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    Meet the Dental Products Report Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017

    Now in its eighth year of recognizing exceptional women in the dental industry, Dental Products Report is thrilled to introduce the Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017.

     

    Colleen Huff

    Colleen Huff

    Category: Team member

    When you’re a full-time practice administrator for a practice managing three separate entities, you would think there isn’t much time for any other activities—but Colleen Huff would prove you wrong. 

    By day, Huff manages the office for her dentists, and after work she is the president and founder of the Buffalo/WNY AADOM chapter as well as an independent consultant and trainer on understanding dental insurances and the Affordable Care Act. Huff created one of the only courses available that breaks down the Affordable Care Act for offices to understand on their unique level. It took her over seven months to develop the class and she continues to adapt the course as legislation changes.

    “My seminars are one area that I’m really trying to branch out to a little bit more and I have doctors that are very supportive of that so I’m very lucky,” she says. “The doctors I’m working with encourage me to continue to grow professionally when other doctors at another practice might not necessarily be so supportive.”

    Huff has been able to speak both nationally and locally. She considers the knowledge and education regarding dental insurance right now to be lacking and she believes that many staff members don’t have the training and information they need to do what’s best for their patients. In the years since she started managing a practice, she has seen a huge jump in how detailed dental insurance has become and thus an even bigger hurdle to jump over for those in the office who have to understand the insurance process and what they can accept versus what they cannot. 

    “When I’m doing seminars, its refreshing to see the dentists willing to send their front office team for training and I’d like to see that expand and develop even further,” she says of her hope for the future. “AADOM has started a fellowship program and that’s a huge step. Dental assistants have schools, hygienists have schools, but there’s so little representation from the administrative side and I think we need to be given a voice. We’re a key part to the success of the office.” 

    For Huff, innovation has been at the forefront of her mind since the start of her career, even before she started working within the realm of dentistry. When she was working for MetLife, she realized that innovation was simply finding a solution to a problem instead of complaining about it. She put that into practice when she started her local AADOM chapter. She began at the national level but knew she needed more, so she went out and she made sure she had what she needed to succeed.

    “Over the years, I’d find myself working with somebody who would just resign themselves to not knowing how to do something,” she says. “My answer to that is ‘well, how can we fix it?’ Educate yourself as much as you can. Early on, I learned to pay attention and to take advantage of every resource you have. That’s what’s going to give you an edge.”

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