Health Care and Human Resources

Q&A: Shanna Ten Clay

May 1, 2018
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Shanna Ten Clay
Shanna Ten Clay. Courtesy Anesthesia Practice Consultants

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Dr. Shanna Ten Clay serves as a managing partner of Anesthesia Practice Consultants.

The Grand Rapids-based practice has been providing nationally trained anesthesiology care for the majority of West Michigan for decades.

Through her “unique lens” as an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Michigan, veteran of the U.S. Air Force, cardiothoracic anesthesiologist, wife and mother, Ten Clay said she seeks to “improve the lives of those in West Michigan.”

Biggest career break?

My success is a testimony to mentorship. Dr. Patrick Droste, a renowned pediatric ophthalmologist here in Grand Rapids who fostered my love for learning and science even while still in high school. As I moved on through college, medical school, residency, fellowship and even my first job as a teaching anesthesiologist, wonderful people saw my potential and encouraged me.

Proudest moment?

When I read a news article about a man who survived quadruple amputation in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and realized that it was my team that had resuscitated him and stabilized him for evacuation. He is now a motivational speaker.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Ancora imparo. “Yet, I am still learning.” -Michelangelo

How did you make your first dollar?

Washing dishes in Russ’ restaurant.

Most-treasured possession?

An old piano my great grandmother received as a birthday gift when she turned 12. My grandma played it, my aunt played it, I play it and now my children are learning to make music.

Dream job?

To be part of the health care disruption team formed through the joint venture by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. I love thinking with a great creative team about how to do things differently and better. That’s the best part of my current work.

If you were president for a day, you would … ?

Improve health care for our citizens: Limit health insurance profit margins. Change the paradigm, so legislators receive the same health benefits as the populace as an impetus to improve health care for our country. Unify electronic health records for transfer of information. Create consistency among various public and private quality metrics. Transparent pricing and outcomes. Reward primary care and encourage healthy behaviors. Then lunch.

Last book you read?

Switch,” by the Heath brothers

Last search term you googled?

Agitprop. I’m embarrassed to say, I was reading a news article and didn’t know what it meant.

Your worst habit?

Diet Coke

To unwind, you like to … ?

Garden, make floral arrangements and create beautiful, inviting spaces

Dream vacation?

I would like to do the river cruise that Teddy Roosevelt did with his family as a boy down the Nile River. I think long adventure with my family learning about new cultures and landscape would be amazing.

Favorite food?

Anything with almond paste

Person you most admire?

My daughters are reading “Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls,” which is filled with amazing biographies of courageous women who have and are changing the world around them. Every night, I am amazed and inspired.

My mother, Sondra Ten Clay, who courageously led our family with dignity, strength and purpose. When she died, there were many testimonies of her impact on the people around her. 

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