Business Development and Account Executive, State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company
Volunteer Roles: ACMPE Study Group Presenter, ACMPE Essay Grader, State ACMPE Resource, ACMPE Ad Hoc Committee member, and MGMA State Liasion
Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?
I was a banker before becoming a practice manager. I knew a lot about finance, HR, and compliance, but very little about medical practice management. A colleague invited me to the local Kingsport, TN MGMA meeting, where I met the kindest, most giving people I had ever been associated with. The banking world was very competitive and the attitude was, if I help you, you might take business from me. These practice managers reached out to me and showed me web sites, and introduced me to people who could help me. Every time I step forward or volunteer for MGMA, I find myself associated with people of that same caliber, who are not afraid to give knowledge away. I realized that you can't give back, so you must give forward.
What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?
I have discovered that when I achieve something (certification and Fellowship), it feels good. I feel validated about my knowledge. But when I help someone else achieve their goals, it's 100 times better. Volunteering for MGMA allows me to meet and work with the smartest, most talented people in medical practice management today. This is rewarding to me.
How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?
Practice management found me. As I mentioned, I was working as a banker and my sister, who was an office manager for a solo physician, introduced me to two GI physicians who wanted to separate from a larger group. They needed help with financial statements and loan advice. I agreed to meet with them, and after a few meetings, they asked if I would join them and run their new practice. It was a daunting task, but after I became involved in MGMA, on the local, state, and national level, I realized what an amazing career practice management is.
What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Practice management is a lonely job. You can't run to your physicians for help. They will see that as a sign of weakness. You can't confide in your employees. They will tell the physician that you don't know your job. So, find other practice managers, join your local MGMA, get involved, and ask questions.
What is your favorite book, website, or resource for practice managers?
MGMA.com is my favorite website for practice managers. I'm on this website every day. It's chocked full of articles, resources, and data that will make a difference in your day to day life as a practice executive.
I read all the time. Kindle has caused me to be what I call a multi-tasking reader. I keep several books open all the time. Right now, I am reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. I bought his book after I saw him speak at a past MGMA Annual Conference. I also keep a Bible study going, and a light fluffy novel (the kind you read at the beach). That way, whatever my mood, I have a book to turn to. Some other authors, who are inspiring to me are John Maxwell, Daniel Pink, and Simon Sinek.
How do you relax after a busy work week?
My absolute favorite past time is hiking. Anytime I can get away, I hike somewhere in the Smoky Mountains. My husband and I love to travel and go to concerts too. And, I've found that hearing my two grandsons giggle makes any stress just melt away.
What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?
I have a job that I absolutely love and feel blessed to work at every day. I am passionate about mentoring and investing my time in seeing others succeed. I also have a husband who loves me and encourages me in everything that I do. I don't know how balanced my life is, but it certainly works for us!