ASPR member profile: Marjorie Creagh, RMSR, FASPR, Concord Township, OH
By Kim Dianich, PHR, Lead Provider Recruiter, PeaceHealth Medical Group – Columbia Network, Vancouver, WA
|Marjorie and her sons
After spending some time with Marjorie Creagh, it’s easy to feel that she is the type of person every employer seeks. She pursues constant improvement—something reflected in her personal life, her career, her work as a LEAN coach and as a volunteer on ASPR’s Fellowship Committee. While raising two sons thousands of miles from family support, Marjorie held a full-time job and earned a bachelor’s degree from Malone College, Canton, OH. Later she earned several certifications and designations including Certified Medical Staff Recruiter (CMSR); Recertified Medical Staff Recruiter (RMSR) and Fellow of the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters (FASPR). She also holds the Recruiter Academy’s Certified LEAN Recruiter certificate and a Corporate Compliance Professional (CCP) certificate. It all started nine years ago, when she saw a need that led her to become a physician recruiter.
Marjorie was born and raised in the Netherlands. She lived in Australia before moving to the US in 1991 where she secured a job as an international flight attendant for American Airlines. Marjorie speaks five languages, something most people don’t know about her, and this was very helpful as she traveled for work. However, Marjorie always felt she would enjoy working in a hospital setting where she could contribute something meaningful to the community.
Her chance came when she became the financial counselor, as well as the assistant to the medical director of the emergency department at her local hospital. After five years in this position she felt a need to do more. After an incident where an elderly patient collapsed right in front of her and she could not assist, she decided to start training to become a Physician Assistant. She earned straight A’s in her preliminary classes but, unfortunately, was not able to complete training due to personal circumstances. Marjorie said that this will always remain a dream for her.
Life then took Marjorie to Ohio, where nine years ago she was hired with Lake Health as a physician practice representative. Marjorie had a variety of duties—helping to create coding luncheons, keeping the office managers updated with Medicare, overseeing practice timeshares, etc. One day a physician retired and Marjorie wondered how he would be replaced. At Lake Health, the administration department usually handled recruitment, but that meant calling a firm with a $25,000 price tag. Marjorie thought that seemed a bit expensive, and surely she could use her skills to find someone instead, with less cost. Garnering full support from her boss, this was the beginning of Marjorie’s physician recruitment career.
Marjorie currently heads physician recruitment at Lake Health, a community hospital system in northeast Ohio. Lake Health has two medical centers and 16 locations. For 110 years, Lake Health has provided services to patients in Lake County and other surrounding counties in Northeast Ohio. Approximately 15 percent of the providers that Marjorie recruits are for hospital-employed positions and 85 percent are for private practices that are located in Lake Health’s service area.
Marjorie is the only physician recruiter at Lake Health and is responsible from beginning to end for everything required to recruit physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with limited help from a part-time assistant. She manages the department budget, travels to job fairs, coordinates candidate interviews and community tours, negotiates contracts, and prepares the new providers’ orientation and onboarding schedule. When asked about retention, Marjorie said, “We have physician liaisons that are responsible for retention. However, when you work with physicians for one or two years, and sometimes even longer, you’re the one that helps them resolve issues because they always come back to you. I’m always happy to help them since I am responsible for bringing them and their families to our area.”
Marjorie explained that her biggest challenges at work are the budget and workload. She added, “I could definitely use help with the workload. We used to have two and a half physician recruiters, but due to economic changes, we are now down to one. I am grateful to be here. With the overall workload continuing to be on the rise, new challenges always present themselves. Recruiting for private practices in the community can of course be very challenging with so many different practice dynamics, scenarios and set ups.”
In her “spare” time, Marjorie is a member of ASPR’s Fellowship Committee. She described being part of this team. “It is volunteer-based. We all benefit from the hard work that everyone puts in. It is fun being part of such a great organization and being part of something where you can give back.” Describing what she likes best about ASPR and what benefits she gets from being a member, Marjorie responded, “I love the networking and ASPR Chat—where you can post a question and get ten responses and look like you’re more intelligent.” She also mentioned that ASPR has a strong community feeling and that networking has led to many friendships. “I am always grateful for the opportunity to go to the annual conference, and to see everyone in person while learning the latest and greatest in our industry.”
Marjorie is a Fellow of ASPR. She was part of the first group to earn certification before there were classes. So far, only eight percent of ASPR members have the FASPR designation. “It shows that you’re serious about your job, dedicated to your profession, and that you want to become an expert in your field,” said Marjorie. “If you are the expert in your organization, you can be a source to give advice and direction about physician recruitment. I am able to provide support to other recruiters and answer their questions too. That is a great feeling.”
In addition to ASPR, Marjorie also is a board member of the Ohio Network of Physician Recruiters (ONPR), and was recently re-elected as their northeast representative. She participates in monthly teleconferences and works with this amazing group to increase membership, provide support to fellow recruiters, and put together an annual two-day educational seminar for Ohio recruiters. “We are glad that recruiters from Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania occasionally attend as well.” Marjorie has helped plan presentations on immigration, healthcare reform, social media, and more. Marjorie recently gave a presentation at the Ohio Hospital Association annual conference titled, “Physician Recruitment — A Toolbox of Ideas.” She has generously shared this presentation in ASPR’s resource library.
Marjorie said she feels like she’s done well in her career, while at the same time raising two incredible young men, Troy and Conor. She is engaged to her fiancé Bill, and enjoys traveling, fitness, playing volleyball, scuba diving, sky diving, and spending time with her family in the Netherlands. She is a volunteer for MedWish International, Habitat for Humanity and the Red Cross.
Marjorie has some advice for other physician recruitment professionals: “Try not to have regrets. Think things through now and plan so that you don’t have any regrets later. Life passes you by too quickly. It is never too late to accomplish your dreams. Believe in yourself!”