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Christie Dando, FACMPE

Volunteer Roles: State Liaison

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?

As the Division Coordinator of a small start-up dermatology practice, the administrator of our multi-specialty group signed me up for the Michigan MGMA Fall Conference…the rest is history! I attended every spring and fall conference each year in order to learn what I did not know. As I moved from the Division Coordinator, to the Practice Manager, to the Practice Administrator of the once small dermatology practice, Michigan MGMA, and later National MGMA, provided the resources and networking I needed to succeed.  

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?

After being a member of Michigan MGMA for 10 years, I had the then President approach me about being the Communications Chair for the Michigan MGMA Board. I moved on to the Executive Board from there, fulfilling all of the roles except Secretary. The connections I have made as a part of the Michigan MGMA Board are so valuable. When I was asked to volunteer on some workgroups for national MGMA I jumped at the chance to meet more colleagues and exchange thoughts. As a Midwest State Liaison to Iowa and Illinois I have continued to grow and help others. I love to network, share ideas, learn from others, and help so volunteering for MGMA allows me that opportunity to do so in a space that means a lot to me.

How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?

I fell into the healthcare field, starting as a front desk receptionist in an urgent care practice, then moved onto billing there. I followed that same model in a neurology practice, then landed at the dermatology practice and grew there. I like to help people. I like the people I work with to be successful. My path was not a typical “I want to help patients” path…I want to support teammates, customers, and colleagues so practice management was a natural progression as I became the ‘go to’ person for the practice.

What is your favorite book, website or resource for practice managers?

The Body of Knowledge…it sure helped me as I earned my CMPE and my FACMPE.

What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?

Network, network, network. You need to have a great network of colleagues to reach out to when the going gets tough…whether that is asking questions, commiserating about some new difficulty, or sharing best practices. You don’t know what you don’t know so you need to have the resources to tap.

How do you relax after a busy week?

I like to spend time with my husband, our standard poodle and 2 toy poodles. I read a lot for pleasure. I am a total “foodie”, trying recipes, watching Food Network and checking out new restaurants in Southwest Michigan. Our cabin in Northern Michigan is my favorite place to be where I can do all of these things and ride my quad runner in the woods, go to the beach, and hang out with friends.

What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?

It is very difficult to maintain that balance between work/life in today’s changing healthcare environment…things are more complicated with less money to go around, so medical practice managers are working with tighter budgets, less staff and more demands. I find having scheduled down time and plans with family and friends to look forward to really make a big difference in drawing me away from the work demands. The other thing that ‘fills my bucket’ is maintaining relationships with friends from healthcare, and outside of healthcare, for more than 25 years…regular dinners, golfing, and concerts to catch up mean so much.

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