Archive for category: Practice Manager of the Month

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Elizabeth Howard - Practice Manager of the Month (PMOM), April 2018 - Healthcare Services TeamElizabeth Howard
Practice Manager, Morrow Family Medicine

Elizabeth Howard is the Practice Manager at Morrow Family Medicine. The practice has two locations; one in Milton and the other in Cumming, Georgia. Dr. Morrow started the practice as a solo practice in Cumming and has grown to five providers and two locations with a staff of 18. In spring 2018 they will move into a new, larger space in Cumming to accommodate the growing practice.

Elizabeth has her degree in Athletic Training. Her husband was military, and they moved six times in six years. Her first job was as an orthopedic tech and has worked various positions within the medical office. While working in Orthopedics in Johns Creek, she met Dr. Morrow as their practices shared an X-ray machine. After a location change and brutal commute, she received a call from Dr. Morrow starting his practice, and she joined Morrow Family Medicine.

Her experience from working the various roles in the doctor’s office comes into play each day as Practice Manager. While she misses patient care, she can relate well to her team and their struggles since she has worked each position. She understands how hard each role can be and can empathize with her employees. Her employees know that she’s been there, so they understand and appreciate her insight.

Elizabeth’s recommendation to other Practice Managers is to take time to do some work in each role. By understanding each role, Elizabeth knows that she can help set expectations they can achieve. So, if you haven’t answered phones, then answer one day and experience it. If you haven’t done scheduling then do it. Elizabeth is a big believer in no office drama. It’s important to be the solution, not the problem. Everyone needs to get along and keep the peace. It’s important for her as Practice Manager to be that neutral person so people can come to her and openly discuss any problems.

Elizabeth’s experience is what Dr. Morrow most appreciated and wanted when he hired her, since she can understand the front and back of the office. Jim Morrow, MD stated, “The best thing about working with Elizabeth is that I know she always has my back. She is constantly thinking about what can improve the practice, our workflow and our morale and our staff. She is a progressive thinker who sees technology as a help, not a hindrance, as some do, and she never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and do any job in the office. Elizabeth is the consummate manager.”

Her mentor is her significant other. He is now retired from the army and is retired as a leader. She remembers watching him the first six years on how he became a good leader. During those years, he learned new skills and how to be fair and lead with honesty and integrity. He found value learning from successful and unsuccessful leaders. Then, he was able to apply these skills to encourage people to work harder and more efficiently at their jobs.

Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family. She has a 4 year old and they play Barbies. She also enjoys spending time working in the yard and garden (flowers and vegetables), and working out.

Elizabeth Howard was nominated by Bill Steuer of GSG Capital. Her description of Bill is simply stated, “He’s great.” She mentioned how they started out with a new office and didn’t have cash flow. He helped with the financing money and getting the machines needed to open their doors. He goes beyond just the financing and also helps to coordinate movers and other vendor recommendations.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Kristy Lockert

Kristy Lockert
Practice Administrator, Sandy Springs Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, P.C.

Kristy Lockert is the Practice Administrator at Sandy Springs Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, P.C. located in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The practice has a dual specialty with focus on general pediatrics and a few of the doctors focus on infectious diseases. The practice started in October 1999 and has changed and grown through the years. Currently there are seven doctors in the practice with a total of 20 people on staff. Prior to working at Sandy Springs Pediatrics, Kristy worked in Dallas at several medical offices of various surgery types and also worked nine years in a national home health agency.

Kristy enjoys being in pediatrics. She finds the doctors to be more laid back and have fun compared to the surgery doctors, and she enjoys having kids around. Kristy has been in healthcare since 1986. She thrives on the ever-changing environment. To keep a healthy work environment, Kristy focuses on improving office satisfaction through frequent communication. She recognizes the importance of staff meetings to share information and openly discuss what is working and what is not. She also knows that it’s important to have more casual one-off conversations with each staff member where she can get different responses than the full staff meetings.

