Rachel Reliford, MPA, FASPR, Senior Physician Recruiter, OSF HealthCare System
When did your term as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee begin?
What does your role as Co-chair of the Membership Committee entail?
Our committee reviews new and renewing membership applications to ensure compliance to guidelines, promotes new membership initiatives, creates awareness of individual and group membership benefits, develops recognition incentives for volunteers and promotes the advantages of membership to those considering joining.
Why is it important to you to serve is this role?
The strength in ASPR is in our diversity and the knowledge we learn from one another. Promoting membership ensures that we as an organization continue to grow. By sharing our collective experiences, we remain dynamic and better equipped to respond to challenges in our individual roles.
What is your current title?
Senior Physician Recruiter
What organization do you work for?
OSF HealthCare, with headquarters in Peoria, Illinois
What do your responsibilities include?
OSF HealthCare, with headquarters in Peoria, Illinois, is an integrated health system, consisting of 11 acute care facilities and two colleges of nursing. OSF also has a physician organization, employing nearly 700 physicians in various specialties and more than 300 advanced practitioners, who are part of the OSF Medical Group. I am responsible for the physician recruitment of several of our subspecialty service lines across the system.
How much physician recruitment experience do you have?
I started in March 2008 — 8 years
How long have you been an ASPR member?
Since 2008 — 8 years
What is the best part of being an ASPR member?
The networking opportunities. When I have a question I am able to connect with my peers and ask what worked or didn’t work and look for creative ideas to address challenges.
The other is that I can be the “expert” on a particular topic because I have the data and metrics to support my suggestions to a medical director or hospital administration.
What do you think are the one or two most important attributes of a successful physician recruitment professional?
Adaptability. No two days are going to be exactly the same. Each physician I work with is going to have preferences and needs, and I need to be ready to respond to the priorities based on the individual and their family.
Reliability. Hospital administrators, medical directors, and physicians need to look to you as their greatest ally. Being consistent and able to respond under pressure builds confidence in your work and decisions.
What brief advice would you give a new physician recruiter?
Know what you know and what you don’t know. Ask for help and look for someone either inside or outside your organization to serve as a mentor. Getting involved in ASPR by serving on a committee will help you meet other recruiters who can offer advice or provide suggestions of where to go to find answers.
Name one interesting thing many of your colleagues may not know about you.
My educational background is political science and speech communication, with a focus in international and comparative policy. My area of interest is the Middle East, where I spent time learning. I earned my Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree, but didn’t make politics a career focus! Prior to becoming involved in physician recruitment I was involved in a variety of areas within healthcare including lobbying, public relations, fundraising, marketing and contract management. My interest in politics has never left and so I read several international newspapers daily to keep up on current events.
What was the last book you read or movie you saw?
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini is best-known for his #1 New York Times-bestseller The Kite Runner.
Do you have a favorite hobby or past-time?
Traveling, especially to warmer climates. Every winter I take one trip with a tropical destination. Maui no-ka ‘oi! (Maui is the best). I also enjoy live music, theatre, dancing (particularly salsa), volunteering, and attending various cultural and ethnic restaurants, events, and festivals.
Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
The poem “The road not taken” by Robert Frost.
Anything else you would like for us to know?
I am a first generation American. My mother was born in post WWII Germany and her family came through Ellis Island to the United States on a ship called the Homeland. My “Oma” (grandmother in German), a professional German cook, had lost her first husband in the war, but shortly after married my grandfather. My “Opa” (grandfather in German) was a baker by trade and came with my grandmother and three small children. Their youngest was just six weeks old and carried in a bread basket during their two week crossing of the Atlantic. I actually have the suitcase my grandfather brought on that journey. He was the most influential person in my life. I spent many of my summers as a child running around the bakery he owned for over 50 years. He loved people and never knew a stranger. I miss his iced raisin bread, which will always be my favorite. Opa left behind a legacy of strength and perseverance, love for his family, and an unshakable faith in God.