Member Spotlight

Kay Wysong Pearce

Our first president of TexASPR (now known as AAPPR Texas Affiliate) formed in 2013.
If you know Kay even just a little, then you know the genteel and pure southern Texas lady that she is! Born in Dallas, Texas, and proudly a sixth generation Texan, Kay attended Denton High School, Denton, and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches with a Bachelor of Education in Social Services and Sociology.

Her professional career has a lot of firsts, as you’ll see here:

        • First Professional Recruiter for Registered Nurses for The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
        • First Director for Corporate Nurse Recruiting for Hospital Corporation of America in Nashville, Tennessee
        • Physician Recruiter for Republic Health Corporation in Dallas, Texas.
        • Director of Physician Services for North Texas Medical Center in McKinney, Texas
        • Director of Physician Services for All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, acquired by Baylor Health Care System.
        • Physician Recruiter for Baylor Health Care System- 10 Medical Centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
        • Physician Recruiter for Hospital Corporation of America, North Texas Division which included 10 Medical Centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and two facilities in El Paso, Texas. Also, recruited for 6 months with HCA in Kansas City.
        • Director of Physician Recruitment for Methodist Health System’s 4 Medical Centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
        • Kay is married to Jeff Pearce, and “mom” to Lucky their 14 year old Poodle mix. We are so grateful to have her as a colleague, friend, and as a volunteer leader in the formation of TexASPR. But, don’t we all want to get to know each other just a little bit more?

Kay was gracious enough to answer our questions about herself and her life as a part of our ongoing Member Spotlight. I know you’ll enjoy this as much as I did!

What is your recollection of the birth of TexASPR?

Chris Kashing and Kate Rader contacted several of the Texas Physician Recruiters in ASPR and asked that we have a meeting at the 2013 ASPR Meeting in Tucson, AZ, for the purpose of forming a state chapter. There were about 20 individuals who attended, many whom I had never met. That was the first time I got to know many of the physician recruiters I had corresponded with over the years.

What was your role in the TexASPR forming?

They asked for volunteers to sit on a steering committee and I raised my hand, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. As a committee, we participated in a series of conference calls to plot the development of our state chapter. It was quite complicated. Several individuals worked hard to help us keep track of our progress. Specifically, Vicki Finnell from United Regional Healthcare System in Wichita Falls began keeping minutes of our meetings. That was a tremendous help so that we knew what had been covered and what was still on the list of things to do. She deserves a lot of credit for moving the effort forward.

Has your role in your current job changed since you’ve been there?

My current role in recruiting primary care physicians has just become more difficult over the years since the forecasted shortage has arrived and it specifically affects primary care. Physicians are no longer responding to emails and contacting them has moved to texting. Our smart phones have become more important and social media is becoming the communication conduit of the future.

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional? Professionally, I have been proud of being of service to my communities. However, I will always remember the young surgeon who stopped me in the hall after a presentation I gave on ”Finding Your Practice.” He had been deaf most of his life but now had Cochlear Implants. Since he was deaf during his formative years, he did not develop the conversational skills that come with hearing person’s socialization. He wanted to become a ENT, but being accepted into an ENT Residency was competitive, so he wanted me to teach him how to ask and answer questions appropriately. It was something I had never been asked to do, but he was so ready to learn. I am proud to say he was accepted into the Otolaryngology Residence in Indianapolis and is an ENT today.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Recruiting, in general, was a career I never knew I wanted or was suited to do. I typed my way into my first recruiting job at The Methodist Hospital of Houston recruiting Registered Nurses. Recruiting became an exact fit for me. I fell into recruiting physicians accidentally when the physician recruiter left the company I was working for and the Director asked me if I wanted to try it. I think of it as a giant puzzle where everyone has a place to fit and finding that fit is a challenge. Plus, in my career, I have had the chance to meet some of the most talented and intelligent individuals in the world.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor and why?

Navel Admiral William McRaven. He gave a Commencement speech to the University of Texas Class of 2014, “Change the World by Making Your Bed.” Inspirational person. Wish I could work with him for just a day! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6OoCaGsz94.

What advice would you give to recent new entrants into physician recruiting?

TIMING AND CHANCE ARE EVERYTHING IN PHYSICIAN RECRUITING! Physicians and their spouses are just like you and me. They are seeking to be happy in their work and their community. You are there to serve. Know your candidates. Find out positives and, especially, negatives, before anyone else does because you do not want to be surprised by anything that comes up to “bite” you. Learn all you can about your opportunities and specialties. Mostly, treat others as if you would like to be treated when you are looking for a new position. Communicate often and on a timely basis. A candidate’s time goes by differently than your time.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

I love Crusoe the Celebrity Weiner Dog’s Adventures. It’s on the Internet and it makes me laugh so hard! His owners are so clever and dress him up on the most ingenious costumes. Makes me laugh so much! His latest Adventure is “Jurassic Weiner” where he is dressed as a Velociweiner. So funny.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

I would have to say the Serenity Prayer has been my guiding light for many years: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.” This gives me clarity and peace.

Do you have a favorite blog?

My favorite blog is the Medical Staff Recruiters Network commonly known as the Cass Network. I love sharing my knowledge with others and I love learning new things from my colleagues. I sometimes think of it as a tall building with Physician/Healthcare Recruiters in offices all around me. It becomes especially important when I move to a new position in a new facility. I feel as if I am not alone.

What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded but have yet to use?

I am not checked out on App downloading so I just go with what’s on my phone and computer.

Favorite app?

However, when I was on a cruise, I did download the Princess Cruise App. Loved it. Wish I was on a cruise today!

Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

Someone who lives in Capri, Italy, and has enough money to enjoy it!

What is your guilty pleasure (keep it clean!!)?

Crème Brule’! Love it and when I order it, it is gone in a second and I wear it on my hips for weeks!

Is there a question I didn’t ask, that you are dying to answer??

When TexASPR was formed, we were asked to volunteer as officers. Vicki volunteered to be secretary and we roped Kelli Forney at Covenant in Lubbock to be Treasurer. Debbie Brimmer at Cooks Children’s in Fort Worth and I were the only two left. I kept waiting for Debbie to say she wanted to be President, but she volunteered to be Vice President. That’s how I became President in the first place. Glad to serve my colleagues.

From all of us, THANK YOU, KAY! We are so lucky to have you as a colleague and as a founder of the Texas Chapter of ASPR, now known as AAPPR Texas Affiliate. We are glad to have you as our first (another first for you!) Member Spotlight.

Linda Remer, Secretary