Several elements need to come together to create a thriving, growing health system.
State-of-the-art equipment. Expanded facilities. And most importantly, a dedicated and caring staff, including talented physicians.
All of those elements have come together at St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center, which opened in October 2017 and has since been committed to serving the city of Nampa and the growing population of Canyon County and beyond.
Dr. Jesse Chlebeck and Dr. Tracye Lawyer recently joined St. Luke’s Nampa and are excited about the opportunities as they begin their medical careers. Both doctors are now seeing patients at St. Luke's Clinic - Orthopedics: Nampa.
“Canyon County hasn’t always had exposure to the same level of health care that the Boise area has had, so it’s nice to expand it out to Canyon County,” Dr. Chlebeck said.
Added Dr. Lawyer: “We’ve gotten patients who are saying, ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to drive all the way from the western part of Idaho all the way to Meridian or Boise. Now we can stop in Nampa and get the care that we need.’”
The two doctors are working side by side in the Nampa orthopedics clinic, forming a team of sorts.
Being part of a team is nothing new to either of them, as both were involved in college athletics and won significant championships during their careers.“We got hired at the same time,” Dr. Chlebeck said. “We didn’t really start talking until we learned we were going to be partners. We have a ton in common, on both the academic side as well as athletics.”
Dr. Lawyer said they started becoming familiar with each other before joining St. Luke’s this summer.
“We talked while we were doing our fellowships,” Dr. Lawyer said. “He was in Sacramento and I was in Pittsburgh, but we seemed to have similar stories.”
Indeed. Both were recruited to play sports in college and both ended up playing sports for which they weren’t recruited.
“I grew up ski racing (in Minnesota), and that was by far my main sport,” Dr. Chlebeck said. “That’s what brought me out to College of Idaho. But they were starting the cross country team and track team my freshman year, so they asked me to come out for the team. So, I did, and I found out when I actually trained and worked at it I was pretty fast.”
Fast enough that he went on to become a Cascade Conference champion in the 10,000 meters.
Dr. Lawyer also was a multisport athlete in college.
“I was recruited (to Stanford) as a track athlete in high jump, and they kind of turned me into a heptathlete while I was there,” she said. “I also walked on to the soccer team when I was freshman.”
By the time she graduated with her degree in biology she had won three consecutive Pac-10 titles in the heptathlon, becoming the only woman in Pac-10 history to accomplish the feat.
Dr. Lawyer has two brothers who participated in sports at Boise State –David ran track, and Kerry played football and ran track. Her two brothers made her aware of Boise, but she later got to see the City of Trees firsthand – while also making her mark.
“When I came up here in 1999 I won an NCAA championship in the heptathlon here in Boise,” she said. “It’s kind of funny how life takes those turns, but that was definitely a highlight in track.”Another highlight? Being inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Both Dr. Chlebeck and Dr. Lawyer will combine their loves of athletics with their new passion for practicing medicine.
“I’ve always had an interest in medicine,” Dr. Chlebeck said. “I was a ski patrol growing up, and we kind of provided the emergency care on the ski hill. So, that first exposed me to trauma, and that’s always kind of been my passion.”
As such, Dr. Chlebeck did his fellowship training in orthopedic trauma (fractures), and he’s putting that to use by helping out the rodeo community.
“My first exposure to the rodeo was the Caldwell Night Rodeo, and I absolutely fell in love with the sport and the athletes and the whole scene,” said Dr. Chlebeck, who wears cowboy boots to his office most days. “To be able to be a team doc for those guys is just an incredible experience. They’re so tough, and it’s fun to be able to support them and what they do.”
While Dr. Chlebeck might be spotted at future rodeos, Dr. Lawyer can be seen roaming the sidelines at Middleton High football games.
“I’m the team physician for all of Middleton sports,” she said. “It’s been fun to start with a high school team. … It’s a big school and a great school with great kids, so it’s really exciting to be out there and take care of those athletes.”
After successful athletic careers in college, both doctors look forward to a future filled with helping and caring for patients. And they feel like they’ve found the perfect fit for doing just that.“St. Luke’s has a very distinct culture, and it just seems like everybody’s on the same team here and has the same goal in mind of taking care of patients and doing what’s right for people,” Dr. Chlebeck said. “I don’t think you find that everywhere.”
Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.