By Staff Writer, Concierge Medicine Today | firstname.lastname@example.org
March 28, 2016, ATLANTA, GA – Although much has changed in the last 20 years in Concierge Medicine, women in the business of healthcare, management and healthcare delivery space are impacting the lives of countless people and guiding big brands in the space towards the future. Last year, Concierge Medicine Today brought you thirteen female influencers in the business of Concierge Medicine. This year, we are pleased to update the list and add another thirteen additional names of women who have produced incredible work, succeeded in overcoming challenging business hurdles, and today, are helping transform healthcare and influence others. Most importantly, they are paving the way for other females and serve as inspiring role models for younger generations seeking to enter the innovative and early adoption space of Concierge Medicine and Free Market Healthcare Delivery.
“We know that there will be great innovation produced through this impressive group of influencers,” says Catherine Sykes, Publisher of Concierge Medicine Today.
KNOW SOMEONE (a Women in this industry) YOU THINK SHOULD BE LISTED HERE NEXT YEAR …
Tell Us About Her and Her Business …
RELATED STORY | 2015 Recipients
PART 1 of 2 (2015): Concierge Medicine Today’s (CMTs) Industry Leading Women In The Business of Healthcare.
The Editors and Staff at Concierge Medicine Today and our partner publications are pleased to recognize these “Industry Leading Women In The Field of Concierge Medicine,” which include:
Leslie Mitchell, Vice President of Physician-Client Services
Specialdocs Consultants, Inc. — Chicago, IL
Leslie Mitchell joined Specialdocs in 2012, and was quickly recognized as a valued and integral member of the senior management team. Leslie is a peerless, passionate advocate for the promise of concierge medicine and a true innovator in a space known for innovators. Her commitment to meeting the needs of Specialdocs’ physician-clients has earned her a place as most trusted advisor. She’s the knowledgeable, responsive guide whom physicians depend on throughout their relationship with Specialdocs. Leslie’s goal with every transition is crystal clear: to create the physician’s dream practice and the patients’ best experience. As the compassionate voice patients hear when they are considering the transition, Leslie has encouraged thousands of people to consider the benefits of concierge medicine.
At the CMT/Exl Concierge Medicine Assembly in August 2015 she said … “We work very hard behind the scenes to create the right message and educate patients so they understand it’s not just an unexpected expense. It’s an investment in their health. Once you can flip the thought process from expense to investment, they understand the value…after all, what better investment can you make in life than in your health?”
Leslie brings decades of marketing, sales and client servicing experience to her work at Specialdocs. As a graduate of Kelley’s School of Business at Indiana University and Loyola University’s MBA program, Leslie worked in marketing strategy and sales growth for several large corporations before creating and managing her own successful sales group for 16 years. During this time, she developed an expertise in small business growth and entrepreneurship, client servicing and operational excellence. Additionally, for six years Leslie taught business/marketing courses at Northeastern Illinois University.
Lauren Griffin | Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Griffin Concierge Medical — Tampa, FL
Lauren Griffin, a former magazine journalist, co-founded Griffin Concierge Medical in 2008. She works alongside her husband, Concierge Physician, Dr. Radley Griffin. Under her direction, Griffin Concierge Medical in Tampa, Florida grew from the ground-up to an over 7 figure company. Patient retention and revenue collection are above 95% as a result of Lauren’s oversight and direction.
Under her direction, Griffin Concierge Medical in Tampa, Florida grew from the ground-up to an over 7 figure company.
Lauren is a true leader in the growing Concierge Medicine marketplace.
“Leadership is not about making all the decisions,” said Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief of Concierge Medicine Today. “It is making sure the right decisions are made. As company leaders and influencers, all of these women make it their job to protect the missional integrity of the organization to which they serve. In the operating hours of each day, they have the unique opportunity to influence what could be and what should be. That is what makes this industry and this years list great. Congratulations to the 2016 CMT Industry Leading Women in the Business of Concierge Medicine recipients.”
Dena Lacara, DO, Medical Director
Continuum Care at Mecca Integrated Medical — Fairfield, NJ
“Dr. Dena Lacara is one of the most selfless, hard working, thorough and diligent doctors I have ever encountered,” says one of her team members on staff. “She works tirelessly to ensure that her patients receive the best, most comprehensive care available, no matter what time of the day. It was not a surprise to me when she was voted one of the Top Docs of 2015 by NJ Monthly Magazine. Now that she is offering “Comprehensive Family Medicine Minus the Red Tape” to her patients, I know that she will be able to use her role as a health educator to promote health and disease prevention and to keep them healthier overall … rather than only focusing on treating a specific disease or problem.
