Archive for category: Practice Manager of the Month

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

Denise Kushnar
Practice Manager
Northwest Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists

November Practice Manager of the Month

Congratulations to Denise Kushnar, Practice Manager of Northwest Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists, who was selected as Practice Manager of the Month because of successes working with her provider, staff and partners.

In reflecting on her success, Denise advises, “Multi-tasking, prioritizing and delegating ensure accomplishment! There is nothing worse than a manager who just cannot ‘get things done!’ Though daily demands are ever-increasing, it is a manager’s role to lead by example and perform their duties – and then some. I never ask one of my staff to do something that I would not do myself. This sets a positive stage for overall accomplishment, completion and a ‘can do environment.'”

“In order to be a successful practice manager doing this, one must not lose sight of the minutest details that ensure a positive patient experience, the demands of the physician are met, and your staff is equipped to perform their daily duties.”

Denise gained this perspective because she has always been fortunate to have very positive female role models personally and professionally. “I can remember my very first marketing manager telling me, ‘Manage as you would like to be managed,’” Denise recalls. “To this day I have always tried to do so. Management can be very gratifying as well as extremely challenging. It is important to support, reinforce and recognize those around you. At the end of the day, you are only as good as those you manage.”

Dr. John Kayal, owner and solo practitioner of Northwest Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists said, “I appreciate Denise’s enthusiasm, professionalism, ability to multi-task and to generally get things done!”

“I enjoy the constant challenges and multiple roles I perform within the practice,” added Denise. “I especially enjoy working with Dr. Kayal. He is a preceptor, visionary and a supervisor who commands and demands excellence. Every day can be a growing experience!”

Prior to being a Practice Manager for Northwest Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists, Denise was a Practice Manager for a smaller, primary care practice, having a diverse background in sales and marketing to include hospitality management and consumer products.

Her schedule can be very hectic, nonetheless, Denise does enjoy reading and working out at Crossfit Kennesaw.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

Spring E. Embry
Practice Administrator

October Practice Manager of the Month

Congratulations to Spring Embry for being recognized by her colleagues as HST’s Practice Manager of the Month.

Spring, who has been in practice management for 20 years in the Atlanta area is the type of person you want to work with or work for. “Always be open to change” she advises, “and listen to your staff as well as your peers for those valuable nuggets of information that trickle in each day.” Several people at HST have commented on Spring’s willingness to listen to ideas, then deciding what is right in the practice.

Dr. Daniel McDevitt says, “Spring has combined years of experience in managing medical practices with her engaging personality to propel our team to ever higher levels of achievement.
“Change can be difficult. Spring has made change easy for our practice by her leadership style which allows her to help others overcome impediments to growth. This keeps our practice focused on moving forward.
“Managing a medical practice is never easy. The complexity can be overwhelming. Spring brings a lifelong dedication to learning and growing to the table. She can handle HR issues, billing issues, and patient concerns (to name just a few things) without skipping a beat! She truly is a joy to be around.”

Spring added, “Those who work in the trenches each and every day can provide you with so much information. It is then left up to you on how you disseminate that information for your practice’s good.”

Spring received advice from many over the years. “The most valuable and useful advice I have received over the years is to not take yourself too seriously,” she recommends. “Observe, evaluate and react to the information in front of you. Always remember to not only manage, but lead!”

“I enjoy the daily interactions between patients, physicians and staff. The satisfaction of knowing I’m making a difference by helping create an atmosphere of excellence has been humbling. I have only been with Peachtree Vascular a little over a year and I feel privilege to be part of a legacy of this magnitude.”

Prior to joining PVS, Spring worked in the medical management field for over 19 years in various capacities including Operations Manager, Practice Manager and Practice Administrator. Working in practices for Infectious Disease, Gastroenterology and Psychology over the years, her background in Finance/Accounting enabled her to be strong in analyzing the bottom line and identifying new profitable cost centers. Prior to her healthcare career, she worked in the manufacturing industry as an Accounting/Scheduling Manager with Owens-Illinois in Birmingham, Alabama.

For the times Spring is not at PVS, she and her husband spend a tremendous amount of time entertaining her two wonderful grandchildren, something she “enjoys immensely!” Spring also loves to travel, making every effort to visit all 50 states to enjoy the scenery. Once she has seen all 50 states, she’ll be ready to venture internationally.

Congratulations, Spring!

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

S. Lynn Wolff, MBA, FACMPE
CEO, Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow


Congratulations to S. Lynn Wolff for being recognized by her colleagues as HST’s Practice Manager of the Month.

Lynn believes that in order to be a successful practice manager, “It’s critical to get involved and stay involved in the business and to network to give something back to your profession. Staying abreast of the policies that are constantly changing in our industry is important to understand how they can negatively or positively impact the practice.”