Another of Kristy’s tips to practice managers is to stay on top of changes by being proactive and thinking outside of the box. She accomplishes this by reading various industry newsletters from MGMA, Pediatrics Associations, and other physician practice newsletters. She also receives information from their EMR vendor. By staying informed, she is able to talk to the doctors about changes and steps to take to keep it a viable practice. Healthcare can be cyclical, especially with practices being bought out by hospitals and then returning to independent. Although pediatrics is not bought out as much as other specialties, Sandy Springs Pediatrics desires to stay independent. To succeed, they need to stay on top of changes and implement changes as necessary to keep patients and parents happy.

Kristy has had many mentors through the years including her mother, grandparents, and previous bosses. The key advice that she holds dear is to stay true to herself, serve, be fair, honest, and loyal, and most importantly to not forget where you came from. To be successful as a manager, "you need to remember the previous jobs you held and wear other hats to see different angles and viewpoints." She keeps this all to heart at Sandy Springs Pediatrics and is best expressed by John G. Long, MD, "One of the things that sets Kristy apart from other office managers that I have worked with is her energy and constant planning for the future. She has the ability to guide our group of fairly conservative MD’s into important projects that change and update our business. She is a dynamic leader who has guided us through adding new physicians, adopting an electronic medical record system, and twice moving the practice to new spaces, most recently last year when we relocated to our current offices in Sandy Springs. She is always able to carry out these projects with consensus building, good humor and ultimate agreement by all that progress has been made."

When Kristy is not working, she is an avid bowler. She bowls on several leagues. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and riding motorcycles.
Kristy Lockert was nominated by Chris Jann of Medicus IT. She speaks highly of Chris and all of the people she has worked with at Medicus. In 2013, the practice started using an EMR systems. Prior to that, Kristy was the IT person. She knew it was time to have full IT support to help handle everything from installs, updates, HIPAA compliance, and keeping everything secure. She wouldn’t want to do it without them.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

pmm_loribazzaniLori Bazzani

Practice Administrator, Rockdale Family Practice

Lori Bazzani is the Practice Administrator at Rockdale Family Practice in Conyers, Georgia.  The practice was started by Dr. Mary-Jane Kassam (Dr. MJ) and Dr. Mohamed Kassam (Dr. Sam) back in 1991.  Lori joined the practice in 2010 and started off in the billing department.  As the practice grew so did Lori’s role.  Dr. MJ started a weight loss program and expanded her role within the practice, and later expanded Lori’s role again to become the Practice Administrator.  Rockdale Family Practice has grown and now has five doctors and two physician assistants, for a total staff of 30. Prior to Rockdale Family Practice, Lori previously worked eight years for an allergy practice.

Lori knows that if the staff are happy, then they will enjoy coming to work.  By maintaining a good work environment, the staff work more efficiently and take better care of the patients. Lori has an open door policy to talk about personal issues or other things that may come up while at work.  By talking it through and giving them care and attention, her colleagues feel valued and better throughout the day.  She is the liaison between the staff and doctors, so she knows her role is important to keep everything running smoothly.  Lori is extremely proud to have happy staff.

The two tips that Lori offers as suggestions to other practice administrators support this mantra.  She recommends to be a good listener and to be compassionate to both staff and patients.  A lot of things come up during the day that you don’t anticipate.  So it’s important to be prepared to be hit with things and be ready to respond.  Lori wears a lot of hats in the practice administrator role and often needs to think outside the box for the solution.

The best advice that Lori has received is from the current doctors.  They told her to be confident in decisions and be a leader for the office.  She does this well as M.J. Kassam, M.D. stated, “Lori has an ability to brighten the whole place with her presence, her smile, her overall enthusiasm and genuine care for the practice and the individuals whose lives interact there, whether they be clients, vendors, business associates, staff members or a delivery person passing through.  Even on the more challenging days, Lori radiates positive energy and a sense of fairness that contribute greatly to good morale, cooperation and team building.”  Lori received high praise from Indira Asser, M.D., “There are several things that I love about working with Lori Bazzani. She handles the administrative part of the office so effectively, that I don’t recall the last time I had to be involved in ‘putting out a fire’, which involved a patient or an employee.  She is a very good listener, very conscientious, and adored by my fellow doctors and all other employees. Because of her, the minutiae is handled and I can focus on what I love doing, and that is, taking care of patients.”

