Remembering Lois Krotz: A Legacy of Innovation, Passion, and Care - Cover

Remembering Lois Krotz: A Legacy of Innovation, Passion, and Care

Where does the line between coworker, colleague, and friend lie? Is it a function of time and shared experience? Possibly, but that doesn’t explain everything. We’ve all worked with people for years who have never crossed that barrier from “friend from work” to simply “friend.” 

Alternatively, if we’re lucky, we may have people in our lives whose importance to us eclipses the fact that our initial meeting came through an employer. Recently, tragically, many of us at KLAS had to say goodbye to one such individual. 

Lois Krotz, who spent a decade at KLAS shaping the very foundations of our analyst team, recently passed away. What follows here is a memorial, built from those of us at KLAS who have lost not only a colleague but a lifelong friend. 

We readily acknowledge that this is a departure from the typical content we publish on this blog. But we hope that you’ll excuse our team as we take this opportunity to share the deep impact Lois had on our work, our industry, and most importantly, on us. 

The world of healthcare IT is vast, with many shining stars. But every so often, a supernova emerges, outshining all others. Lois was one of those luminaries, making lasting impacts on the industry and on the hearts of those she interacted with. 

A Pioneer in Analysis 

Lois' professional journey at KLAS was nothing short of extraordinary. She worked on groundbreaking projects that would go on to define benchmarks across our entire industry. You may not have heard her name, but if you’re in healthcare IT, there’s a fair chance Lois’ fingerprints are on your work. 

The frameworks Lois built, particularly with AI and data analytics, were pioneering. Her methodological approach towards research was noteworthy. "We built KLAS’ entire framework on AI together, from the calls with the providers to the data analysis. And that's what helped us understand AI in healthcare and be able to really define where it fit,” recalled Ryan Pretnik, who worked closely with Lois at KLAS. 

Without her contributions, KLAS—and by extension the provider community—wouldn’t have the shared language necessary to innovate quickly on how to implement increasingly essential technologies, like AI. Lois’ vision for how to frame the conversation on these technologies preceded the ChatGPT wave and therefore helped many organizations understand how best to approach these technologies when they arrived. 

A Mentor and Friend 

Beyond her professional accolades, Lois' personal impact on her colleagues was even more profound. From mentoring to building close-knit relationships, her compassion and care knew no bounds. Jenn Hickenlooper fondly remembered how Lois took many under her wing, especially other women at KLAS. “She did a good job of connecting, especially with the female analysts. She really supported them on her team and helped drive their careers forward.”  

As Monique Rasband, a KLAS research director, put it, “Lois was a great example of someone that's very giving.” Aurene, another coworker, shared a similar sentiment, “She was the perfect example of giving, and that was why she was so successful, not just professionally but as a human being.” 

For Lois, it was never just about professional growth. Lois genuinely cared. Ryan Pretnik explained, “She is so devoted to what she does. Lois legitimately cares. She not only cares about her work and puts her best foot forward. She cares about the people that she works with.” 

Beyond KLAS: A Broader Impact 

Lois' influence wasn't restricted to her internal influence at KLAS. Her contributions touched the corners of the healthcare IT industry. Lois often spoke at events: HIMSS, investor symposiums, or other international summits. She not only generated our insights, she was the mouthpiece that breathed life into those insights across the industry.  

Though Lois was raised in Shanghai (and therefore spoke English as a second language), I remember telling her that she could present better in my native language than I ever could. 

Monique shared a fond memory of Lois during an international summit in Spain where Lois moderated an AI panel. “It was really fun to watch because a couple of providers and vendors were like ‘really?’ KLAS [at the time] didn’t even measure the segment.” But after the panel, Monique recalled an overwhelming amount of appreciation for Lois' meticulous handling of a complex topic and her ability to clarify a cloudy market. 

Legacy of Positivity and Resilience 

Lois' positivity was infectious. For example, Lois' license plates read “amor fati,” a Stoic expression that in Latin means “love your fate.” To those who knew her, this mentality was no surprise. She lived her life by this philosophy: “embrace everything with love, positivity, and acceptance.” She was all about living with her fate and stayed very positive that way. 

Ryan Pretnik beautifully encapsulated the essence of Lois, “She was so easy to talk to and communicate with. She was an absolute people person.” 

The void Lois left behind is immense. As we remember her, we are reminded of her passion, dedication, and unwavering love for both her work and those around her. Her legacy at KLAS and in the broader healthcare industry will continue to inspire, reminding us of the profound impact one individual can make. 

In one of our last conversations before her passing, Lois shared with me another Stoicism favorite of hers, “memento mori,” Latin for “remember that you die.” Instead of leading to discouragement, Lois shared that this reminder helped her live life to the utmost. Her memory will serve as an inspiring call, encouraging us all to pursue our passions, care deeply for others, and embrace every challenge with positivity and grace.  

We could likely have interviewed many other KLASmates and friends and undoubtedly found many other examples of the exceptional life Lois led. However, as we remember Lois and the work she started, it feels appropriate instead to end with this quote: 

“It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” —Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address  

In many ways, those of us who knew Lois will move forward with an increased dedication to living and working in a way that continues the legacy Lois left for us.