“Having an awareness of the surroundings outside the office is often overlooked, as running a large medical practice takes time and energy,” Lynn continued. “However, successful practices and those that run them need to be fully aware of their surroundings, business and daily changes. Leveraging the advice of other professionals in the industry is a fantastic way to accomplish this.”

When asked who she credits with giving her the best advice in her career, Lynn said that she “received a lot of great advice throughout the years from many of my peers. Probably the best advice was to find what you love and do it.” She says she has been fortunate in her life to have worked with some great physicians, and enjoyed the autonomy to be able to lead them to success. And success for Lynn means looking forward to going to work every day and facing new challenges; which her job certainly has.

Prior to working for Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, Lynn worked for Cobb Medical Hospital serving as the Practice Administrator over two specialty care facilities – West Cobb Medical Center and Paulding Center for Medical Care. She has been a Practice Administrator since 1980 with a short leave to work with Gates, Moore & Company as a Medical Practice Consultant. In that role she worked with private physician practices to improve budget, processes, accounts receivable, human resources and strategic planning.

Lynn says she really enjoys working with physicians to create a strategic plan that will solve problems and implement new technologies and processes to create high quality patient care, and a great atmosphere for our employees and providers. Putting a plan like that in place and seeing it through to fruition is extremely rewarding to Lynn as she helps build the type of practice that the doctors envision.

When Lynn is not busy running Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow, she enjoys spending time with her family. Her son just moved back from Colorado, and she gets to share in the experiences of having a new granddaughter. She also enjoys going to the beaches to relax and get away from it all, saying, “Everyone needs some beach time!” How true, Lynn!

Congratulations again, Lynn, on being HST’s Practice Manager of the Month, and thank you for the difference you make in the lives of staff and patients at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Kelly Kile, Practice Manager for Complete Women’s Healthcare in Johns Creek enjoys the diverse challenges that present themselves everyday in her practice. Her goal is to make a difference in the lives of the practice’s patients by helping create an efficient and pleasant environment. She takes pride in the hours of work she put into helping create their new office space. Her efforts produced an office which provides a calm pleasant atmosphere for the patients and a good work environment for the staff.

Prior to becoming the practice manager at Complete she worked nineteen years for other practices in healthcare, having come to Complete from a large ob/gyn practice at Pill Hill. When she heard that a doctor was putting together a new ob/gyn practice and needed help she was quick to respond and has now been working for Complete Women’s Healthcare for over six and a half years.

Kelly believes that a successful practice manager must be a good listener both in terms of hearing the concerns of patients and her staff. She feels that a good practice manager is objective, being careful to collect and weigh all the facts before making decisions. According to Kelly another important task for any practice manager, particularly in the current healthcare environment, is the ability to think ahead. To begin to deal with issues that are ahead for the practice before they become critical. Kelly feels that a good practice manager sets the proper tone for the practice. “The staff feeds off the practice manager’s vibe.” Therefore she has made it one of her goals to project the right vibe. She lets her staff know that she is looking after them and that she has their back.

The inspiration for Kelly’s medical career was her stepmother who was the CEO of a hospital and later a consultant with Arthur Anderson. At Arthur Anderson she went around the country setting up new hospitals. Her best advice to Kelly was not necessarily a single piece of advice but rather the confidence she instilled in Kelly to go out and tackle her first medical job. Her stepmother continues to this day to be a source of advice to Kelly as she deals with the ever changing healthcare environment.

With a set of twins who are about to turn seven and a demanding job Kelly doesn’t have a lot of time for hobbies but she does enjoy running which is probably good training for her life as a mom and a practice manager. Her main and most special interest is spending time with her family and enjoying her kids as they grow up.

We congratulate Kelly as our Practice Manager of the Month but more importantly we thank her for the difference she makes in the lives of the patients at Complete Women’s Healthcare.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

Cherie L’Archevesque
Allergy and Asthma Consultants

Cherie L’Archevesque, Practice Manager for Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Atlanta, truly enjoys interacting with staff and patients and the resulting feeling that she is helping people. She also enjoys taking on the challenges that have been presented with the recent changes in healthcare, and helping the practice to adapt to those changes. Whether the changes are positive or negative remain to be seen, and depends on who you ask, but Cherie’s approach to her job is to focus on the positive so that the practice will benefit long-term.

Cherie firmly believes that it’s important not to let small things bother you, and that it is of great advantage for practice managers to be available to staff and patients, and not put up barriers. In other words, remain accessible no matter how challenging things might get. Cherie says, “With five locations to manage, it can be challenging working with staff, because I can’t be onsite everywhere at one time. I feel we have a great support staff, though, and I need to maintain a balance between being the person in charge and treating people with respect.”

