Four Percent of Physicians Offered 6-Figure Signing Bonuses in 2016

Feb. 22, 2017 – Dallas, Tex.  The Medicus Firm, a national search firm specializing in permanent placement of physicians, NPs, and PAs, released its annual placement summary report, based on the hiring activity of more than 250 healthcare employers nationally, and hundreds of provider placements.

The key highlights from the 2017 Physician Placement Report, based on hiring patterns from 2012 through 2016, include the following trends:

  • Signing bonuses increased in average amount and utilization rate in 2016.  Ninety percent of physicians were paid a signing bonus, while 4.2 percent of doctors were offered a six-figure signing bonus ranging from $100,000 – $200,000. The average physician signing bonus paid in 2016 was $24,802, up from $23,663 in 2015.
  • International physicians comprised 31.77 percent of placements made in 2016. This statistic has been of particular interest due to the uncertainty about the future of U.S. immigration policy, in light of an Executive Order signed in late January, which has since been rejected. Nationally, internationally trained physicians comprise about 25 percent of the physician workforce, according to data from the AAMC and AMA.
  • Placement rate of advanced practice clinicians increased significantly for the fourth consecutive year. Placements of PAs and NPs have grown steadily since 2012, when only 1.32 percent of placements were NPs and PAs. In 2016, non-physician advanced practice placements comprised 12 percent of total provider placements, up from 8.3 percent in 2015. Physician assistants were the 2nd most frequently placed provider, and nurse practitioners were also among the top ten providers.
  • Primary care comprised the majority of physician placements again in 2016. Hiring of internists, pediatricians, and family practitioners accounted for 35 percent of placements made in 2016.
  • Employment vs. Private Practice: Physician employment as a practice model continues to dominate physician recruiting activity nationwide, with 91 percent of physicians placed being hired on as employees. This is consistent with 2015 employment rate of 92 percent.
  • Hiring of osteopathic physicians (DOs) declined to its lowest rate since 2012. However, the rate only fluctuates within a range of about five percentage points. Eight percent (7.98%) of physicians placed in 2016 were DOs, compared to 11.74 percent in 2015. According to AACOM, seven percent of practicing U.S. physicians are DOs, and 20 percent of current medical students are studying osteopathic medicine.
  • Mid-sized communities (pop. 25,001-500,000) comprised 44 percent of 2016 placements made. The remaining placements were fairly evenly split between urban areas (29%) and rural communities (26%).

The firm releases this report each year to help industry executives learn about hiring trends in healthcare, especially among physicians and advanced practice clinicians such as nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs).

“This report, based on annual placement records of all placements made in partnership with our clients nationwide, reveals patterns in the hiring activities of hospitals and health systems across the country, and illustrates trends in the placement of physicians and advanced practice clinicians in a variety of practice settings and types of communities,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. “There were not really many surprises this year. That said, some of the most notable trends include the greater-than-expected growth in placements of non-physician providers, as well as the extent to which the size of signing bonuses offered continues to increase.”

The top five types of providers, based on volume of placements in 2016 were:

  1. Family Medicine
  2. Physician Assistant
  3. Internal Medicine Physician
  4. OB/Gyn Physician
  5. Hospitalist

About The Medicus Firm:

The Medicus Firm is an award-winning, leading national physician search firm, specializing in permanent placement of physicians, NPs, and PAs of all specialties, in a variety of practice settings, including national health systems, community hospitals, academic medical centers, and more. From its offices in Dallas, Atlanta, and Boston, The Medicus Firm has built one of the largest, most tenured and knowledgeable teams of physician recruiters in the industry. Multiple industry distinctions including Best of Staffing, Best Places to Work in Healthcare, and an Executive Partnership with the MGMA attest to the efficacy of The Medicus Firm’s unique client-focused, regional approach to the physician search process, which ensures optimum results and quality of service. The Medicus Firm is part of the M3 USA family of companies, operating independently.

For a complimentary copy of the full report, physician employers may contact Steve Marsh, Managing Partner:

For media inquiries, and a media copy of the report, please contact Andrea Clement, Director of Communications:, 404.990.3614.