Lori Bazzani was nominated by Chris Jann of Medicus IT.  She stated, Chris knows that she’s not big on knowing computer systems and feels good about leaving things in his team’s hands.  When Rockdale Family Practice got a new EMR system the prior year, the EMR group wanted to switch IT companies, but Lori talked to the doctors and wanted to keep Chris and the Medicus IT team.  Medicus IT was more than capable of working with the new EMR system and keep everything running smoothly.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

EveCarterEve Carter
Practice Manager, West Atlanta Pediatrics

Eve Carter has been the Practice Manager at West Atlanta Pediatrics for 23 years. The group has two locations; one in Lithia Springs and the other in Dallas, Georgia.  The practice consists of four doctors, two mid-levels, and 32 employees.  During nursing school, Eve worked with a general practitioner where she obtained early experience with billing and insurance along with nursing.  She had to be a quick study, as there was a lot of on the job learning.  After nursing school, Eve worked as a pediatric nurse at Wellstar Hospital.  She had a few changes in and out of the hospital before she started employment at West Atlanta Pediatrics; first as a nurse, and shortly thereafter after she got involved in administrative tasks, ending up with the role of Practice Manager.

While Eve misses the nursing part of her job, she likes that she’s more of a mom role than a boss.  With two locations, the staff rotates and now has an office manager in each location.  Eve enjoys coming to work because she’s coming to work with friends.  She is friends with each employee/doctor, and they enjoy a family type atmosphere. All of this leads to a pleasant environment and low turnover.

Eve states that it’s important to foster a family environment to be successful and help people feel happy.  West Atlanta Pediatrics tries to have out of office functions to get to know each other outside the workplace.  They have a summer function, holiday parties, and sometimes go on trips together.  The other factor that Eve finds important in her role as Practice Manager is to have high expectations, and to be sure that those expectations have been communicated. While there is a need to be empathic to situations as they arise, the work still needs to be done and setting expectations and goals allows the office to run smoothly.  Lindsey Ransom, M.D., one of the pediatricians at West Atlanta Pediatrics stated, “As a trusted leader in our office, Eve runs the practice as a well-oiled machine, but treats each employee like family.  Her dynamic and positive demeanor inspires us all to be better at our jobs.”

Some of the best advice that Eve received in her years of nursing is from that first general practitioner’s office where she was employed. She watched the doctor and staff work smoothly because they were knowledgeable and efficient.  She watched and listened how they dealt with patients with kindness, and acted kindly but firmly with providers. The phrase that sticks with her is that everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time, so not to get intimidated.  The pleasant demeanor kept stress levels down and kept everything moving.

Eve has started to have more time away from work.  With that time, she and her husband enjoy travelling.  They have a second home in Montreat, NC where they spend a lot of time and help to take care of aging relatives as well as checking in on their kids and grandkids.  They recently travelled to Belize where they split their time between the jungle and beach.  The enjoyed the jungle adventure more.

Eve Carter was nominated by Chris Jann of Medicus Solutions (IT).  She started working with Chris in 2008 when they switched to Allscripts EMR.  Chris Jann and Medicus were recommended to them, and she said that his company has done a wonderful job. She had little computer knowledge at the time, and Medicus really helped. Eve knows that as a Practice Manager she has many things to worry about so it’s best not to get overwhelmed about IT.  It’s important to her that they will take care of HIPAA, privacy policies, keep them compliant, and get anything resolved quickly.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

SimoneFlack_thbSimone Flack
Practice Manager, Atlanta Clinical Care

Simone Flack is the Practice Manager at Atlanta Clinical Care.  The group has four full time doctors and two mid-levels.  The practice is located near Northside and St. Joseph’s and receives a lot of hospital patient referrals from surgery as they focus on infectious diseases and infusion services.  They also have a travel clinic, Atlanta Travel Medicine, where they provide pre-travel shots to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Simone has been with the practice for six years.  She worked previously at another medical practice before Atlanta Clinical Care.  Prior to working in the medical field, she worked 20 years in banking, helping doctors and attorneys.  Her combination of medical knowledge and finance has made her a valuable asset for the doctors as they know the practice is running smooth and she ‘knows where the money is.’