Dr. Paul Rabinowitz says, “Cherie’s excellent and skilled leadership and her genuine care and concern for our practice have enabled her to set standards that we admire and respect.”

When it comes to serving patients, Cherie says, “With patients, we have an atmosphere that is welcoming and opening. For example, we do not have an automated messaging service, resulting in more of a personal touch. We have a lot of competition, so we need to do things for our patients that really stand out, and that personal touch is one of those things.”

Prior to joining Allergy and Asthma Consultants, Cherie worked as an administrator for a smaller practice with multiple locations in New York state.

When asked to name someone in her life from whom she received the best advice about being successful in life, Cherie said, “My Father. He’s my role model, because he was successful, and came from humble beginnings. In all things, personal or professional, he taught me to treat others like you want to be treated – with integrity, professionalism, and respect.”

When Cherie is not busy managing the Allergy and Asthma Consultants practice, she enjoys contemporary acoustic music (e.g. Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz), gardening, cooking (she loves fried corn!), reading, and teaching Sunday school at her church. She also serves as the uniform chairperson for the marching band at her daughter’s school.

Congratulations, Cherie! Well deserved!

May Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

Interview with Jana Baker
Practice Administrator
Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates

We are excited to recognize Jana Baker as the Healthcare Services Team Practice Manager of the Month. Jana has spent nearly seven years with Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates (AGA) where she has been an integral part of the management team in building one of the region’s pre-eminent gastroenterology groups.

Jana was initially hired by AGA as their Operations Manager, a position she held for only a year before being promoted to the role of Practice Administrator, for this 73-physician/38 office/9 endoscopy center gastroenterology practice. Her responsibilities include daily management of a staff of twelve direct reports and oversight of a practice-wide staff numbering 400. Jana oversees all departments including human resources, IT, finance, office operations, endoscopy center operations, patient quality, customer service, and compliance.

We had a chance to sit down recently with Jana to explore what makes her work enjoyable and how she approaches management.

What do you enjoy about your job?

To keep it simple, Jana said, “I like working with people – patients, physicians, team members.” And, she particularly loves helping the practice grow. When Jana joined the practice, doctors “42” and “43” had recently joined. This growth, almost 100% by physician-count since Jana joined the practice, presents her and AGA with unique challenges. However, it is the challenge of problem solving and improving processes to make them more efficient which gives Jana so much professional satisfaction.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your current job?

Being a champion for change is at the top of Jana’s list of professional accomplishments. Jana likes the challenge presented when encouraging people to move outside of their comfort zones. She does this by shepherding her team and practice through the change process whether that be implementing a new electronic medical record system, restructuring a department, or rolling out a new service. Jana states, “I want others to see that change brings opportunity and that we can better ourselves and the practice by taking a positive approach to change.”

What were you doing prior to your current job?

Prior to joining AGA, Jana spent five years at a healthcare consulting firm focused on helping large, academic medical centers improve their revenue cycle and make the most efficient use of their inpatient beds. She began as an associate before being promoted to senior associate and finally to manager. Jana gained valuable experience learning how to work with hospital executives and she honed her people skills while working with numerous project teams. Every six-to-nine months, Jana found herself on a new project team with new managers and new team members. She learned how to develop staff by stretching them with opportunities that were partially in and out of their comfort zones.

Jana learned how to balance the objectives of the big picture while learning how to adapt to new managers and team members frequently. She had fifteen different managers and directors in five years, with many associates reporting to her during this period. She helped her associates with their struggles and discovered what motivated them. She filed away, from each manager, the elements of their management style she liked and didn’t like and incorporated them into her personal management style. Jana found she most admired the managers who focused on taking care of people as a first priority.

What 3 tips can you offer your colleagues about being a successful practice manager?

  1. Prioritize people—patients, physicians, your team.
  2. Seek first to understand. Take the time to understand the issue and to understand the background. When you do this, you are in the best position to figure out how to proceed.
  3. Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to make decisions. I’ve learned over time that if I hesitate to make a decision, it is because I haven’t yet settled on the best decision for moving forward. So, I seek other angles of problem solving or call upon others for support until I arrive at a decision that feels right.

Who gave you advice about being successful and what was his/her advice to you?

“My most influential mentor was my grandmother. After my grandfather’s sudden death, my grandmother was thrust into running a business and raising a family at a time when both were uncommon. She was strong, independent, and caring. I admired that she took advantage of the opportunity to travel and experience the world first-hand,” stated Jana. Her house was less than a few miles from Jana’s and her grandmother was always there for her. Jana learned about being determined, persevering, and taking care of her responsibilities from her grandmother – traits which she uses every day in her professional career with AGA.

What hobbies or special interests do you have?

Jana loves giving her young son new experiences and opening his eyes to the world. He has already traveled to 13 different states in his first 18 months. In addition, Jana has recently started to play tennis and is enjoying getting back into team activities through ALTA and USTA.