The Medicus Firm Wins 2017 Best of Staffing® Client Award

Fifth Win in Seven Years for Leading Physician Search Firm

Dallas, Tex. – February 17, 2017 – The Medicus Firm, a leading physician search firm, announced today they achieved Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client Award for providing superior service to their clients, including physician groups, hospitals and health systems nationwide. Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing Client winners have consistently proven to be industry leaders in service quality, based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients.

Focused on helping healthcare employers across the country to find the best physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants for their patients’ needs, The Medicus Firm received client satisfaction scores well above the industry average to qualify for this award. Companies earning the Best of Staffing Award for service excellence make up less than 2% of all recruiting firms in the U.S. and Canada. The 2017 award marks the fifth time The Medicus Firm has achieved the Best of Staffing® distinction in the past seven years.


“As we continue to grow our business and our team of associates, this award holds even greater significance to us as we serve more healthcare employers than ever before,” stated Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. “We will remain committed to exceeding our clients’ expectations by attracting, training and retaining the most knowledgeable, tenured and productive team of physician recruiters in the industry,” Stone added, citing multiple workplace awards earned annually, including “Best Companies to Work for in Texas,” and “Best Places to Work in Healthcare.”

“Staffing firms are giving top companies a competitive advantage as they search for talent in North America,” said  Inavero’s CEO Eric Gregg. “The 2017 Best of Staffing winners have achieved exceptionally high levels of satisfaction,  and I’m proud to feature them on”

About The Medicus Firm

From offices in Dallas, Atlanta and Boston, The Medicus Firm helps hundreds of healthcare facilities place physicians and advanced practice clinicians in a variety of communities and practice settings including national health systems, community hospitals, academic medical centers, and more. Since 2001, The Medicus Firm has grown to more than 100 associates nationwide, solely focusing on healthcare clients’ successful recruiting and retention of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and CRNAs. The Medicus Firm is an executive partner of the MGMA, and continues to collect multiple annual awards for employee and client satisfaction. The Medicus Firm is a wholly owned, independently operating subsidiary of M3 USA. For more information, please visit

About Inavero
Inavero administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year, and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner.
About Inavero’s Best of Staffing

Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.




Media Contact:
Andrea Clement Santiago

Director of Communications & Media Relations

p. (404) 990-3614 fx. (214) 242-2266




TMF Donates to Operation Once in a Lifetime

Happy holidays from The Medicus Firm! This year, we continued our annual tradition of donating funds to a charity, on behalf of our clients. Operation Once in a Lifetime helps make dreams come true for U.S. Soldiers and their families, by providing a number of services, including financial assistance and moral support, to U.S. Service Members, their families, and veterans. Pictured is Jim Stone, president of TMF, (3rd from left), presenting the check to representatives of Operation Once in a Lifetime. Thank you to our all of our clients for making this donation possible!

Jim Stone presents the donation check to members of Operation Once in a Lifetime.

Jim Stone presents the donation check to members of Operation Once in a Lifetime.


Placement Rate of Advanced Practice Clinicians Doubles for 2016 Year-to-date

Mid-year Review of National Healthcare Placement Activity Reveals Hiring Trends for First Half of 2016

The proportion of advanced practice placements is on track to double that of 2015, based on hiring activity among clients of The Medicus Firm, in the first half of 2016. In 2015, advanced practice comprised a little more than eight percent of all placements. That proportion has doubled to an unprecedented 16 percent for the first half of 2016 (January through June). The percentage of non-physician placements has grown steadily since 2012, when advanced practice placements comprised about 1.3 percent of all placements.

Based on an analysis of hundreds of placements made nationwide so far in 2016, physician assistants were the second-most frequently placed providers, behind Family Medicine physicians. Additionally, nurse practitioners broke into the top ten, in ninth place. Rounding out the top five most frequently placed providers were hospitalists in third place, cardiologists in fourth place, and OB/Gyns were the fifth most frequently placed provider.

When categorizing placements by type, placements of primary care physicians are on pace with last year, comprising 36 percent of placements made year-to-date. Primary care placements include family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatricians.

Placements by Type, Nationwide, clients of The Medicus Firm Jan.-June 2016

Placements by Type, Nationwide, clients of The Medicus Firm Jan.-June 2016

Another trend is the growth of placements in mid-sized communities, which grew from 31 percent in 2015 to more than 45 percent in 2016 thus far, surpassing placements made in urban and rural communities.

