Leader spotlight: Dr. Eric Loeliger’s role expands
You may have seen some new faces on the APP leadership team. As part of a get-to-know-your-leaders series, we introduce Eric Loeliger, MD, who recently expanded his role from the Grants Pass specialty clinics to include all urgent care facilities.
Dr. Loeliger already is a familiar face at Asante and APP’s Grants Pass specialty clinics, and now his role has expanded. With the departure of Scott Wilber, MD, Dr. Loeliger transitioned into a leadership role for all Asante Urgent Care clinics.
Why did you decide to join Asante?
We wanted to get out of North Dakota and looked for years to find a growing health system in the Pacific Northwest that was focused on quality.
We moved here in 2007 and we aren’t planning on leaving! I started at Asante as an ED physician at ATRMC, where I later took a leadership position as the vice president of Medical Affairs.
What’s special about APP?
I was a member of the APP Board of Directors during APP’s founding. APP has always been about meeting the needs of our patients and serving our community. Having physician leadership from the very beginning has been critical toward attracting high-quality providers.
How do you define leadership and what is your leadership philosophy?
One of the most important roles of a successful leader is to help teams prepare for and manage change. I like to lead by a process of inquiry, welcoming diverse opinions, and encouraging innovative approaches to challenges. I aspire to “transformational” leadership that inspires and empowers people to take ownership of their areas of responsibility, while encouraging innovation.
What would surprise people about you?
I dream in both Japanese and English. My wife and I both grew up in Tokyo. My family moved there when I was in kindergarten and I stayed until I moved to the U.S. to go to college. After college, Jennifer and I returned to Japan while I started a Japanese subsidiary of the chemical company I was working for.
I consider Tokyo to be my “home town.” I also love mixed martial arts and the UFC. Most people are surprised by that, but I am a little obsessed. I did study martial arts for years, but I am out of the game now.
Where else has your career taken you?
I spent 10 years working for a specialty chemical company, Lawter International, first as an international sales rep to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Central America and South America, then as general manager for Pacific Rim operations and finally as general manager for Canadian operations. I left that career in 1997 to go to medical school.
As a child, what did you see yourself doing when you grew up?
Honestly, I always wanted to be a physician. My career in specialty chemicals was a valuable decade, but I was encouraged to go to medical school by my wife while she was in graduate school.
What’s the wisest things anyone has ever told you?
Aside from “Wash your hands at work”? I’m not sure, but I bet my wife, Jennifer, is the one who told it to me. We have been together for 31 years.
Favorite book: I love historical fiction. Any period, any location.
Favorite music: Not a crowd favorite, I am sure, but I love classical piano music. I particularly like Beethoven and Chopin. That works out well in our house, as my daughter is a classical pianist. I’m not shy about sharing videos of my daughter performing, in fact I love to show them.
Favorite hobby: Traveling with my family. I have been to over 60 countries, but lots more to go!
Favorite animal: Big, long-haired, fluffy dogs. Newfoundlands are awesome!
Eric Loeliger, MD
- Medical degree: New York Medical College
- Internship and residency: University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center; residency in emergency medicine
- Master’s degree: Business administration with a concentration in sustainability and innovation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Emergency physician, MedCenter One, Bismarck, North Dakota
- Wife, Jennifer, and children Jacqueline and Malachi