EGP March April 21

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> Women Leaders in Dentistry

Executive of a DSO

Maryam Beyramian CEO Westwind Integrated Health Phoenix, Ariz.

Dr. Beyramian started Westwind Dental Group in 2002. Primary care medicine was added to its service offerings in 2017 and the group was rebranded to Westwind Integrated Health. Today, it consists of nine practices and more than 20 associate doctors throughout the Phoenix area. Westwind Integrated Health is a service-oriented group providing comprehensive integrative oral and systemic care to patients of all ages.

EGP: What did you learn about yourself and your team amid the pandemic? Beyramian: When the pandemic really started to take a serious turn, we were in the Houston airport just returning from our family vacation in Belize. We arrived at an airport filled with people staring at a news conference with Donald Trump announcing that he would be closing the borders on Friday. It was Wednesday. I looked at Nabil, my husband, and thought, “wow, is this real?” Are we going to go down this road again? I’m not sure if you know, I am Persian and was born in Tehran, Iran, just before the revolution. By the time I was three years old the war had begun in our once peaceful and prosperous country and for the next eight years we lived through war and chaos. The start of the pandemic reminded me of our earlier life where chaos management was the norm. In the coming days, as we listened to our friends in other states shut down their offices, we braced for a full shutdown. Crisis management and survival was the only thought on my mind. We had over 80 team members and 20 doctors that may possibly be without a job and income. This weighed heavily on my heart. In the next month and a half, we closed six of nine offices and filled the remaining three to capacity. We just put our heads down and worked. We cleared our AR processes and improved the workflow around billing. We set up a call center, brought in all the office managers and treatment coordinators that needed to work, but had no office to work in, and set them up to take calls and start training a


new call center team from scratch. We renovated our closed locations – something we had been putting off for a while. We worked and worked – six days a week seeing patients until the country opened back up and a new norm was established. I learned a lot about myself and my team during the pandemic. We are a resilient bunch! EGP: What skills will be needed for dental group practice leaders to succeed in the next five to 10 years? Beyramian: Owning a group practice as a dentist and practitioner has its unique challenges. I chose a career in dentistry because I truly believe that the creation of a beautiful and healthy smile for a patient improves their emotional, mental and physical well-being. We created our group practice to focus on just that, improving our patient’s overall health. We want our patients to walk out of our offices emotionally and physically healthier than they walk in. Group practice is the future of our profession. The level of collaboration, support and growth opportunities you receive as a practitioner in a group setting is unparalleled. As a group practice leader, I believe that vision for patient care needs to be very clear so that it can be communicated to all levels and all team members in the organization. For example, our group focuses on the delivery of whole-body wellness to our patients. If all our touchpoints are focused on this mission, then our care is consistent across all levels and all offices.