“I hope to give my patients the tools and education they need to overcome many of their health-related issues with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle modification. My patients deserve the peace of mind from having a primary care family doctor they are comfortable with; one who really cares about them and someone they can turn to when they are scared and confused or facing a serious medical issue or life event – regardless of the day or time. More like the old-time family doctor who made house calls, a trusted partner in your care through sickness and health.”
“I cherish the little things – family time in the morning and evening. In my spare time, I enjoy spa-ing and The Bar Method workout, which to me is part therapy, part workout, part addiction. I want my patients to feel like they have a doctor in the family. I want them to feel they have a direct relationship with a true partner who is committed to them and their health.” ~Dena
Dena Lacara, DO is a board certified diplomat of the American Board of Family Medicine. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers College of Pharmacy, earning her bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology in 1997 and continues to maintain a valid New Jersey pharmacists license. She went on to pursue her medical degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Osteopathic Medicine where she graduated with Highest Honors in 2002. Dr. Lacara completed her training in Family Medicine at Overlook Hospital where she had the honor of serving as Chief Resident during her final year of training. Since then, she has undergone extensive training in aesthetic medicine with specifics in Botox and filler injections, laser procedures, and chemical peels.
Pam Hogan | Director, Practice Transition
At MDVIP, Pam oversees a Field Team that supports physicians who are converting to a personalized preventive model of healthcare. Her expertise includes: analysis of opportunities; cultivation of key relationships with the community; and, the execution of business plans that lead to an enhanced market position for the physician. As Director, Hogan facilitates communication across the MDVIP Network and integrates sustainable practice solutions for each physician and his/her staff through training and collaboration.
Her volunteer interests include the Junior League, Hospice, Girl Scouts of America and an annual team captain for the “Walk to Cure Alzheimer’s” in honor of her dad who is currently on his journey with that disease.
Prior to joining MDVIP, Pam held multiple leadership and sales positions. Her experience has largely been in the medical space managing sales personnel in multiple regions and offices. Originally from Upstate NY and currently living at the Jersey Shore with her two daughters, Pam enjoys outdoor activities, including the beach, boating, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Mitra Pakdaman, Founder
LA Healthcare Design, a Los Angeles-based Healthcare Interior Design Company
Mitra Pakdaman is the founder of LA Healthcare Design, a Los Angeles-based interior design studio, utilizing over ten years of in-field experience to provide her signature elegant, fresh, and balanced design concepts to large-scale projects. She received her B.S. in Interior Design and her MBA at CSUN and is a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
“Smaller waiting rooms, with more flexible, comfortable furnishings, similar to a home environment; coupled with aquariums as calming distractions, and toys and spaces for children to play are the major changes adopted in the interior design of primary care or concierge clinics.” ~Mitra
Mitra built the foundation and received the bulk of her interior design experience at the award-winning company HLW. As a member of their design team, she was involved in design development for Walt Disney®, ESPN®, HBO®, Intuit®, and Equinox®. She has since expanded her career by working independently on successful upscale hospitality, commercial, and residential projects, as well as on state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Brentwood, West Los Angeles, and Palm Spring.
Mitra volunteers her time to philanthropic projects, such as the recent design consultation and space planning for the New Design Charter School in downtown Los Angeles and bathroom remodeling for the Santa Monica Aquarium: Heal the Bay project.
Courtney Greenwood, MBA | Product Marketing Analyst
Pri-Med InLight EHR
Courtney Greenwood, MBA, is the Product Marketing Manager for the new InLight EHR, designed with the Membership Medicine physician in mind. Greenwood has worked closely with this community to understand the needs and wants of the physician community. Packaged in the cloud-based InLight EHR is the paradigm-shifting perspective of a problem-oriented medical system which relieves the cognitive burden physicians feel during a clinical encounter. Greenwood has worked in healthcare her entire career in various roles and received her MBA from Suffolk University, with a concentration in Marketing.