Simone has found a different kind of stress working in a doctor’s office versus a bank but finds it rewarding.  She prides herself on providing outstanding customer service and her can-do attitude.  She loves being with people and trying to help them. She enjoys problem solving and that no day is the same.

In any walk of life, Simone knows that to be successful takes a team.  With her role as Practice Manager she does need to view everything at the 30,000 feet level.  But, she understands that it is very important that she knows the different areas in the practice and appreciation for what each person does.  It is important not just to know what they need to do, but also what it takes to do the work and know each person and what they are going through.  Simone states that relating to your fellow employees and showing appreciation helps to earn their respect and empowers them to be successful.  She says that if one link is not working properly, then the whole chain breaks down.  By staying in front of any issues, the work runs smoothly and creates a good environment.

Some of the best advice that Simone received came from a former banking colleague Robert Taylor in South Carolina.  He told her there are many ways to get to the goal; roll with the punches and realize there is not just one way to do it.  Simone keeps this in mind and is open to different views and opinions and tries to incorporate them into her day to day.  If she keeps the goal in sight and knows there different ways to get there, she stays focused and shares the same vision with her colleagues.

Matthew J. McCall, MD at Atlanta Clinical Care states, “Simone is an integral member to our team/family and therefore I cannot use the term “office manager” when it relates to her.  She has been with us for over 5 years and has vastly contributed to the ongoing success which we have been blessed to have. Her diligence, intelligence, and management skills are unparalleled. She wears too many hats with her job duties to describe in a few sentences.  What I can say is that each hat is worn with 100 percent precision and the job(s) are always handled to perfection. The great success of our practice lies greatly on the back of Simone. I cannot imagine being in a practice, or owning a practice, without the assistance of Simone. I would rather this would be a “Practice Manager of the years” nomination, rather than a monthly nomination as it does not do justice to my gratitude to Simone.  The greatest compliment I can give is that if the time ever came for her to have a better opportunity for her or her family, I would have a hard time writing all of my recommendations on a single form as I cannot imagine ever running a business without her.”

Simone’s focus outside of work is keeping up with the lives of her two adult daughters.  One is a registered nurse in California, and the other opened a law firm in Atlanta.  Simone loves to travel, especially to the mountains to ski.  Her list of mountains to conquer is Park City, Smokies, Steamboat, and Heavenly.  She will be meeting her brother in Austria soon and also hopes to travel to Alberta.

Simone Flack was nominated by Sheila Fox-Lovell of Shandy Creative Solutions.  She describes Sheila as the sweetest and most positive person.  The relationship started with business cards, then needed some help to redevelop the website, and just continues to grow.  She appreciates Sheila’s patience as often their projects together will be working on something for a bit, then has to take break to focus on other areas as Practice Manager.   She looks forward to continuing their friendship and business relationship with other future projects.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

DebRosenberg_smDeb Rosenberg
Chief Executive Officer, Atlanta Southeast Center for Epilepsy & Neurodevelopment, P.C.

Deb Rosenberg is the Chief Executive Officer at Atlanta Southeast Center for Epilepsy & Neurodevelopment, P.C. also known as ASCEND Pediatrics. The group initially started in 2007 with 15 providers then went through a change in 2011.  Deb helped the partners start the new practice from scratch and learned a lot along the way.  She learned about business licenses, filing for tax id, engaging vendors, negotiating contracts, computer conversions, notifying insurance carriers, and so much more.  The process helped her to take the view of ‘new things = new skills’, and she kept all the paperwork and emails in a binder documenting along the way.

Deb likes the people contact part of her job.  She enjoys working with her staff and getting to meet the vendors.  She finds there is always something new to learn.  She most likes working in a pediatric practice as she loves working with children.  Many of the patients have conditions that may not be cured, but the doctors, nurses, and staff are able to help improve quality of life.  ASCEND helps the families get answers, find support groups for their situation, and just a really good place for children to come.

