Always be Learning: Kelly Shroll M ’08 Strives to Better Community Healthcare
This is the first in a series following University of Findlay alumni who have gone on to have meaningful lives and productive careers right here in the local Findlay community. Their stories provide a glimpse of the difference UF students and graduates make in the lives and businesses of our immediate area, and of the impact a UF education can have right here at home.
It’s a quote that’s been originally attributed to a few different people. The message, regardless of its creator, is one that resonates widely, however: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
For Kelly Shroll M ’08, the president of Blanchard Valley Medical Practices in Findlay, this adage is as about as accurate as they come. Her self-admitted thirst for knowledge, she said, makes it so, and similarly made her time as an MBA student at University of Findlay a period of further self-discovery and success.
Shroll said that she’d always, more or less, been interested in the healthcare field. She got her undergraduate degree in medical dietetics at The Ohio State University, and has been immersing herself deeper into the field ever since, continuously pursuing a greater knowledge. “I call myself kind of a master of none,” she said. “I really have never been without ‘homework.’”
It’s alumni like Shroll, of course, who are constantly in search of new ways and things to learn and of methods for bettering their surroundings with the knowledge they gain as a result. When these alumni continue to, or end up, living and working in the local community, as she has done, it creates nothing less than a shared depth of that learning philosophy, one that serves to spread throughout the area, benefitting all those who are a part of it.
For Shroll, who was originally brought to the Findlay area after her husband Roger ’85 took a job with Cooper Tire and Rubber Company in the city after graduation, the community in which she lives and works is often seen by her as an extension of her success and drive. “Findlay has been very blessed to attract a great group of physicians,” she said, “but you have to complement that with a great team of caregivers. I think we do that.” Much of her job consists of being interdependent on the work of a team and serving with other directors, managers, administrators, and innovators who depend on learning new things to guide them toward what is best for the people they assist. “I participate in many meetings involving different leaders where we focus on figuring out how to improve the patient experience, access to care, things like that. Continuously improving processes,” she said.
It’s not at all surprising, then, that Shroll said she pursued her MBA at UF, in part, to continue gaining a better understanding of both the experiences she’d had up to that point, and to expand on that knowledge to improve her future prospects by “finding out more about the business and finance angle of things.” Part of that “master of none” way of life for her includes moving through new positions at BVHS since her beginnings there as the general manager of Sodexo in the food and nutrition department. From that point, she went on to become the director of support services, then to the director of corporate quality and patient safety, and finally to her current position, in which she’s been since 2017. She said that the MBA from UF improved both her ability to grow within her career and to even attempt that growth to begin with. “I couldn’t have even applied for the position I’m currently in without the degree,” she explained. “It certainly helped to boost what I’d already been doing and provide the opportunity for a more well-rounded work experience.”
Shroll said she doesn’t really consider what she does a job, because of how much she enjoys it, and how it has become so much a part of her life. Like all good career representatives, she not only works toward bettering the lives of others through good health and practice, she does the same with herself on her own time. “Healthcare is a 24/7 business,” she said, adding that she is typically in her office before 7:00 AM and has to be available to physicians during the irregular times they are available, but remains keenly aware of her own health. The UF connection is a normal presence there as well. “I workout at the YMCA twice a week, and I’m a weekend jogger,” she explained. “At the Y, I’ve worked with UF physical therapy students and other health professions alumni, and have even had current students majoring in those areas observe me and learn through my workouts. It’s a way for me to get my wellness in and give back to UF and the community also. You can talk to the students and learn their story. It’s a nice relationship.”
Giving back to the community by serving in various leadership capacities helps Shroll to expand her knowledge and learn what would best benefit the area in additional ways. She is currently on the YMCA board and has been a board member, chair, vice president and president of the Century Health Behavioral Health Services board. She’s been the Blanchard Valley Hospital representative for the Northwest Ohio Quality Collaborative, and on the Ohio Hospital Association safety Leadership Council as well as co-chair of the Hancock County Community Disaster Committee.
This myriad of endeavors certainly seems to add up to what surely looks to an outsider like tireless work, but one has to remember that, for Shroll and the UF alumni who call Findlay and the surrounding community home, it’s a labor of both love and learning. “I guess I’ve never stopped learning and growing, or even wanting to,” Shroll said. “It’s funny, because, as a student, you think that after college you’re done learning, but you’re really just starting. I think of it as life learning, and that’s something that students can also keep in mind. Always be learning.”