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BEST EVER – Dr. Barry Bartusiak

With an irrepressible smile and athletic presence, his laughter reverberates through the hallway of his practice. At a passing glance you might assume Dr. Barry Bartusiak has life by the horns, but the truth is that even at his relatively young age of 49, he has been in some serious fights with life. He survived each round, but hasn’t always won.

He started a dental practice from scratch in McMurray, PA, in 1996. He had one chair and one employee: himself. He did all of the jobs! Buying into the McDonalds’ model of setting up good systems and repeating them over and over, he bought a three chair practice in Washington, PA, in 1998 and split his time between the two offices. Then in 2004 he bought another practice in Pittsburgh and hired an associate to run it.  While building up these businesses he harnessed his passion for teaching dentistry and launched a speaking career. He presented to over 400 dental audiences in the United States and Canada. Momentum was on his side, and then in 2008…it left. A three quarter of a million dollar embezzlement of an ancillary business caused a Chapter 11.  However his financial downward spiral became inconsequential when in 2010 a doctor delivered the life threatening news that his precious wife had a grapefruit sized brain tumor. Instantly dropping his speaking career, he narrowed his focus to running the Washington office and being Mr. Mom to their four lively young kids, while simultaneously fighting along side his wife in the only battle that really mattered.

While the nation’s crippled economy had hardly begun to stir, Dr. Bartusiak’s personal life took a turn for the better. His victorious wife championed her disease and emerged healthy. He then looked at his million dollar practice and said, “I can do better than this.” He hired Summit and welcomed and embraced guidance from Dr. Michael Abernathy and consultant, Judy. Dr. Bartusiak and his team dedicated the time and effort to learn new skills and polish their natural talents. The benefits of their hard work shines through their 2011 results: production increased 60% over last year. Collections are up 45% and new patients are up 30%.

When asked what made the difference, Dr. Bartusiak likened his experience with Summit to hiring a personal trainer. When a trainer prescribes a regime of exercises and you treat it like a menu from which to choose, you cannot get the desired results. You have to listen to your trainer and do exactly what they tell you. His total commitment to his regimen and drive for success enrolled his team in the process and as a result they began to reap the benefits from their bonus system. He has seen a shift in the attitude of his staff from “my time is up, I’m out of here” to “whatever it takes”. Dr. Bartusiak exclaims the joy of doing dentistry has returned. He is having fun again.

Dr. Bartusiak has also returned to his passion for teaching, while coaching his children’s sports teams and being the primary care giver for his beloved parents. His vision to add a doctor to his practice looms large ahead, but he resolves to stay the course on a road of continuous improvement until it becomes his reality. He relentlessly pursues success with a humbleness that knows fortunes can come and go, and time is irreversibly scarce.

If you need to improve your practice, but find yourself parked in the lot of “excuses”, the moral of Dr. Bartusiak’s story is, get moving. He will tell you himself that the most precious thing in life is time. Don’t waste it.

Judy Rutty
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