Deb enjoys the challenges that her job brings and offers some advice to her colleagues.  She shared that to be successful, you need to have an open mind to learn new things and react to changes. Healthcare is always changing.  It’s important to use a lot of skills at one time.  A few of the multiple hats she wears are marketing, planning, budgeting, and financial manager. So, be someone that wants to multi-task and be a problem solver.  She suggests think through what the resolution could be and learn to live with choices and continue to move forward.

These qualities can be seen in the words from the two doctors at the practice.  Dr. Raymond Cheng states, “I like working with Deb because she has the straightforward no-nonsense approach to a problem with a great dose of humor in it. She has run a very tight ship for us and is responsible for keeping our overhead at its lowest for the past years.”  Dr. Howard Schub also contributed, “…She is skilled in personnel management, fiscal stewardship, and operations. Under her guidance, we have incorporated a new accounting and billing system, renovated our suite, and pared personnel to an efficient number.”

Deb has several interests outside of work.  She is a pet owner, self-professed cat lover, and involved in pet rescue.  She enjoys old movies, especially a marathon of Humphry Bogart.  She goes antiquing and looks for antique hats while a friend of hers collects antique household items.  Deb also enjoys horseback riding, mainly Western.

Deb Rosenberg was nominated by Chris Jann of Medicus Solutions.  Her main praise of Medicus is ‘they really know their stuff.’  She appreciates the balance of their respect for people and the great sense of humor they bring to the situation.  She feels that the people at Medicus clearly enjoy what they do, willing to teach you and help you and extremely responsive.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

StephanieEthridgeStephanie Ethridge
Practice Administrator, Sandy Springs Internal Medicine

Stephanie Ethridge is the Practice Administrator at Sandy Springs Internal Medicine. Stephanie has been at Sandy Springs Internal Medicine for over 15 years.  She started as a patient account rep, and then moved to temporarily fill the Practice Administrator role, and she made it her own and kept the role.  Sandy Springs Internal Medicine is a private medical practice focused on higher standards and better care.  Eleven years ago, SSIM was one of the first practices to move to concierge medicine and is still one of the largest in the space.  There are seven physicians, 31 full time employees, and resides in a 10,000 square foot space.

Stephanie has a BA in management and managed in company prior to joining the healthcare industry.  In working in her current role, she enjoys most the ability to make a difference.  Her work touches the patients, staff, and doctors, and she wears many hats as a Practice Administrator.  Her first project when she took the role was to remodel the entire office while still working and maintaining the office day to day.  As she says, the key is to step in and do what needs to be done, even if that means unclogging a sink before maintenance can get there.

Some tips that Stephanie would like to share with colleagues (there’s a gazillion) is first to listen more than you talk.  Sometimes even she struggles with this one, but we have one mouth and two ears so remember to listen first.  There is always a moving target, so it’s important to be ready to adapt, be flexible, and be ready for change.  She notices this is a struggle with some people.  IT is certainly one of the areas that are constantly changing and important to stay ahead of the curve.  Stephanie stays on top of things by reaching out to experts in their fields for accounting, legal, IT.  She knows it’s always important to seek help with those with experience and knowledge.  She also utilizes the posting/forum boards through MGMA North Fulton.

Stephanie recently attended a staff meeting where Bert Thornton, president/CEO of Waffle House, spoke.  She commented that he was full of wisdom, knowledge, and experience.  The key phrase that stuck with her, “You can’t learn anything until you are ready.”  While reflecting on these words, she has found it to be true for work and life in general.  It’s a reminder to be open, receptive, and willing to learn.

Dr. Kelly Ahn provided a note on behalf of the seven physicians at Sandy Springs Internal Medicine.  He states, “I cannot think of a position more challenging than Practice Administrator of an independent, private medical practice of seven physicians. Balancing the needs and wants of seven “bosses” with seven different personalities is impossible; however, Stephanie achieves the impossible to lead the largest independent concierge medical practice in Georgia.”

