves as landlord of physician tenants for the medical office building. “I found early on that it’s a whole different world in dealing with physician tenant leases. Recruitment rules and regulations are fairly straightforward. Leasing space to physician tenants, not so much! And you know those doctors…they don’t like to spend money on overhead!”
When asked what the biggest challenge of her job is right now, Connie said “Keeping up with the excitement! We purchased property to build a replacement hospital, something we’ve needed to make happen for many years, and it’s all starting to take place. To be involved with this process from the ground up is not something everyone has the opportunity to do,” said Connie. “Along with this excitement, though, comes a little pressure for me. Two of our key strategies to achieve success and grow our organization, physician recruitment and business development, are both within the scope of my responsibility. Did I mention that I love challenges? Bring it on!”
Connie is equally passionate about her recruitment territory. “I absolutely love to show off the beautiful scenery that Grand Junction and the surrounding areas have to offer,” she added, “Nothing is more rewarding than becoming a long time friend of someone that I was instrumental in bringing to town. It’s fun to watch them find their niche in the community as they begin to get more and more settled. Many of them choose this destination to get married and start families, so it’s really fun to watch them grow.”
Connie has been in the healthcare industry for about 18 years. Besides her current role, Connie also has worked in the areas of health prevention for a managed care organization, health education and prevention for a hospital system, and regional pharmaceutical sales.
Born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, Connie said she traveled to the states of Kentucky, Georgia and Connecticut through her years of training. A graduate of Murray State University, Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Connie also earned a graduate degree from University of Georgia in Health Promotion.
Connie believes her ASPR membership is a key to her success in her work. “As a member of ASPR, I find that it is the first place I turn when I have questions regarding recruitment. Whether I’m searching for a policy, a contract template, or a sample letter of intent, I typically can find a useful resource. I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel,” Connie said.
Connie also is co-chair of the membership committee for the regional South West Physician Recruiters Association (SWPRA). “The networking has been extremely valuable to me on a daily basis,” she said. “With the relationships that I’ve developed through this association, I feel very comforted knowing that I can turn to anyone and ask for help, feedback, and input.” Connie added, “There are moments, too, when you need a close industry colleague who understands recruitment frustrations, right? My SWPRA friends are priceless!”
When not at work, Connie takes advantage of Colorado’s outdoor paradise. She enjoys road biking, hiking, golfing, riding ATVs, and spending time in the mountains with her husband of 10 years, Darin, and two young boys, Peyton and Tyler. “Always have a vision and make time for people and things that are important. In my daily life, I strive to be ‘brilliant in the basics.’ If I don’t pay attention to my foundation, what makes me grounded, then I won’t be stable enough to grow. Five years, ten years, twenty years from now, I want to look back and say, ‘I am living my vision’.”