For the first post to my blog, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself, give a little background, and let folks know what they can expect to see in future posts.
I am a husband to the most beautiful, understanding, and supportive person I know. I am the proud father, teacher, and student of 3 (step-father of 1). I am a lifelong learner, connoisseur of knowledge, tester of fate, hopeful skeptic, lover of cats and dogs, and loyal friend. Professionally I am a clinical business and systems analyst, aspiring entrepreneur, student of business development, social media junkie, new blogger, and passionate consultant to independent medical practices.
My outlook on life is mostly optimistic, and I choose to study and learn from all religions, instead of pronouncing any one or condemning others. I meditate regularly, and I find great pleasure in resolving issues and conflict in business, as well as in life. I am imperfect and flawed. I am extremely creative (at least IMHO), and I prefer to work as a member of a high performing team versus as a solopreneur as I value the exponential power. But I haven’t always held this outlook on life, in fact I spent a good part of my life feeling like there was something missing…like there was some kind of elusive mystery, as if I knew I was meant to do something exciting and fulfillment, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. As you’ll soon see, I had plenty of opportunities to be consumed by inadequacies, failure, and loss. This is my story…
I was born in Holyoke Massachusetts to a single mother. I was the oldest of two children. My brother and I had different fathers, but we never met either of them. I had a step father that was my “dad”, he was very strict and never missed an opportunity to lay down the law. He had some health issues and some minor deformities on his hands. But boy oh boy, could he swing a leather belt. He passed away at the age of 40, when I was 12. We never had much, and I remember one Christmas where my parents got gifts for my brother and each other and somehow “forgot” about me. Of course, at the time, I thought I was bad because they were from Santa…although I learned a lot from my parents, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy. We always lived in large apartment “projects”, we often got evicted for not paying rent, had electricity shut off, and my parents were willing participants of the welfare and food stamp programs. I went to school with the latest fashions from the local Kmart, and only got new clothes due to school clothes allowances from welfare. We moved a lot, and I never had many friends because I was an obvious target. My punishments were usually severe and extreme.
I was born with a ball and joint deformity in both hips called leg-calve perthese disease. It went un-diagnosed for my first 5 years which made it more difficult to treat. I spent the rest of my adolescence in and out of surgery (14 to be exact), wheelchairs, spika casts, crutches, and at one point I even had a hospital bed in the living room of our apartment. This has a lot to do with my passion for healthcare. If it wasn’t for the phenomenal doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, nurses, and administrators at Shriners Hospital providing my care completely free of charge, I never would have received the level of care I needed. At the age of 26 I had a hip replacement on the left side at New England Orthopedic Surgeons, and it has been 10 years with no complications (thank you Dr. Lehman)!
Now please understand this isn’t meant to be a pitty party by any means, on the contrary, I learned to be humble, to appreciate what I have, to be sincere, an extremely hard worker, compassionate, and I chose to take my parents’ example and use it as a compass. I learned what not to do, how not to raise my own children, and how important a stable caring environment is to my children’s development. I learned how important healthcare providers are. Probably the most important thing I learned is my work ethic, and that no matter how bad life may seem, it’s nothing compared to what I have already endured. Finally, I’ve learned that I’ll never be done learning, that nothing is perfect, that if my experiences, both good and bad, can make a difference in one life or one business they were all worth it and my story is only one of billions…the power of that last thought is tremendous.
I have had the pleasure of working in the medical systems (EMR/EHR/PM) field for the last 8 years. I have provided guidance to staff members trying to make sense of all the technology, resolved issues that were costing the practice tens of thousands of dollars a year, and helped doctors to work smarter instead of harder. I have done this with no compensation, and it was my pleasure! It has been a very fulfilling journey so far, and at this point I have chosen to expand on my expertise. Although I continue to work full-time for a non-profit community health center, I have also founded The Private Practice Consultant. This is a consulting company designed to meet the needs of the independent medical practice by fusing patient-centered care, systems integration, interoperability, process efficiency, continuity-of-care, and innovative business models. My chief aim is to assist these practices in such a way that they are able to gain and maintain a competitive advantage in their markets, and focus on providing the best care possible. Its a tall order, but I’m fully equipped to fulfill it.
As I move forward in my journey I will be posting about entrepreneurship, starting a business, marketing, and social media engagement. I will also be doing audio and video interviews with innovative entrepreneurs in the medical practice space, reviews of EMR/EHR and Practice Management Systems, I will be writing about actual practices I’ve been able to help, and publishing news and insights about innovations in this area. I will be writing about what patients want and how practices can meet these needs. Finally I may post about life in general, or raising children, or even how to maintain a good work-life balance. The most important part of this blog, and my business, is you…it is you, dear reader, that I would love the opportunity to connect with. I would like the opportunity to transcend the sometimes impersonal nature of technology. It is my hope to bring a very human element to my blog, but to do that I need your comments, and your engagement here and on your social networks. I’m always available for any reader who wants to reach out and have a conversation about a topic I’ve written about, or for the Practice Manager who has a question, or the business owner that needs a helping hand. I’m here for you! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section and tell me whether I did well, or terrible on this post, and please subscribe so we can get to know each other better!