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Medical Group Management Association

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MGMA 2018 Award Recipients

2018 Harwick Innovation Award Recipient

Ed Gulko

Alex Binder, MBA, FACMPE - Vice President, Advanced Care Institute VNA Health Group

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?
I attended a NJ MGMA state conferences and had a very positive experience. During the conference they asked if anyone was interested in volunteering and I signed up. From there I just became more and more involved with the organization and eventually became the state president.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?
Hearing the positive feedback from attendees after our state annual conference each year, and knowing that we’re providing such a valuable service is very rewarding.

How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?
After I graduated college I worked in the banking industry and held a variety of management positions.  In 1999 a physician/friend of mine told me he was starting a house call practice, and asked me if I would be interested in helping him organize/manage the business. I told him that I’d be able to help him for 6 months, but I would be returning to banking after that time. As the six months came to an end, I realized that healthcare was a much more dynamic and fulfilling environment than banking, and I’ve been here ever since.

What is your favorite book or website or resource for practice managers?
I have a few.  Patrick Lencioni’s, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a good, quick read. Jim Collins, Great By Choice can help any manager, and A Bitter Pill by John Sloan, MD speaks to the challenges of caring for frail/elderly patients.

What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?
Be passionate, but don’t take yourself too seriously. And, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

How do you relax after a busy week?
I get on my bicycle and talk to myself for hours. It’s very cathartic.

What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?
Always be planning your next “get away.” Whether it’s dinner in the city or a vacation in the Caribbean, make plans, enjoy the experience, and then think of what’s next.
 

2018 MGMA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Ed Gulko

Rebecca S. Dean, M.A., FACMPE - Practice Administrator, Tanana Valley Clinic Orthopedic and Sportsmedicine Fairbanks

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?
More than 30 years ago I relocated from Chicago to Fairbanks, Alaska and immediately knew I needed healthcare management information and resources, as well as, a strong collegial network. My first step was to join National MGMA and I then immediately joined WA State MGMA to begin to develop my professional journey. National MGMA staff and WA MGMA members supported the development of Alaska MGMA.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?
Volunteer Leadership is an educational vehicle for everyone who participates. The value of the opportunity to participate in Association Leadership is the engagement in Leadership Learning Skills. Each and every Committee, Assembly/Society, State, Section and National Board I have had the honor to serve has provided me with expanded knowledge extremely beneficial to my medical practice and my professional expertise. I have found Volunteer Leadership in Community and Association Leadership roles to always be mutually beneficial.

How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?
In my case, it was accidental. I met a physician who wanted to launch an independent practice and I said “yes I can”.  I’ve been in health care management ever sense.

What is your favorite book or website or resource for practice managers?
I’ve collected numerous books over the years. I find myself reaching for those for specific information.  The website opportunities are limitless… however, I only use those with validated information. Our MGMA resources are recognized nationally and each available for specific needs.  

What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?
Seize every opportunity for advanced education and develop your professional career as a “generalist” becoming educated and aware of all the Body of Knowledge domains that touch your everyday operations. This is strategically important. Always build your professional collateral exchange with colleagues. The resource exchange is unlimited and will be your safety net.

How do you relax after a busy week?
I spend time with my family and also find “me time”. I have recently given myself the license to “unplug” technology demand on the weekends.

What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?
I’ve learned many things during my journey. Foremost, you absolutely cannot be afraid of failure. Do not fail to attempt your goals and as the saying by Vivian Greene goes “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to Dance in the rain”. Always be prepared and have the courage to ask the right questions for the right reasons. Embrace the patients’ experience, coworkers, family, and yourself every day. Recognize what you can control and what you cannot control. Take care of yourself. In closing, I leave you with these thoughts: it’s critical that you are trusted and trust others in every venture, every day. Leadership is about the synergy of shared thinking. Good Leadership equals the good fellowship built in our MGMA Family.  


2018 Legislative Liaison Award Recipient

Ed Gulko

Gerard Filicko, MHA, CMPE - Senior Executive, Virginia Care Partners

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?
I started small.  When I made the career move from hospital administration to practice management, I had to not only make a big cultural adjustment, but also had to overcome a big knowledge gap.  Fortunately, I was surrounded by some very savvy and experienced medical practice executives in the Richmond, VA area, who recruited me to become a member of the local affiliate chapter.  There, I was exposed to additional resources--books, guides, conferences, peers around the state, and leaders around the country.  I learned much from this early exposure and, as my comfort level and career advanced, I became involved with the Virginia chapter and, finally, National.  Discovering all that MGMA had to offer was like finding a golden AAA Trip Tik for my new career.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?
Following the example of my friends and mentors in this area—Lucien Roberts, Bert Wilson, Yevonne Childers—it is most rewarding to repay my knowledge debt.  Helping other members navigate the intricacies of practice management, particularly in the advocacy sphere:  educating, collaborating and communicating with my colleagues to raise their level of engagement in the legislative process.  The pay-off is when we achieve victories that improve the business of medicine:  reduction in regulatory or administrative burdens, passage of laws that help physicians better care for patients, or that improve the “value” equation.

How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?
When I realized the business of medicine was both a complex puzzle and an intriguing game.  Calculus was my favorite subject in school (weird, right?) and I’ve played a lot of RPGs (which used to be weird, but now it’s mainstream.)  My career has been a quest to help physicians, find answers, fix things, and win.

What is your favorite book or website or resource for practice managers?
If I had to choose just one, it would be the MGMA Body of Knowledge.

What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?
Read the Desiderata.  That’s actually a tip for life.  But it works as career advice, too.

How do you relax after a busy week?
I usually just fall asleep immediately after dinner on Friday night.  When I wake up again on Saturday, I enjoy spending time on the river, tinkering with projects around the house, or brewing beer.  Each of those can be solitary, friend or family oriented activities, depending on which side of my extrovert/introvert nature needs to be fed.

What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?
Be intentional.  Be present in the moment.  Moderation in all things.  Listen to Springsteen.

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