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In the Spotlight: Carlita Felder, Practice Manager for the Department of Surgery

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Carlita Felder began her career in the billing department at Children’s National Hospital. Eight years later, Felder moved into a role at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA). While spending her entire career in health care wasn’t necessarily her plan, Felder feels at home and takes pride in what she does to help patients.

Q: What do you do at the GW MFA?

Felder: I have been at the GW MFA for about 18 years and was recently promoted to practice manager for the Department of Surgery. Back when I started out here, I was hired for a financial clearance team. I moved into managerial roles in the Department of Medicine and Department of Urology before transitioning to the Department of Surgery as an administrative supervisor. I was then promoted to administrative manager before being elevated again to practice manager.

Q: What has kept you in health care?

Felder: Helping people. I just like to make sure people receive the care they need. I’ve always had a knack for it, especially working with seniors. Health care gives me an opportunity to take care of people, whether it’s just helping to schedule an appointment, helping them feel better about the whole process and ensuring they’re being taken care of, or just helping resolve a billing issue. I just always enjoy that aspect of health care.

Q: What have you learned about yourself and how you work?

Felder: I can be a bit of a perfectionist and I can be hard on myself when something doesn’t come easily to me. I like to always be able to find a solution to a problem. I’ve learned that I’m not going to quit until I figure it out. In health care you put focus on “care” no matter what your role is in the organization. I like to think, “If I was a patient, or if it was a family member of mine that was a patient, how would I want to be treated or how would I want the situation to be handled?” That’s the same thing I expect from my staff. You’ve got to look at it through that perspective. How would you want your experience to be if you were in the position that patient is in?

Q: What motivates you to come to work and do your best every day?

Felder: I genuinely feel like the GW MFA is an extension of my family. I’ve been here so long and pretty much know everybody. I see some of these doctors go from residents to attendings and grow their practice. I’ve seen my staff come in and grow, develop, and move on. It’s like my family; we all work hard to make sure everyone in family has the best and is able to grow and become great people who do great things. It feels good to work hard and be part of that growth and nourishment of the organization and the people you work with.