As a three-sport athlete in high school, it seemed natural that Stacey Hladish, a physician assistant with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, would eventually pursue a career in sports medicine.
“I played softball, basketball and volleyball, and that’s what really piqued my interest in sports medicine and orthopedics,” she says.
“I always wanted to help others … and provide care in a way that is beneficial and can really encourage people to get back their quality of life, and medicine is one of those ways,” Hladish says.
She originally was interested in physical therapy but changed her mind after being awed by a physician assistant.
That’s why after earning her undergraduate degree in athletic training from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Hladish worked as an athletic trainer for a while but resumed her education, intent on becoming a physician assistant.
Once she completed her PA degree, Hladish worked for a year in clinical neurology.
In 2015 she joined BayCare Clinic.
Today, Hladish works with Dr. Jon Henry, an orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic.
“I enjoyed neurology, it was a really cool field, but my heart and soul are in orthopedics and sports medicine,” she says. “So, I ended up getting back into orthopedics with Dr. Henry. I have been super lucky to work with him and continue to still use the skills I learned as an athletic trainer to continue to provide care to patients in the sports medicine world.”
Physician assistants assist during surgical procedures, diagnose illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications and more. They’re supervised by a physician.
“Working with Dr. Henry, he is a compassionate, respectful physician who really takes a personalized approach to patient care, in my opinion,” Hladish says. “He has really instilled in me that patients are coming to us with problems that are causing significant compromise of their quality of life. So, if our goal can be to bring them back to those desired activities or desired goals … that is really where our care philosophy comes from.”
Away from work, Hladish loves spending time with her family.