This year, Wapiti celebrates 25 years in business. To help commemorate the occasion, we sat down for a Q&A with a Wapiti old-timer, Troy Kastrup, who has been with the company for 15 years.
What were some observations you remember when you first started at Wapiti?
I started in 2006, about four years after Wapiti had relocated to Milbank, SD. At that time our office was basically referred to as a Governor’s House. The building was a very square four-bedroom house. When you walked in the front door, there were two offices to the right, two offices to the left, and one shared bathroom in the back. We had just a handful of employees at that time. For a while, one of the desks was a door laying across two sawhorses.
You said Wapiti had just “a handful of employees” when you started. About how many?
And how many people work at Wapiti now?
We have 43 employees right now. That number will rise shortly. We have added positions to support our continued expansion and are currently advertising for additional recruiters, schedulers, and credentialers in both our Milbank and Huron offices.
Approximately how many facility accounts were there when you started versus how many there are now?
I would estimate Wapiti had approximately 20 facility accounts in 2006, ten full-time and ten part-time accounts. We now have partnerships with over 250 facilities. Of those, about fifty are facilities that we staff full-time or near full-time.
When you first came on board, what was your role?
My position was Office Manager/Operations Manager. One of the reasons I came on board was to help get Anesthesia coverage off the ground.
What are some of the other changes or noteworthy things that you’ve noticed throughout the years?
There have been a lot of industry shifts and changes. We’ve become very good at adapting and responding quickly. These could be changes due to CMS pressure, changes in hospital bylaws, etc. Fifteen years ago, you could see a physician credentialed in just a matter of days. Now that process takes weeks, if not months.
What is one thing that has been consistent? What has Wapiti always seemed to do well?
Our responsiveness has always been probably at the top. Yes, responsiveness is an obligation. But because of the friendships and the kinships we’ve developed with administrators, with providers, and more importantly with each other, we’ve always been driven to get quick answers and to help. That part has never changed. We’ve always worked as a team to ensure that if we see something slip, all hands are on deck to ensure it never falls to the ground.
What is one of the best changes you’ve seen to help Wapiti adapt?
Definitely the embracing of technology. When I first started at Wapiti, schedules were done in Excel and schedulers would mail paper copies to providers. The most dynamic change to our technology was probably that shift to our first scheduling software. And as we continue, our tech stack has gotten continually more robust and really helped us all work more efficiently.
Throughout the years what has been your favorite thing about Wapiti? What has kept you here so long?
This answer never changes. For me, it’s helping small towns. I care about my town of Milbank, so having good teammates in our offices here, in Huron, in Iowa, that’s been the most important thing to me – and then taking care of other small towns through healthcare staffing, from Roseau, MN to Laurium, MI to Big Sky, MT, down to Missouri. We’ve probably taken care of about three million patients over the years. It’s always been about helping small towns.
Put Wapiti to Work for You
If you need top-tier healthcare providers for your facility, reach out to Wapiti Medical Staffing today.