Outside of work, Stephanie most enjoys being a mom.  She likes to travel but doesn’t get to do it enough.  She recently went on a Disney cruise saying, “They know how to do everything. So well planned out.”  She enjoys cooking and trying to learn more and try new good, fresh, health food.  She recently joined a coop in the neighborhood to have fresh fruits and vegetables.  She says they are so much better to when you get the real taste.  There really is a significant different.

Stephanie Ethridge was nominated by Chris Jann of Medicus Solutions.  She met Chris shortly after she took on the Practice Administrator role.  He and his firm were a recommendation from another practice, and she classifies it as one of the best decisions. Chris and Medicus Solutions has helped them transform and rebuild their network to have it be what it needs to do these days – consistent, reliable, and an extension of the business.  She can reach out to Medicus and know they are there.  She has recommended them several times to others.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

ashleybernalAshley Bernal
Assistant Practice Manager, Pain Consultants of Atlanta

Ashley Bernal, Assistant Practice Manager for Pain Consultants of Atlanta, enjoys the multi-tasking aspect of her job.  She enjoys that each day is different providing challenges and opportunities.  Although she doesn’t always enjoy the occasional janitorial job, she steps in where needed to keep the practice flowing.

Ashley has been with Pain Consultants for over ten years.  Prior to becoming Assistant Practice Manager at PCA, she worked nineteen years in the industry.  She worked for NCO Group supervising commercial and managed care collections department for U.A.B Hospital.  Later she worked with Per-Se Technologies, financial and administrative healthcare solutions, managing the revenue cycle for more than thirty anesthesia and pain management practices.

When looking for inspiration, Ashley provided three quotes.  “Respect is earned; Growth comes from pain; and No one cares about what you say, until they know that you care.”  The last quote is a phrase from Mary Jayne Huddleston who works closely with Ashley.  She is a former nurse now on the administrative side and offers a perspective from both sides of the desk.

Two tips that Ashley would share with her colleagues are to listen to your employees and implement new technology.  Your employees are the front line and working the day to day.  They can best identify bottlenecks in procedures and processes.  Recognizing where a manual process is creating a bottleneck to productivity, is a great opportunity to look to technology to find a better, faster solution.

When asked about her hobbies, Ashley gave a wry smile and said, “There’s no time for hobbies as an Assistant Practice Manager.”  Truth be told, Ashley is the mother of three children – a daughter and twin boys.  They certainly fill her free time as they enjoy drama and soccer.  But, if she’s going to name a hobby, she likes to quilt.

Ashley Bernal was nominated by Jennifer Autian, TCA Business Solutions. She appreciates that she or her staff can pick up the phone or send an email and have a person dedicated to their account to get answers quickly.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Van HendryVan Hendry
Chief Operating Officer, Coastal Cardiology, P.A.

Van Hendry is the Chief Operating Officer at Coastal Cardiology in Charleston, SC.  Coastal Cardiology is an independent practice with three locations and serving the Charleston area for 30 years.  The practice has six doctors and three physician assistants and continues to grow.  Prior to working at Coastal Cardiology, Van worked at a urology office.  He enjoys working in medical specialties.  Van is originally from Pittsburgh, spent time in Washington D. C. and has now been in Charleston for 12 years.

Van loves working in healthcare as no two days are the same.  He likes variety and helping people by improving their quality of life. He has great doctors to work with that provide quality healthcare.  Van likes to kick off the day with a plan of attack when he comes in, but he finds that the whole day shifts quickly and it’s never boring.

Some tips that Van would like to share with colleagues is to be involved in the day to day operations.  Take the time, even in a large practice, to know your patients. Take the time to meet them and ask how patient care is going.  It also important to network with colleagues in the industry to know what is going on with other practices and how that might affect your own practice.  Van networks with a group of independent specialists.  They gather quarterly, sometimes for a presentation, but most often to talk about current challenges and share opinions and possible solutions.  He finds it invaluable to have new perspectives and fresh ideas.  Van states, ‘the challenge with healthcare is that the pace of change is accelerating, and you’ve got to stay ahead of the pace of change.’ When working with an independent practice, it’s important to have other people help you see the horizon.