In keeping with the trend towards hospital employment, 99 percent of placements were employed opportunities, vs. one percent which were private practice.

By the Numbers: Placements of Advanced Practice Clinicians 2016 YTD

Among the non-physician placements made in the first half of 2016, PAs made up 58% of advanced practice clinicians placed, and 42% were NPs.

Average NP Salary: $113,000

Average PA Salary: $118,500

Average Signing Bonus: $15,000

Signing bonuses for advanced practice clinicians ranged from $5,000 – $20,000, averaging $15,000 overall.

The average relocation package for advanced practice clinicians was $6,500.







Academic Physician Recruiting Trends – 2016

Academic Physician Roles Require More Clinical Time

Physicians pursue medical careers for many different reasons, just as physicians in academics took many different paths to get where they are today, and for a variety of motives. Academic physicians seek to teach and learn, in addition to practicing clinical medicine. They wish to make an impact on the lives of future physicians, as well as patients’ lives.

The physician workforce is not static – people are constantly leaving and entering it, all while the healthcare industry experiences numerous changes including those in legislation, (ACA, HITECH, etc.), patient population, technology, reimbursements, and other economic factors, to name a few.

Recruiting physicians today to any setting is extremely challenging. The decision for a physician to practice in a private practice, community health center, for profit hospital or academic setting is difficult enough when the settings are clearly defined. In today’s practice environment, what were once distinctly unique settings and types of practices have become blurred and overlapping.

All of this results in a constantly evolving scene in academic medicine, creating new challenges in recruiting and retention of academic physicians. A “new standard” of academic medicine has emerged as the needs of academic medical centers shift under the weight of increasing financial burdens and government regulations.

Demographic changes in the physician workforce, including academics, have been widely reported. Diversity is increasing, with growing percentages of women, international medical graduates, osteopathic physicians, and ethnic minorities. Additionally, younger physicians are changing the workforce too as they enter and as more physicians from the older generation retire. The industry and environmental changes, combined with the workforce changes have resulted in a physician workforce that is more technologically savvy, seeking a better balance of work and life, while still earning enough to pay off staggering student loan debt.

According to Kelley Dunn, MBA, Director of Business Development for the Academic Division at The Medicus Firm, the Affordable Care Act and declining reimbursements, as well as cuts in research grant money have made it increasingly difficult for academic medical centers to remain financially viable, particularly with the same staff model of yesteryear.

“In years past, the ‘traditional’ work model for academic physicians included blocked time for both clinical practice and academic activities, (teaching, and research, etc.),” Dunn explains. “But, in many cases, the time set aside for academic activities has dwindled considerably, or has even become non-existent. Many current searches we are working in the academic sector have academic/administrative time that’s been reduced closer to about 20 percent, and the other 80 percent of the physician’s time spent in the clinical setting.”

Dunn adds that even the physical location of academic physicians is changing, as well as the entire inpatient model. “We recently placed a hematology/oncology nocturnist (hospitalist) with one of the leading academic cancer institutes in the nation. Previously, an inpatient oncologist was unheard of in an academic setting.” Additionally, Dunn says, academic centers are placing physicians far from the actual university hospital itself, sometimes 40-100 miles away, to help build out networks and refer patients in to help bolster subspecialty lines of service at the academic center. “We recently placed two gastroenterologists more than 40 miles off campus, who will spend the majority of their time treating patients, with very little, if any, time for academic activities.” She adds that this is increasingly becoming the norm for many other academic centers.

The above is an excerpt from a white paper regarding academic recruiting trends experienced by the recruiting leadership team and their clients of The Medicus Firm. To learn more about academic physician search trends, and receive a complimentary copy of this seven-page whitepaper in its entirety, please contact Kelley Dunn:

The Medicus Firm Releases Annual Physician Practice Preference Survey for 2016

The Medicus Firm conducted its 13th annual Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey in April 2016. Respondents answered 20 questions via a secure, anonymous survey application, a link to which was sent directly to qualified participants. A total of 2,413 providers representing more than 21 specialties and 50 states completed the survey, which included physicians in practice and in training, as well as advanced practice clinicians (NPs and PAs).