“The time physicians would rather spend with patients is being taken up with government regulations and insurance company mandates,” said Courtney Greenwood, MBA, Product Marketing Analyst at Pri-Med/InLight EHR in a recent interview with MedScape. “Physicians are sick of it, and the primary practice is in trouble as a result. InLight EHR tracks the details of each [Concierge Medicine] patient’s membership plan, and allows doctors to order medications, laboratory tests, and radiology, and to make referrals to specialists all from one box in the software program. And the program can make modifications on the basis of a physician’s previous behavior. In the way that Pandora or Spotify learn what you like to listen to … this learns how you practice medicine. For example, the program might recommend a medication a physician has frequently prescribed for a particular condition.”
Dana R. Walsh | Director, Insurance Services and Medical Centers of Excellence
Dana is an experienced healthcare professional with over twenty years of industry experience. She has been an integral member of the MDVIP Management Team since 2009, serving to guide her teams by providing excellence through consultative support and ensuring exceptional above-and-beyond customer service to members.
Dana has facilitated the expansion and growth of MDVIP’s Medical Centers of Excellence Program which consists of the nation’s top tertiary facilities. She also assists in developing a competitive malpractice offering for affiliated physicians. Dana has managed teams in various healthcare arenas including: educational institutions; physician practices; hospital – revenue cycles services; auditing to confirm quality and compliance standards were met; and a federally funded insurance carrier prior to joining MDVIP.
Dana also volunteers her time to help clean-up Florida’s natural resources through numerous efforts such as beach and waterway clean-ups. In addition, she volunteers her time with Hospice, Boca Helping Hands, and Women in Distress.
Dana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Florida Atlantic University. She has been an active member of AHIMA and HFMA for both the national and local chapters. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, reading, and dabbling with photography.
Debbie St. Clair, M.D. | Board-Certified Family Physician | Team Member
Griffin Concierge Medical
“Having practiced medicine for ten years in larger, traditional family medicine practices, I have often felt like I couldn’t spend the amount of time that my patients deserved. For me, Griffin Concierge Medical’s approach is a welcome change. I am excited to work in a practice where I can get to know my patients personally. Whether my patients are sick or well, I hope to interact with them regularly. I am committed to healthy living. I played college basketball and now enjoy being outdoors, whether training for a half marathon or just exercising with my family.”
“I really want to get to know my patients and their families and to care for them through different phases of their lives.” ~Debbie
“Dr. St. Clair started her Concierge Medicine Practice in April 2014 and her practice will be close to half full by her first year in practice (300 patients will be a full practice). She’s left an existing traditional practice to practice concierge medicine after years of the “hamster wheel” medicine. Her immediate success speaks of the demand for concierge medicine and the demand for a female concierge physician in South Tampa. Kudos to Dr. St. Clair!” ~Radley Griffin, M.D. Board-Certified Family Physician Founder, Griffin Concierge Medical
Karin Hennings, Executive Director
St. Luke’s Family Practice — Modesto, CA
St. Luke’s Family Practice, located in Modesto, California, is quite unique in the marketplace of Concierge Medicine. St. Luke’s Family Practice is actually a nonprofit Concierge Medical Clinic with an extremely strong charitable focus.
Until Karin’s arrival the practice was administered by the two physicians who were getting close to burn out.
Karin joined St. Luke’s in 2010 as the inaugural Executive Director. Until Karin’s arrival the practice was administered by the two physicians who were getting close to burn out. Hennings streamlined the business and patient operations inside the medical practice and doubled the amount of charity care the practice provided. This allowed the physicians to focus more on patient care. Karin completed her MBA in Health Systems Management, is involved in her local MGMA chapter, a member of Rotary, and a single mother of two — including a teenage autistic son.
Ashley Rudnick | President
Boca VIPediatrics — Boca Raton, FL
Ashely is President of a Pediatric Concierge Medicine Practice alongside her husband and practicing pediatric physician, Chad Rudnick at Boca VIPediatrics in Boca Raton, Florida. Ashely handles all aspects of marketing and has successfully built the Concierge Pediatric Practice which now has a waiting list [in certain age groups], after only being open for 1 year. Ashley coordinates press releases, media interviews, and more in order to get the word out about the “pediatric smart office” and the digital health products that they work with. So far, they have appeared on both local and national news outlets over a dozen times in 18 months (January 20, 2016).
“When my husband and I developed the idea for Boca VIPediatrics, there were so many ‘Disney-style’ ideals I wanted to incorporate, to change the current ‘assembly line’ approach that is taken in most pediatric offices. I handle all aspects of creative marketing and personalizing the VIP experience for our families. As a mom, I’m more in tune to what is missing from the current state of pediatric care. And, because our business is family owned and operated, we offer that personalized, family-style approach!”
