October 23, 2018

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Dr. William Kremer and LaDonna Thooft: Teaming Up for Patient Care for 27 Years and Counting

These days you don’t often find people who have worked for an organization for more than 20 years and counting.  But that’s exactly what these doctor-nurse teams are doing at ACMC. 

KremerLaDonna2When you work together as closely as LaDonna Thooft, MA, and Dr. William Kremer have for 27 years, you get to know one another pretty well.  It was August 1987 when Dr. Kremer and his nurse LaDonna first began working together. Through the years they’ve seen a lot.  They’ve watched babies they delivered grow and have children of their own.  They’ve taken care of families spanning three generations and more, and in some ways have become a part of those families.

From the Beginning

In 1987 Dr. Kremer completed his residency in Sioux Falls and started his first practice at ACMC. It was the same year Doctor’s Plaza, P.A., in Marshall merged with ACMC.

“From the very first patient we saw together, I like to joke that I trained him to do things my way,” LaDonna says.

“That worked out well for you, didn’t it?” Dr. Kremer laughed.

It’s not always easy finding a job that you love to do and people you enjoy working with, but LaDonna and Dr. Kremer have both—particularly when it comes to one another.  It’s been that way from the start.

“We’ve always gotten along well, but there was a learning curve of how to work with one another.  Particularly when it came to her calling me Dr. Kremer,” he said. “It took me years to get her to call me by my first name, Bill.”

“He finally got me to call him Bill when he threatened to call me Mrs. Thooft.  That would have driven me crazy,” LaDonna joked.

A Team Effort

Dr. William Kremer and LaDonna Thooft, ACMC-Marshall

The respect they have and the way they complement each other as doctor and nurse is apparent in everything they do.

“We’ve been a team for so long that much of how we operate has become second nature. Our patients trust LaDonna as much as they trust me.  They love her,” Dr. Kremer said.   “When you work together as long as we have, you almost take for granted what it’s like to work with someone who knows how you operate as well as we do.  In fact, at home my wife will remind me that she isn’t LaDonna.  I’ll be looking for something that I can’t find and ask her where it is.  She always tells me, “I’m not LaDonna.  Keep looking, you’ll find it.””

LaDonna laughs, “He’s really good about getting things for himself.  He doesn’t rely on me to do something he can do just as easily. Bill’s a great doctor to work for.  I trust him; I trust his knowledge of medicine.  He has taught me a lot over the years,” she said.

They get along just as well outside of the clinic.  LaDonna and Dr. Kremer are avid Minnesota Gophers fans, following their football and basketball teams.  They cheer on the Minnesota Vikings through good and bad seasons.  They’ve watched one another’s families grow up.  Both have sons—she has three, he has two, and even her grandkids know Dr. Kremer.

“I don’t know that either of us imagined that we’d be working together 27 years later,” Dr. Kremer said, “but I think we both agree we’re lucky to have been part of such a great team for so many years.”

LaDonna adds, “And for many years to come.”

Next week you’ll meet another long-term doctor-nurse team at ACMC.