“We appreciate physicians sharing their ideas and concerns with us for this annual survey,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. “We enjoy providing insight to the practice preferences and concerns of physicians and advanced practice clinicians, to hopefully assist administrators, recruiters, and other decision makers to develop effective search  and interview strategies.”

Trends in Physician Practice Preferences and Practice Concerns:

The southeast region remains the most desired region, (23.5%), but the Pacific (CA, NV, HI) took second place this year (14%), pushing Northeast/New England to third, to tie with Mid-Atlantic, at 12% each.

Single-specialty group, the top choice of practice setting, grew further in popularity, to 34%, from 28% favorite last year. Hospital Employment repeated its second place run at 20%, a slight decrease from last year’s 23% popularity.

Nearly 20% of respondents plan to make a career change within 12 months. About eight percent are “definitely” leaving, and another ten percent are “most likely” making a career change. Only 27% indicated they are definitely NOT making a career move this year, which is down from previous years (34% last year, and 43% the previous year definitively ruled out a job change).

Physicians’ approval rating of the Affordable Care Act declined for the first time in several years, and the decline was fairly substantial. Only 71% of respondents gave the ACA a passing grade this year (A, B, C, or D), as compared to 83% last year, and 77% in 2014. Fewer than 3% of respondents awarded the ACA with an “A”.

Doctors are slightly more satisfied with their 2015 income. About 29% were neutral or unsure, 36.7% were satisfied, and 34.1% were dissatisfied. However, they are less optimistic about future income growth. Last year, 39% of respondents projected income growth over the previous year. This year, about 29% project that their income with increase in 2016, compared to 2015.

Approximately 29.6% of physicians project an increase in their 2016 income, as compared to what they earned in 2015. This is a less optimistic reply than last year’s, when 39% of physicians projected an increase in their 2015 income, over 2014.

“It’s also interesting to note that the two greatest practice concerns were compensation (declining reimbursements) and work/life balance,” Stone adds. More than 70% of residents and fellows selected “Work/Life Balance” as one of their top two practice concerns, and 45% of practicing physicians did. The third most significant practice concern was “Work-Related Burnout and Stress,” which was selected as a top-two concern by about 25% of both groups – practicing physicians, and those in training, too.

New questions in this year’s survey revolve around the growing trend of employing physicians. Last year, over 90% of all physicians placed by clients of The Medicus Firm were hired as employees, and 60% of this year’s survey respondents are employed by a hospital or health facility. How does being employed impact physician career satisfaction, as opposed to being a partner or owner in one’s own private practice? Most physicians feel that being an employee negatively impacts their compensation, and their career satisfaction, with 55.8% and 42.6% respectively indicating as such.

To obtain a copy of the 2016 physician survey, please contact your representative. For media inquiries, executive interviews, speaking engagements, or a media copy of the survey, please contact Andrea Clement Santiago,



The Medicus Firm Achieves Best of Staffing for 2016

The Medicus Firm achieved Best of Staffing designation again in 2016. The Best of Staffing award, powered by Inavero, is bestowed to the recruiting firms with the highest client satisfaction ratings, as determined by NetPromoter scoring system. This recognition program was established seven years ago, and this is the fourth official win for The Medicus Firm out of six years participating. best-of-staffing-2016-client-rgb

According to the official Best of Staffing website, “The Medicus Firm earned the Best of Staffing® Award for providing remarkable service quality. Fewer than 2 percent of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada earned the 2016 Best of Staffing Award for service excellence. Best of Staffing winners truly stand out for exceeding expectations, and this award identifies the staffing industry’s elite leaders in service quality.”

“We are honored and excited to be recognized for all of our associates’ hard work and efforts to meet our clients’ recruiting needs,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. “We thrive on producing results to keep our clients satisfied with our staffing services, and are pleased to be included on the Best of Staffing list again this year.” The Medicus Firm also achieved the Best of Staffing designation in 2011, 2013, and 2014. “The tenure and tenacity of our recruitment team, as well as the passion and commitment to our clients’ physician recruiting objectives, have enabled us to achieve this important recognition,” Stone concludes.

For more information about the scoring system, or to read client reviews and ratings of The Medicus Firm, visit the Best of Staffing website.

