Leading from the Chair

Human Resource Management in a private clinical setting is unique. Practice leaders often spend a majority of their day caring for patients and maximizing production. Their focus on clinical tasks requires them to assume a chairside leadership role. Team building, compliance, and systems management can easily get lost if the practice owner and leadership team aren’t 100% dedicated to ensuring the execution of practice philosophy.

It’s All About Connection

Anyone can be a “practice owner.” It takes a special kind of person to be a “practice leader.” Leadership is all about connection – about building positive relationships with your team and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves, every day.

You can’t possibly delegate the day-to-day tasks that make your practice function and your patients happy if you don’t have a relationship built on trust. Trusting the people you hire to take care of your patients, your practice, your equipment, and even your money is impossible without the foundation of connection.


Kara D. Kelley, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Kara is a Dental HR Consultant who loves sharing her knowledge of the business side of dentistry. She is the founder and CEO of Clinical HR LLC, an advisory firm for dental and medical practices. Kara focuses on cultivating leadership skills, managing employee relations issues, and implementing competitive total rewards systems. She also works with practices to develop employee policies and establishing compliant HR systems.

Her love of working with dentists began in 2012 at a Dental CPA Firm in Central Texas. There, she worked with dental and medical practices, primarily focusing on business development and human resources advisory to helped practice owners become practice leaders while also managing internal HR and marketing for the firm. Kara developed a passion for all things HR. She worked with clients to set strategic goals, draft employee handbooks, develop pay structures, and integrate the financial side of dentistry with the leadership side. She also drafted business plans and helped clients understand how the non-financial side of a practice can impact their bottom line.

Kara holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management. She is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Never content with the status quo, Kara is an active member of Austin Human Resource Management Association, a Member of National Speakers Association Austin chapter, current president of T-werx Toastmasters, and holds a Veterans at Work certificate from SHRM. She is a lifelong learner and stays current on federal and state employment regulations through extensive continuing education.