2018 Connell Woman of the Year: Jaeniffer Kaiser, ARNP

Jaeniffer Kaiser’s determination and resourcefulness has been evident from an early age – even before she moved to Connell at age sixteen. Most people who know her may know a little of her story, which is quite a remarkable journey.

When her parents had come to America earlier to set up a medical clinic in Connell, Jaeniffer stayed behind in the Philippines to care for her two younger siblings and run the family pharmacy which operated out of their home.

Looking back on that time, she doesn’t remember being afraid of being left alone. She does remember crying the day her dad left. “After that we just did what we had to do without any questions,” she said.

“We attended a Catholic school, and I looked after the business and took care of my younger siblings.” She drew strength and comfort from her faith. “I prayed a lot and felt God was on my side,” she recalls.

Managing the pharmacy was difficult and very stressful for a sixteen year old girl. “My godparents noticed the pharmacy was not doing well and getting low on inventory and they offered to help. It didn’t occur to me that they might also have their own agenda,” she said.

They encouraged her to sell the business. They asked for a commission on the sale which she paid even though she needed the money for living expenses since her parents were not yet making any money in the United States. “I gave the new owner the keys to the business thinking he would pay me right away since my father knew him and the man owned a chain of pharmacies. He did not!" Jaeniffer’s natural resilient spirit came into play. “I had to call him all the time and finally I just showed up at one of his businesses and demanded that I get paid!”

Jaeniffer was then able to move her siblings, herself, and their few belongings into a room that they rented from a friend. They lived there until they were able to come to America – several months later. It was winter in Connell when they arrived in the United States. Jaeniffer finished her senior year at Connell High School. Then it was on to Big Bend Community College, Gonzaga University, University of Washington and Vanderbilt University, where she completed her masters of science in nursing and became a family nurse practitioner.

Jaeniffer helped open a private clinic in Pasco when she returned to Washington. She eventually returned to her adopted community of Connell joining her father at his clinic in 1999. She took over his medical practice when he retired in 2007. The Ang Clinic became the Connell Clinic in 2011, and Jaeniffer joined the CBHA medical staff.

This spring Jaeniffer Kaiser was named the Connell Woman of the Year. Her commitment to provide health care to a small, rural community was recognized by the Connell Chamber of Commerce.

Jaeniffer’s husband, Larry, teaches at Robert Olds Junior High School. Their daughter, Jade, recently graduated from Connell High School.

Her passion is preventative care and she personally lives by what she tells her patients – that is to stay physically active and take care of the only body you will ever have. Jaeniffer considers it a privilege to take care of the health needs of the community who welcomed her and her family on that winter day years ago.