Clinicient has been firing on all cylinders recently, having enhanced our Support group, introduced a Client Executive program to further build the partnership we have with clients, and, most notably, welcomed T. Kent Rowe as our new CEO.
I was able to sit down with Kent during his first week in the office and ask him questions around his career path, biggest life lessons, and what drives him crazy. Check out our Q&A session below and connect with Kent on LinkedIn as well.
Welcome Kent! We are all so happy to have you here. So we know you were at ZirMed before, but tell us about your career path before ZirMed.
Prior to ZirMed, I was with a company called IDX, and I spent over twenty years with them, the last four of which were technically with GE since they got acquired. I started off at IDX in the service area and moved into implementation, but my goal was always to move into sales within IDX, I just didn’t have the sales experience yet. I learned that by gaining experience in service and then implementing the product, that gave me a strong foundation to understand the company and our product and it ultimately led me to Sales.
From there I progressed from add-on sales to new business and then made my way into sales management and advanced from there. Prior to that, my first job out of college was actually with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and it just happens that I got assigned to healthcare. I didn’t select healthcare, rather it kind of selected me, and that’s where I remained the rest of my career.
What life experience has most influenced your career development?
That’s a great question. I would say for me it’s that things don’t always go your way and you have to persevere. As a nineteen-year-old kid, I joined the Air Force with the hopes to be a computer programmer. Fast forward a month, and I found myself all of a sudden in a room in Illinois signed up as a firefighter – which wasn’t the direction I had shown any interest in. Then, after technical school, I received my orders, and I was sent to Germany. I’ll never forget the first time the alarm went off in the fire department. I was on the back of a firetruck, riding in the snow, completely miserable, thinking what the heck just happened.
A couple of weeks later, and some failed attempts to get out of Germany, we had tryouts for a traveling baseball team. Sixty people tried out and I ended up making the traveling squad, and so for two years, I traveled all over Europe playing baseball, which ended up being a good deal. I would say perseverance is a life lesson. If things don’t go your way, sometimes you just have to excel in the role you’re in because something better is likely coming your way.
What inspired you to join Clinicient?
It was largely an excitement to the people here, the product, and the industry. Similar to why I joined ZirMed, the organization is poised for great success and I think with my experience I can help us get there.
My interest also grew tremendously when I made the trip to Portland. It’s one thing to talk to people on the phone about opportunities, it’s quite another to see the people and operation in practice. The passion for, determination, and teamwork factor I saw at Clinicient made it a no brainer.
What drives you crazy?
Too many meetings. I don’t like a lot of meetings. I’ll say that I think what drives other people crazy about me is that I leave too late for the airport. If any of you are the type that needs to be in the terminal an hour early and sitting down and getting coffee and all that, I will drive you crazy.
Where did you grow up, and how did that influence who you are?
I grew up just north of Dallas in a town called Argyle, Texas, which is a very small town. In the summer of 1980, we had 69 days over 100 degrees. 42 of those were in a row, and I was roofing houses. I knew at that point, I was going to get a college education – I wasn’t sure how, but it would be done. So, you can say the Texas heat definitely influenced my career and life choices.
Where do you think the outpatient rehab industry will be in five, ten, and twenty years?
I’m not going to try and guess the ten and fifteen years; it’s too far out. In five years, I see a lot of consolidation going on in the industry. If you think back twenty years ago in healthcare when there really weren’t any electronic medical records, and people said, “Well that’s the next wave, that’s coming.” If you think about how long that actually took to happen, it took a really long time.
The shift in reimbursement models that are going on right now is taking a similar amount of time. I believe we will get there, and I believe that hospitals and enterprises are going to be asked to take on more risks than they ever have. Not every organization knows how to manage risk. I believe physical therapy will be a big part of that risk management. It’s certainly a much less expensive alternative to surgery, to medication, and the results can be exponentially better.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Servitude. I know that’s a weird word for my position, but I think whatever role you’re in, you need to have a serving mentality. Whatever opportunity, whatever boundaries are in your role, if you serve in that role, it’s inevitable that those boundaries will expand. I’m a big believer that you don’t try to cut to the front of the line, you try to serve from the back of the line and great things will happen.
I’ve tried to do that in my career; I received some early advice that the best thing you can do is try and make your immediate boss successful. If you think about that, there’s no way you can’t be successful. If you set yourself up as a person that’s a joy to lead and you’re helping make others above you successful, your boundaries will definitely be expanded. That’s what I’ve tried to do.
What do you like to do with your time off?
I obviously enjoy family time; I have three children, 24, 23 and 20 and they are my life back home. I also love to read and do anything outdoors, which I understand I’m now in the city for! Golf is another passion, although I’m still terrible to this day. I think that’s why I like it though. It’s challenging. I’ve never mastered it and probably never will, but I enjoy golf.