Dr. Steven Morris, M.D.

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

DeeDee Varner
Cobb Pediatrics

Dee Dee is an example of a practice manager that is greatly respected by her doctors, colleagues and vendors. “I love my job because every day is different,” Dee said. “I am constantly challenged and never get bored. Although I began my career in healthcare, I took a hiatus and practiced real estate for several years. I was very successful and thoroughly enjoyed it, but realized that healthcare is where I am meant to be.

“The past two and half years at Cobb Pediatrics have been the best in the 15 years that I have been here now,” said Dr. Robert Forbes. “Dee Dee came into this practice and turned us around from certain demise to making us viable and thrive. She has challenged the way we did things and has improved them. She thinks outside the box that we were used to and pushes us to do better. She has become the life-blood of our practice!”

Offering advice to her colleagues about being a successful practice manager, Dee Dee explained, “Don’t get comfortable and don’t be afraid of change. Whether we like it or not, healthcare is rapidly changing. If you want your practice to thrive, you have to be willing to evolve and make changes. I am always looking for ways that we can improve our Practice.”

Dee Dee also recommends, “Lead by example. if you want excellence and enthusiasm from your staff, model excellence and enthusiasm in everything you do. Be energetic and your energy will be contagious. The manager sets the tone for the entire organization.”

“My dad was a great role model and instilled this in me at a very early age. He taught me to be accountable, to always do my best and that a strong work ethic is essential to success in any profession.”

And yes, Dee Dee has a personal life. “I’m an animal advocate and have three rescue dogs- Cash, Stella, & Bluebell. I’m also actively involved with the non-profit “Jacob’s Color Link Initiative”, and volunteer with them in Haiti each summer at a holistic camp for children with disabilities.”

For more information about Cobb Pediatrics, go to

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.”  Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

Melissa Ross
Premier Care for Women

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy talking with patients and working with people, I like trying to help patients make their visits easy and enjoyable.

Prior to Premier Care, Melissa  was a Practice manager for a previous OB/GYN and MFM group.  Two  she offers about being a successful practice manager are to “Listen to patients and your staff, your staff are the actual people who are living in the trenches they a great with coming up with ideas to help with flow etc….  It always helps the patients.”   Melissa also follows advice she got from Tanya Mack, “I have known her for over 14 years and she has always said listen to what people have to say.”

Dr Eva Arkin, MD added this about Melissa. “Melissa is a dedicated manager at Premier Care for Women now for 18 months.  She has stepped into a large practice and has organized the staff and the management of the day-to-day running of the office.  She certainly has encouraged the staff in many ways and keeps up the morale on a regular basis.  The staff appreciate her managerial skills and always look forward to her monthly newsletters.  She is always trying to seek ways of being fiscally prudent.  She has organized the staff and has created a pleasant and stable work environment.”

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

January Practice Manager of the Month
Debbie Olmos, ENT of Georgia

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy working with people and in particular, with employees, vendors, and mentors. I get pleasure when our team has done a great job or when we have worked on a great deal that increased efficiency or reduced cost to the practice. Another thing I enjoy is seeing employees grow by training them, teaching them, and empowering them to make decisions.

In 2004, we were installing a new practice management system. We were migrating from Unix to Windows. One employee had never used a mouse before and now she is very so comfortable with technology. It is rewarding to see people grow personally and professionally.

What is your greatest accomplishment in your current job?

My greatest accomplishment is associated with one of the largest projects we’ve ever under taken – evaluating and installing the EMR system in use today. We were able to install a new system across sixteen locations without losing one dollar in billing revenue and we had no trouble whatsoever in our claims clearing house. I attribute this very smooth transition to detailed planning. A key reason for no disruption was our one-office-at-a-time implementation approach because it ensured that we worked out the kinks along the way.

What were you doing prior to your current job?

I was the administrator for a pediatric surgeon in New York. I started out as a data entry clerk and collector and moved my way up to become the practice administrator. When I started, we had one office and one doctor. When I left, we were at three doctors and two offices. I learned how to manage multiple physicians and locations from this experience.

What 2 tips can you offer your colleagues about being a successful practice manager?

First, I try not to make quick decisions. I like to ponder the information for a short while to make sure I carefully evaluate the information. I think it is important not to react too quickly. Secondly, I think it is very important to develop a good team and don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and help them. It is critical to understand the processes and to make sure that I know what it’s like to walk in my team’s shoes.

Who gave you advice about being successful and what was his/her advice to you?

My mom has always been my role model. She was an administrator for an anesthesiologist group. She led by example. It was her example that helped me to form my managerial philosophy to stay calm, be patient, and be thorough.

What hobbies or special interests to you have?

I love to travel – anywhere from Disney World to Malaga, Spain

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