Kellie Lease Stecher, MD, OBGYN
At 4 years old I decided I wanted to be a doctor. I felt this was the best way that I could affect positive change in people’s lives. Before I could read I would flip through first aid books, to learn about CPR and tourniquets. I continued to be steadfast in that goal as I went through school. I volunteered in healthcare settings, became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and received my college degree in Biology.
During college I had through I wanted to be a pediatrician, and more specifically a pediatric cardiologist. I had a summer internship at Children’s Hospital Fox Valley, worked on several initiatives to help our community. I worked on a grant for Healthier Partnership Wisconsin, participated in a program for children who were struggling to lose weight, and worked on an initiative to get AEDs in public schools in rural Wisconsin.
Healthy programs for kids became a passion for me. I had lost over 100 pounds at different points in my life, and I realized if we could set children up for success with their weight, it would help with some of the body image issues we see through their lifespan.
When I started medical school rotations, I set up my OBGYN rotation as the first one in the series. In my naive mind, I did this because I “knew” I didn’t want to be an OBGYN. However, on my first day I did a vaginal delivery, and realized that one of the most amazing things you can do in healthcare, is to help a family with this amazing milestone.
Over the years I have had a number of amazing professional opportunities. I was in private practice for a number of years, and more recently joined a wonderful health system in the Twin Cities, M Health Fairview. I see patients at the Women’s Center in Edina, and continue to deliver and operate at M Health Fairview Southdale.
Since 2018 I have worked to find my voice. I have become a fearless advocate for healthcare rights. I have worked on protocols to make sure there is safe reporting structures for bullying and intimidation in the workplace. I have had the honor of developing different organizations with amazing innovators from across the country. I was excited that these organizations will help many people suffering from grief, mental health concerns, resiliency needs, workplace safety, and lack of access to healthcare.
When I was in fifth grade I decided I was going to make a movie. I told my Dad that I needed a video camera for school, so that he brought that home to use. I wrote a script, and I called that show, The People’s Court. I screen-wrote this drama, picked people in my class for parts. During recess one day I organized the people in my class, handed out scripts, put the video camera on the tri-pod and we filmed our movie. We produced a show that involved everyone in the class, was respectful of all members, engaged people, convinced students to skip recess, went around the normal status quo to get something accomplished.
In many ways this is how I have tried to make changes in healthcare. I can work with anyone to accomplish a goal. I am passionate enough to make my points known, and work to compromise to get to a mutually beneficial goal. I see projects through until the end. I take these principles with me when I write, lobby, advocate for changes, and create initiatives that will benefit our communities.