Theresa Condiff has spent 20 years in her career mostly as a nurse in emergency rooms, including at the University of Kansas Hospital in her hometown of Kansas City.
While she’s experienced the satisfaction of helping people who have immediate health needs, she also saw the inefficiencies of the health care system and the importance of public health.
As she started Dec. 16 as the Health Department’s new Clinic Manager, Theresa is eager to put her experiences into practice leading the clinic staff.
“Being in the ER, you see that especially education and resources are important for those patients who are using it as their primary care and not using public health resources available to them to treat sexually transmitted infections or for their family planning needs,” Theresa said. “They are coming to the emergency room and think they might have an STI or be pregnant, so we spend a lot of effort trying to educate them to use community health resources.”
She grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to Lawrence about three years ago. She comes most recently to the Health Department after serving as a nurse for DaVita working with dialysis patients in an outpatient setting.
All throughout her career, Theresa has been passionate about helping educate patients as part of their system of care, and she was interested in moving into a public health organization that promotes and protects the health of everyone in the community.
“I think that’s what makes this a good fit, the opportunity to provide education. I am very passionate about education and teaching, whether that is fellow nurses, colleagues, patients and in the bigger picture with the community,” she said.
As Clinic Manager she will oversee its operations that emphasize prevention and education serving more than 12,000 clients each year with the following services: immunizations for all ages; women’s health and family planning; sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment; and, nutritional support and counseling for pregnant or nursing women and their children.
“Theresa brings a passion for education and best practice to our clinic as the new manager. She has a lot of energy and ideas and has hit the ground running familiarizing herself with staff and processes,” said Linda Craig, Director of Clinic Services. “I look forward to working with her in 2020 and bringing new processes to the clinic programs.”
“I always wanted to be a nurse since I was little,” Theresa said. “I loved the satisfaction that I get from the gratitude of helping people.”
Theresa and her husband, Jason Condiff, have four children ages 20, 17, 15 and 12. She will be eager for warmer temperatures in the spring because the couple likes to ride their Harley Davidson motorcycles together.
Until then she will be busy leading and learning more about the clinic’s operations.
“I am excited to get in and see what I can do to help improve things,” Theresa said, “and help make things better.”