ASPR member profile:
Tracie Klander, FASPR, Pasco, WA
By Colleen M. Munkel, MA, DASPR, physician recruiter, Hattiesburg Clinic, Hattiesburg, MS
Tracie Klander’s success embodies the power of perseverance and embracing life’s journey. For example, she once spent four months in India living in an Ashram, or spiritual retreat. Klander, manager of physician recruitment for Kadlec Health System, located in the Tri-Cities region of Washington, believes in the adage that sometimes the things we cannot change, change us the most. She likes to reference the well-known Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” When you read more about Klander’s story you realize how aptly that philosophical motto applies to her life.
Klander grew up in Washington, mostly in the Seattle area, married for the first time at age 19, left community college, and began working in the billing and medical records department at Seattle’s Swedish Hospital. More than a year later, she gave birth to her first child, a little girl named Shanti, who was born with Down Syndrome and a severe heart defect. Klander said, “I pulled myself up, forcing myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other.” After leaving the hospital to care for her family and manage an apartment building, Klander found a position at Virginia Mason Medical Center, also in the greater Seattle region, and soon worked her way up to the labor and delivery department.
Klander had two more children, and when her third baby was born, she opened a licensed home family daycare with a pre-school program. “I joke with people, telling them I am really 80 because of so many life experiences,” she said. When Klander’s youngest son entered kindergarten, she decided to make another career change by working in real estate. However, Klander missed the personal satisfaction she received from working in daycare and healthcare, “and feeling like I made a difference in people’s lives,” she said. After working in a variety of roles at a local hospital, Klander was recruited to a multi-specialty group practice, eventually becoming the manager.
About eight years ago, Klander re-married, moved to Pasco in the Tri-Cities area of Washington with her husband, and began working at Kadlec Health System in physician recruitment. She described this busy time in her life, “Talk about changes, what a year 2005-2006 was! I got married, moved to a new city, changed employers and occupations, and bought a house!”
Klander explained that Kadlec Health System is an integrated healthcare delivery organization comprised of Kadlec Regional Medical Center (which is a Planetree Hospital), Kadlec Clinic, and other healthcare entities. The clinic includes six primary care facilities, and more than 15 medical and surgical specialties. Dedicated intensive care and adult and pediatric hospitalist programs are additional elements of the health system. A new, free standing emergency department is set to open this summer.
In addition to physician and advanced practice provider recruitment, Klander is a member of Kadlec Clinic’s executive team, handles recruitment marketing initiatives, and manages two staff members within her department. She said, “When I’m out and about in my community, I feel proud to tell people where I work. Everyone always seems to have a positive story to share about their experiences with Kadlec.”
Klander is also an active member of ASPR, having earned her Fellowship certification and serving as a committee volunteer. She is a member of OAR, the Onboarding and Retention chapter, and she has served on ASPR’s Fellowship committee. “What I enjoy most about these memberships, is the networking and doing my part to improve the professionalism of our industry,” she said.
Another facet of Klander’s busy life is the pursuit of her bachelor’s degree. In 2010, she earned her associate of arts degree, and is currently a student at Washington State University. Klander said, “I can only manage one class per semester while performing the duties of my position to the best of my ability, and it really bothers me to get any grade that is less than an A.”
She enjoys preparing holiday meals for her loved ones and sending them home with lots of leftovers. Enjoying Washington’s wine country and relaxing at her family’s vacation cabin near Mt. Rainier are other favorite pastimes. Klander and her husband Ken are the proud parents of five adult children between the two of them. The couple enjoys spending time with their large extended family, which includes grandchildren, nieces and nephews, siblings, and a former stepson.
Klander’s eldest daughter is now 31 years old. She said Shanti has touched so many lives in such a positive way. Learning to trust and not be afraid of the unknown are other life lessons Klander adopted. She said, “I was afraid to have more children after Shanti was born, but I am so thankful that I was blessed with two perfectly healthy sons. I thank God every day for everyone in my unconventionally wonderful family.”