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Deb Roberge has held almost every position in the dental profession other than that of a dentist. She began her dental career shortly after high school in 1963. Her interest in dentistry was something she had considered for years. Her hopes were to someday graduate from dental school, but it just wasn’t in the cards for her yet with it all, she has accomplished quite a bit. Deb still has an interesting story to tell and has had quite a journey to share.
She enrolled in a dental assisting program and upon completion, happily jumped right “in the trenches” as a dental assistant on Long Island and New York City where she quickly progressed to the business office. Deb relocated several times; to Arizona, Washington state, and then back to Arizona. Upon moving to Arizona in 1985, Deb purchased a Crown and Bridge Lab. This is where her exposure to the daily challenges that many of her dental practices were facing came to light. Deb wanted desperately to help and find some of the answers to the struggles particularly with hiring, integrating team members and of course the huge turn-over that seemed so prevalent in our industry.
Over the years, she served in a large number of practices as a coach and advisor. It was during her tenure working with a consulting group in Phoenix that she perceived a critical need for a new kind of placement service. So many doctors with which she interfaced expressed their frustration with both the service provided by existing staffing agencies, and their own failed efforts to acquire and integrate the best team members. Deb’s prior interaction with teams along with recognizing the challenges between the employer and employees, became her motivation to make a difference in this critical area of practice management.
In 1997 in Phoenix, Deb created a dental-only placement agency with an innovative business model. Within 5 years, she had provided placement assistance for over 800 practices, and had personally interviewed over 3,000 job seekers. She sold her initial business in 2003, and then expanded her concept into a national franchise system with 8 locations across the country by 2009. It was a thrill for her to see how far her efforts took her, but traveling and very little time for herself or her family, led her to sell the entire franchise system and move on. Over the years that followed she placed personnel remotely for dentists across the country and enjoyed the interaction. This service grew with no advertising at all, strictly word of mouth from dentist to dentist. They would call and she couldn’t say “no”.
Having had the opportunity to work with many specialists (especially periodontists), Deb observed (and heard from doctors and their teams) that existing practice management software systems simply fail to address many of their most important business needs. So about 2 years ago, she assembled a team of crack software developers to create a game-changing cloud based system for periodontal practices that provides advanced but user-friendly technical capabilities that go well beyond what existing PMS systems currently offer. OurPerioTeam has been in beta testing, and is now ready for deployment to the market. “Staying close to teams within the specialty areas is rewarding and so very necessary” says Deb. She is so grateful and appreciative to all the periodontists and their teams for all the feedback and suggestions they have offered. She says they will continue to listen and develop whatever they can to assist periodontists and their teams to be more efficient for them as well as their referring dentists.
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