"I was looking for a career that would help me advance my business skills, as well as help me educate others so they could advance themselves. I've been able to do that and then some."
Practice Administrator at Heartland Dental
One of the most valuable forms of support dentists have access to at Heartland Dental is their administrative team. These teams are comprised of regional directors of operations, regional administrators, practice administrators and office managers. Each Heartland Dental supported dentist and office has an administrative team who helps them manage the day-to-day, non-clinical responsibilities of running a dental office. With this support, dentists and teams have more time to focus on patients and spend less time getting caught up in the business side. In addition, these administrators help supported dentists and teams advance their leadership and communication skills.
This series of articles will describe each of these specific administrative roles and the value that each brings to Heartland Dental supported offices. To begin with, we will discuss the practice administrator role through the first-hand experiences of one of Heartland Dental’s own practice administrators, Kristina Calvert.
Kristina grew up in Milan, Illinois, and graduated from Western Illinois University. She started her career at Heartland Dental in 2004, first as a business assistant. She then moved to an office manager role before becoming a practice administrator. Sticking close to home, Kristina currently supports three dental offices in Illinois and Iowa.
“I first heard about Heartland Dental from my sister-in-law, who is a hygienist. She started with the company and soon recruited me to join. I was looking for a career that would help me advance my business skills, as well as help me educate others so they could advance themselves. I’ve been able to do that and then some. When I first started, I thought I would strictly be a business assistant, but I soon realized I was going to help supported dentists and teams make their businesses successful. It’s been a fun ride ever since,” explained Calvert.
Each day, practice administrators support dentists and teams as they provide outstanding care to their patients. They also strive to help them accomplish their personal/professional goals. Another key function is to oversee the business tasks in supported offices, such as marketing, team member growth, hiring and ensuring systems are running effectively.
“It’s essential we bring positive energy to the offices we support every day. When a team or dentist believes it’s impossible to accomplish a goal, it’s our job to be the cheerleader that encourages and inspires them to succeed. Many times, having someone who believes in you is all it takes to achieve something great,” said Calvert. “It’s our responsibility to understand and clearly communicate with supported dentists and team members. This is key to providing ideal support.”
For Kristina, her time as a practice administrator has helped her grow personally and professionally, expanding her knowledge of dentistry, the business side of dentistry, marketing, communication and more.
"Getting to work and interact with amazing dentists, team members and many other supported offices has helped me so much. The camaraderie between supported offices is great."
“Getting to work and interact with amazing dentists, team members and many other supported offices has helped me so much. The camaraderie between supported offices is great. I can take one idea or process that works well for one office and share that beneficial information with another office who may be struggling in that area. In terms of sharing business knowledge, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching several Heartland Dental supported courses to help other team members, such as Power of One and Systems 101. Seeing the overall impact these courses can have on a team member and an office as a whole is extremely rewarding,” she added. “Personally, this role has helped me become a better all-around person. I now understand more about my own personality, which has helped be communicate better in and out of the office. I can use the business knowledge I’ve learned to help my husband grow our family farm, such as how we can cut expenses, understand our profits and set business goals to improve year after year. The communication skills I’ve learned have also helped me raise my son, Cashtyn. It’s fun to go home and share with my family the great things I’m learning. We even write goals for our family together now each year.”
As Kristina has discussed, the practice administrator role serves as a valuable foundation of support for dentists and teams. But the knowledge gained and skills learned daily also serves as an excellent means for practice administrators to build upon themselves.
“I am blessed to have the opportunity each day to work with all my supported dentists and teams. Heartland Dental is everything I have ever dreamed it would be. I am so thankful everyday to be a part of something so amazing,” Calvert said.