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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