Some of the best advice that Van received is to not get boxed into a mindset on how to solve a problem.  He shared a story of a colleague who asked him what a Sloan valve is.  Being in the medical industry, Van continued to think through all the various heat valves and other medical devices.  The answer was that you see one every day, all flush handles are made by Sloan.  He realized that he got stuck thinking from the perspective of medical that he didn’t think of other uses for valves.   It’s a lifelong lesson that he carries with him not to get stuck on one way of looking at something and to think beyond.  Networking helps give him the fresh perspective.

When speaking with Jeffrey Rieder, MD, he had this to say about Van, “Van has been with our practice for over two years and has quickly become an integral part of Coastal Cardiology. He has streamlined our operations and has developed outstanding relationships with many of our external vendors. Having him onboard allows us as providers to concentrate on treating patients.”

Van feels that even if he quit working, he wouldn’t have enough time to do everything he wants to do.  He enjoys travel, photography, working on his antique car, and reading about history.  He has travelled to Africa, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.  He’s currently planning a trip to Quebec.  Good thing his wife has the same travel bug.

Van Hendry was nominated by Bart Segal, Tri-Med Solutions.  He enjoys that Bart often talks about the changes with healthcare and how a lot of it affects EMR.  Van feels that Bart can help connect people that can help him be successful.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

pmm_2016-0728-debra_ledbetterDebra Ledbetter, RN, CMPE
Practice Manager, Rivertown Pediatrics

Debra Ledbetter is the Practice Manager at Rivertown Pediatrics in Columbus, Georgia.  It is a large practice with ten providers and a staff of 40.  The practice is focused only on pediatrics with the vision to help the children of the community enjoy longer, healthier and more productive lives.  Debra enjoys the larger practice as it’s always a challenge and lots of moving pieces.  She finds the fun in taking care of children, and especially enjoys being able to utilize management and clinical skills at the same time.

Prior to working at Rivertown Pediatrics, Debra was a critical care nurse in Columbus, GA for eight years.  She followed the hands on nursing experience with management experience at a urology office for six years.  She took some time off to be home with her children, and then came to Rivertown Pediatrics.  She started as a clinical manager, worked her way to practice manager, and has enjoyed 19 years at Rivertown Pediatrics.  Debra has recently become a Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) with MGMA and is working on Fellowship.  She must do a professional study and submit for approval

The piece of advice that has stuck with Debra the longest was from Neonatologist Dr. Louis Levy.  He told her on her second day at the practice “Touch it once.”  She says, “Not a week goes by that I don’t hear him say it in my mind.”  With a big busy practice, that is how Debra keeps the office successful.  She doesn’t let things pile up or stay behind.  If it comes her way, she makes the decision and moves on.  Everything has to be checked off, but she does it once and moves on to the next task.

One tip Debra has for her colleagues is to come in with an attitude that you can’t just maintain.  You must always be looking for ways to move forward in healthcare.  Maintaining is never good enough.  She suggests networking with other practice managers and practices to look for new opportunities to learn something different.  She tells others to look for opportunities in the industry at conferences, on the internet, in magazine and newspaper articles – ‘read anything about healthcare.’

With 19 years at Rivertown Pediatrics, there’s no question that she’s a valuable asset.  One of the doctors, Dr. Kathryn Cheek said this of Debra, “Debra is an innovative but totally practical leader in our office.  She researches a topic and then implements the necessary steps to achieve change. She is a person you can always depend on and she cares deeply for the success of our office. She has been a delight to work with over 15 years and our success would not have been accomplished without her input. We all admire her skills and feel blessed to have her as our office manager.”

Outside of work, Debra loves to spend time with family.  She enjoys traveling, especially if there’s a beach.  From Columbus, Georgia, she finds it easy to get to the Florida beach areas.  Her favorite is the Panhandle area, and she also loves Savannah and Tybee Island.  She recently went on an Alaskan cruise.

Debra Ledbetter was nominated by Bart Segal, Tri-Med Solutions.  She states, “Bart understands our practice. Not just with our EMR needs but also as a whole.” She feels that Bart understands that she has needs as a practice manager and is constantly looking for new ideas for the practice.  He knows this and sends information, articles, and links to new ideas and takes the time to go beyond his one area.

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