“We researched and spoke to a lot of people about the current state of pediatric care, which we feel doesn’t work. The long waiting room times, the rude staff, the rushed appointments, the answering services to reach the doctor, and the overall feeling of being “a number” or “a chart” are all part of the frustration most families feel when they go to the pediatrician’s office. My husband and I combined our ideas to change and improve the state of pediatric care,” answered Ashley. “When it comes to children, their care needs to be monitored closely in an un-hurried way with great attention to detail, to lead to earlier prevention and diagnosis in their formative years,” said Ashley.
Molly Martin | Counsel at MDVIP, Inc.
Molly is Counsel at MDVIP, Inc. She has been a key member of the MDVIP Legal Team since 2010, assisting in protecting the company’s rights, obligations and privileges as well as its legal interests. Molly provides key legal direction, ensuring the legal activities meet the current and future needs of the MDVIP organization. Molly also provides counsel to the business operations and privacy and security compliance at MDVIP, working closely with middle and upper management.
Molly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminology (cum laude) from Florida Atlantic University, and a Juris Doctorate (magna cum laude) from Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law Center and an LL.M. (Masters of Law) from the University of Miami, School of Law. While attending law school, Molly was research assistant to several professors and received five Book Awards (the highest academic achievement at the course level.)
She clerked at Broad & Cassel on healthcare and regulatory compliance. Molly volunteers with the Palm Beach County Guardian Ad Litem appointed by the court to protect the rights and advocate the best interests of a child involved in a court proceeding. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and painting. She is also an avid organic farmer raising free range chickens for healthy and nutritional egg production.
RELATED STORY | 2015 Recipients
PART 2 of 2 (2015): Concierge Medicine Today’s (CMTs) Industry Leading Women In The Business of Healthcare.
Julie K. Gunther, MD | Owner
SparkMD in Boise, ID
Dr Julie Gunther grew up in Boise Idaho, graduated from high school in Boise and attended Harvard and Washington University for her undergraduate and medical school educations. She is board certified in Family Medicine.
Dr. Gunther started a innovative, patient-centered practice in her hometown of Boise in 2014. She believes the administrative demands of modern medicine have marginalized the physician’s role and are eroding the physician-patient relationship. Like many Family Physicians, she is experienced in caring for a wide variety of life’s stages, ages and dilemmas. She is trained in caring for the whole family, through the many phases of life. She provides urgent care services, wellness services, and focuses on mental and physical well being.
“The delivery of medical care has become complicated and costly. Nobody likes going to the doctor anymore, not even your doctor. We can change this.” ~Julie
She founded sparkMD in 2014 to take back her relationship with her patients and to empower herself to be the doctor she set out to be.
Monica Sarang, MD
Sarang Medical in Southern (Burbank) California
“I have always loved the challenge of practicing good medicine…putting the puzzle pieces together to form an accurate diagnosis. For me, being a primary care physician offers a blend of the best science and critical thinking combined with a healthy partnership between doctor and patient. Throughout my 16 years in private practice, I’ve always felt that the time I spend listening to you and working together to determine the best course of action is the best medicine, achieving the best outcomes.” ~Dr. Monica Sarang
Even in the star-studded environs of Burbank, California, home to the country’s best-known movie and television studios, Dr. Monica Sarang proves to have star power of her own. The 16-year veteran of private practice recently made the change to concierge medicine, assisted by Specialdocs Consultants. Dr. Sarang says ever longer wait times for physical exams and acute appointments, continually seeing more patients in less time, and spending too many hours on non-care tasks spurred her decision to jump off the treadmill to a new model of medicine.
“The current healthcare environment rewards speed and technology, not listening, thinking and compassion. I was certain there must be a better way to provide the kind of care and attention I set as my standard in 1999…but it required a change,” explains Sarang. “I couldn’t be more excited about the promise of my new practice and the opportunity it brings to address multiple issues in one visit, focus on prevention and wellness and serve as my patients’ medical advocates whenever and wherever needed. It’s the way medicine used to be practiced, and it’s the way we know it still should be practiced.”
Dr. Sarang opened the doors in early 2015 at 201 South Buena Vista Street Suite 250 in Burbank, California.