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Alum Jo Ann Roynestad Is Lead Manager at Penn Medicine


West Windsor, N.J. - Finding out what makes people tick has always intrigued Jo Ann Roynestad '08 (A.A.S., Business Management) of Columbus, N.J. As a senior practice manager for Penn Medicine's OB/GYN Midwifery Care practice, she is using her people skills to determine how to best meet the needs of a 38-person clinical team of physicians, midwives, administrators and medical support staff.

"I have always been a natural leader," said Roynestad, who oversees the training of staff and implements new systems to enhance fiscal accountability. "I love the opportunity to teach and promote individuals and watch them grow to achieve their goals. I have also learned that it is not possible to satisfy everyone all of the time. Learning to be graceful in the line of fire is a necessary skill for all managers."

Fascinated by the medical field, the Brooklyn native began her studies at The College of Staten Island while gaining work experience in the offices of several medical practices in the New York City area. Relocating to Burlington County with her husband and two daughters in 2001, she sought out MCCC to continue her education. She was particularly drawn to the convenience and flexibility of the MCCC's highly-rated, extensive online course selections.

Jo Ann Roynestad '08

"The professors and administrative staff were so approachable both online and in person, which made it easy for me to balance work and home responsibilities," said the Dean's List student. "Mercer faculty members bring industry experience to the classroom. Every course I have taken has allowed me to take that knowledge straight to work."

Once fearful of public speaking, Roynestad gained confidence in her oratoy skills through a communications class. Business Professor Ellen Benowitz was truly inspiring. "She gave me the impression that I could not fail at anything," Roynestad said.

Roynestad has steadily risen up the professional ladder, working as an account manager for Source 1 Medical Management in Lawrenceville, and as an operations manager for McKesson Revenue Management Systems in Somerset, where she earned the McKesson Keystone Award for "Road to Reference Ability and Profitability" in 2006 and Forbes Excellence in Outsourcing Awards in 2007 for Best in Healthcare Partnership with McKesson's Brigham and Womens Department of Surgery. Joining Penn Medicine in 2007, she served as managing director for the Physician Billing Office Accounts Receivable Department for three years prior to being named to her current post this past November.

With Penn Medicine having purchased a new billing system and planning for future expansion, Roynestad has continued to seek out educational opportunities at Mercer. She took noncredit courses in MS Project and Law and Construction Industry through MCCC's Center for Continuing Studies. "I am project leader for the accounts receivable portion. MS Project gave me the skills that will enable me to time manage this project," Roynestad said. "My Law and Construction course will come in handy in the near future as we plan to build a new building to house several of Penn Medicine's clinical practices."

She is also back in class as a part-time credit student, pursuing a second associate degree at Mercer in Liberal Arts, with plans to complete her bachelor's degree in Psychology through MCCC's on-campus partnership with William Paterson University.

With the long-term goal of becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in women's issues, Roynestad believes that the people skills she uses regularly as a manager will be a great foundation for a career in counseling. "It is by far, my favorite part of what I do."

She notes that learning never ceases to be stimulating. "Knowledge is as important as food; it nourishes you," she said. "It is never too late to learn something new; you can discover great things about yourself!"

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