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Thalia Baker, FACMPE

Thalia Baker, FACMPEExecutive Director, Primary Care and Development UAB Health System

Volunteer Roles: ACMPE Study Group Presenter and Forum Representative

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?

I started attending local and national MGMA conferences when I accepted my first ‘real’ job with UAB Medicine in the late 80’s. The need for a network of other practice managers was my main initial interest. Starting out, that network of peers is so important and it turns into many close friendships. At both the local and national level, MGMA has helped me develop a group of friends that have a dual role as advisors too.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?

I’ve enjoyed meeting all the other members from around the country and working together to bring new members into the organization. Encouraging other professionals to take the time to get involved and go through the certification and fellowship process is so important. We can feel like islands in our practices or health systems… doesn’t have to be that way!

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

During undergraduate, I worked with a group of 28 physicians, multi-specialty, in my hometown of Florence Alabama. The job was a kind of ‘jack of all trades’, running medical records, filling in at front desks, typing claims… yes, I said typing claims. There was just so much variety with never a boring day. After that, I was hooked. No matter how many challenges, you have to admit, it’s never boring.

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

Don’t hesitate to take an entry level position and work your way up the ladder. Learning the healthcare environment from the ground floor is a great way to create a strong foundation.

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

MGMA website, of course!

How do you relax after a busy work week?

Any water activity is my favorite. I'm learning to paddle board now.

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

Work/life balance is definitely not my strong suit. I’m open to suggestions. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in new projects and forget to ‘turn off’.

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