Most Frequently Placed Specialties, Signing Bonus Trends, and More Revealed in New Placement Report

The Medicus Firm, a national, leading healthcare search firm specializing in the permanent placement of physicians and advanced practice clinicians, released its 2016 edition of the annual placement summary report. The placement summary includes all data from placements made in partnership with The Medicus Firm, at hundreds of hospitals, health systems, medical groups, and academic medical centers nationwide, in a variety of practice structures and types of communities.

One notable statistic is the extreme decline in private practice recruitment. Fewer than eight percent of placements were made in private practice settings, and the remaining 92 percent of physicians placed were as employees.

Additionally, the average amount paid in signing bonuses increased, which was probably helped in part by the $250,000 bonus paid to one physician. The three highest signing bonuses paid, each in the six-figure range, were for pulmonary/critical care, internal medicine, and hospital medicine.

Other key findings revealed from the 2015 placement analysis include the following:

  • Primary care once again dominated placement volume nationwide, comprising 35.57 percent of all placements made in 2015.
  • The overwhelming majority of physicians placed were hired as employees (92 percent). About 6 percent of physicians were placed into a private practice on a net income guarantee, and 1.7 percent were placed in a private practice with a gross income guarantee.
  • Placements in urban and metropolitan areas (pop. > 500,000) outpaced mid-sized and rural communities, for the first year in the company’s history of tracking this. Placements in urban communities comprised 36.76 percent of all placements, up from 33.66 percent in 2014, and 25 percent in 2013.
  • Non-physician advanced practice clinicians (PA/NP) placements continue to increase substantially, to 8.3 percent of total placements, up from 6.34 percent the previous year, and 1.32 percent in 2012. Physician assistants were the fourth most frequently placed provider in 2015, up from fifth highest in 2014.
  • The placement of American Medical Graduates reached another new high of 71.43 percent, up from 68.78 percent last year, and 58.55 percent in 2012, despite the fact that the proportion of international medical graduates has actually increased in the active U.S. physician population, according to the AAMC physician workforce report released in December 2015.
  •  D.O. placements (doctors of osteopathic medicine) increased as a percentage of total placement volume, to 11.74 percent, up from 9.9 percent the previous year, and up from 5.4 percent in 2011.
  • In addition to primary care, hospitalists, physician assistants, and OB/Gyn rounded out the top five specialists (most frequently placed) with the greatest placement and hiring activity for 2015. Family practice represented the highest volume of placements in 2015, with internal medicine ranking second highest for placement volume.

“This year’s report contained many continued, expected trends, with a few interesting, unexpected takeaways,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. “In general, we continue to see all indications that many of the physician workforce projections seem to be coming to fruition, and competition continues to intensify in searches for any and all types of physicians, regardless of specialty, location, or amenities. That said, primary care, and rural areas continue to experience the toughest competition – for those searches, hospitals and hiring entities must utilize all resources and be prepared for an intense battle for top talent.” Stone adds that physician assistant demand has increased significantly, particularly in primary care.

The Medicus Firm is part of the M3 USA family of companies, operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the healthcare solutions conglomerate.

For a copy of the report, or for media inquiries, please contact Andrea Clement Santiago, Director of Communications,

M3 USA Acquires The Medicus Firm Physician Search

Leader in Healthcare Digital Solutions Adds Physician Recruitment to Portfolio

Dallas, Tex., January 4, 2016– M3 USA, a leader in healthcare solutions for hospitals, health systems, and physicians, has acquired The Medicus Firm, a national physician search firm with offices in Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA. The Medicus Firm joins other M3 USA brands including MDLinx and M3 Global Research as part of global leader in healthcare and life sciences, M3 Group.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of one of the nation’s leading search firms specializing in the permanent placement of physicians and advanced practice clinicians,” states Aki Tomaru, CEO of M3 USA. “We feel that the quality, service, and values of The Medicus Firm fit well with the mission of M3 USA to help bring positive change to healthcare through a variety of digital resources, top-notch industry talent, research, and media.”

The Medicus Firm was founded in 2009 via the merger of Medicus Partners (established 2001,) with The MD Firm (established in 2006).

“We are excited about working with the M3 team to enhance the levels of production and service we provide to healthcare organizations.  The resources and support of M3 USA will enable us to continue to grow our current business and to expand into other, complimentary businesses.” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The Medicus Firm will continue to operate as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of M3 USA.  The Medicus Firm was advised by Deloitte Corporate Finance.


About M3 Group:

The M3 Group operates in the US, Asia, and Europe with over 2 million physician members globally via its physician websites such as,,,, and M3 Inc. is a publicly traded company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (jp:2413) with subsidiaries in major markets including USA, UK, Japan, S. Korea, and China. M3 Group provides services to healthcare and the life science industry. In addition to market research, these services include medical education, ethical drug promotion, clinical development, job recruitment, and clinic appointment services. M3 has offices in Tokyo, Washington D.C., Fort Washington, PA, Oxford, London, and Seoul.

About The Medicus Firm:

The Medicus Firm is an award winning physician search firm.  The company provides individualized, consultative permanent placement physician recruiting solutions to hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and medical groups nationwide. For more information, visit or contact Andrea Clement Santiago:

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The Medicus Firm Bestows Annual Holiday Charity Gift to Komen Foundation

Honored Executive Shares Her Story of Survival

On behalf of its clients nationwide, The Medicus Firm gifted its annual holiday donation to The Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer research and community outreach.

“In recent years, we started a new holiday tradition that we hope will make an impact in the community and beyond. Instead of buying gifts for our clients, which could not possibly begin to express our gratitude to all of our business associates, we donate money to a charity on behalf of them,” states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. He adds that the firm’s employees typically vote on the cause they feel has the most impact and relevance to the values of the firm and of their clients.

“For the 2015 holiday donation, we selected the Komen foundation, because breast cancer has impacted so many of our associates, clients, and candidates, both directly, and indirectly,” Stone stated. “By giving money to a charity, rather than buying gift baskets or miscellaneous items, we can hopefully help make a significant, positive difference in people’s lives, on behalf of our clients.”

Lisa Wagner, regional vice president at The Medicus Firm, adds that “giving to charity mirrors our core values at The Medicus Firm. The feedback we’ve received over the years from clients and candidates has been overwhelmingly positive.” Wagner, who is a survivor herself, says she was “emotional, humble, and proud” when she learned that this year’s charity would be Susan G. Komen. “I am so very grateful and honored to be part of an organization that is giving to help others in the fight against breast cancer,” she continued. Wagner represented The Medicus Firm, along with president Jim Stone, in presenting the donation check to Hilda Avila, marketing and events manager of Susan G. Komen, Dallas County.

Hilda Avila (center) accepts the donation check from Jim Stone and Lisa Wagner of The Medicus Firm.

Hilda Avila (center) accepts the donation check from Jim Stone and Lisa Wagner of The Medicus Firm.

In previous years, The Medicus Firm has contributed to the Wounded Warrior Project, and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. “We hope that our contribution this year to Susan G. Komen will be matched by other organizations and individuals, to lead to a cure and additional resources. We value the foundation’s role in increasing awareness and funding for breast cancer,” Stone concluded.

Reflecting upon her experience with the disease, as well as her employer’s subsequent contribution, Wagner is overwhelmed by emotion. “Being a survivor has changed my life so profoundly and positively that I would go so far to say it is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Upon learning the terrifying news that I had breast cancer… I made the decision to face this challenge head on with strength and determination and adopted an attitude that ‘failure is not an option.’ I knew if I got a second chance at life, my life would change drastically.”

Wagner says she no longer takes anything for granted, but makes every effort to live in the moment, to be kinder and more compassionate, and enjoy every sunset. “I tell my family how much I love them. I never assume people know how I feel about them. I simply don’t sweat the small stuff and keep smiling and laughing as much as possible,” Wagner states.

Even if you’re unable to make a donation, there are many ways to help those who are impacted by this disease. Wagner said that “just being there” can help immensely. “I have two dear friends I’ve seen only a handful of times over the past 28 years. When they heard my news, they both called me every day. There were times after surgery I didn’t remember talking to them, but they kept calling and sending cards relentlessly. It helped me so much!”

The Komen foundation, established  in 1982 by Nancy Brinker in Dallas, TX, in honor of her sister Susan, ” is the only organization that addresses breast cancer on multiple fronts such as research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives in order to make the biggest impact against this disease,” according to their website. For information about the foundation or to donate, visit the organization’s website at