Should you choose Dr. Pfeifer to perform your procedure, you’ll find yourself in the capable hands of one of the nation’s leading plastic surgeons. Dr. Pfeifer has designed her practice to focus on your comfort, safety, and wellbeing. Your care is dependent not only on her experience and expertise, but that of her staff. Every staff member is responsible for providing a positive, reassuring support system that will help you feel welcome and at ease. Their individual skills are exceptional and mirror Dr. Pfeifer’s own high standards. Before, during and after your procedure, you can count on being “handled with care.”
Maureen’s warm approach, extensive experience and responsiveness are essential in her role as Dr. Pfeifer’s patient coordinator. Having been in the plastic surgery field for close to 20 years, Maureen understands the importance of creating a special patient experience. ““I love building relationships with our patients. Every patient is unique and I understand the importance of guiding them through their journey by gathering information, presenting options and providing detailed follow through. It’s my job to prepare patients emotionally and share in their excitement as they anticipate the positive changes ahead.” Once a patient has booked surgery, Maureen stays close to them throughout the preoperative period and into recovery. “We are available 24/7 and will call patients two times a day for the first week after surgery. That’s just part of being a top notch caregiver.”
Maureen derives mostof her satisfaction in seeing happy and excited patients who are so thrilled they give referrals. As the patient coordinator, Maureen is one of the front line ambassadors to the practice and she personifies the philosophy and approach Dr. Pfeifer continues to inspire. “We are sensitive to everyone and make sure that a patient’s comfort and preparedness are paramount. Kindness, respect and patience might be “old school” but those qualities, while rare, are really appreciated by our patients. We are all responsible for the ultimate bedside manner.”
Words to live and work by: We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.
Paula Palumbo (Quogue)
Patient Coordinator/Surgical Assistant/Office Manager
Paula has ultimate responsibility for the performance of the Quogue office–and she is up for the challenge considering her 30 years in plastic surgery at this very location. Both Dr. Pfeifer and the staff know they can count on Paula to manage the practice whi le maintaining a high standard of care for every patient. The environment is very positive–a function of genuine teamwork, comradery and respect. “Everyone on our staff is exemplary at what they do. We are not just medical people we are “people” people. Most of our patients have been thinking about this for a long time. Moving forward with an aesthetic change can cause mixed emotions, so our role becomes one of educator to calm any anxiety. People have busy professional and personal lives. This is the one time the focus can be on them and we make sure every patient is made to feel like our only patient.” Paula is especially gifted in explaining medical procedures in layman’s terms taking time to explain nuances of all procedures and being empathetic to all concerns. “I like to think I make patients feel comfortable by putting their procedure in perspective and helping them be less apprehensive.
Just because it is elective surgery, doesn’t mean patients are casual about the process. There can be a roller coaster of emotions. They need us to anticipate for them so there are no surprises and they can relax.” Paula describes the practice’s philosophy as having safety foremost in mind. “We had one of the first AAAA surgical facilities in the area which means our OR is the same standard as a hospital OR. Dr. Pfeifer chooses her patients carefully and never rushes in or out of surgery. Every aspect is very personalized.”
At the end of the day whether working with her team or with patients, Paula is proud of the practice’s continued growth. Her husband, Dr. Palumbo practiced in Quogue for 25 years. “We have so many repeat patients and a special atmosphere. My husband was replaced with someone just like him—Dr. Pfeifer and my husband have the same philosophy, treat the person first, and then the patient. Nothing we do is mechanical…it all comes from the heart. It’s very rewarding to me to have had the opportunity to work for two great surgeons. “
Words to live and work by: Be kind and be a good listener. Enjoy your work and reflect joy in all you do every day.
Patient Coordinator/Surgical Assistant
Denise started working with a plastic surgeon right out of school, and that was 30 years ago. “I don’t remember actively pursuing the specialty, but I like to think plastic surgery picked me.” It was a wise choice. Denise not only assists in surgery, but manages patient consultations pre and post procedure.
Her experience and demeanor reassures even the most anxious patients because, “…they sense they are entering a finely tuned practice that telegraphs confidence. My role is to assure them they are in the right place.” Patients easily connect with Denise because of her knowledge in clinical medicine and implant selection in particular. “I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, but patient care has to come first–that never changes. I love the OR, post-operative care and seeing patients happy.
They all leave feeling so much better about themselves.” Denise says sincerity, kindness and “hands on” attention differentiate both Quogue and the NYC locations. “Our team and our patients all feel like they are part of a special practice.”
Words to live and work by: Never underestimate the power of kindness.
Front Desk/Pre-op Coordinator
Kelli loves being in the medical field and after over 20 years, she calls it “home.” For the past 14 years she has been at the Quogue location welcoming patients, answering questions and scheduling surgery and follow-up appointments. “I take my time to understand what the patient needs. Surgery of any kind is a big decision and it is up to us to provide support from the first phone call to the last post-op appointment.” As the full time “concierge”, Kelli merges her administrative skills and clinical expertise to immediately make every patient feel they are being heard. “Many prospective patients have been considering a particular procedure for years.
It’s normal to be a bit nervous initially. Showing them compassion and empathy makes a big difference.” Kelli admires Dr. Pfeifer’s way of easily establishing rapport and gathering insightful information about every patient. “It’s not only about surgery, it’s about life…what’s going on in their life is important for Dr. Pfeifer and patients connect with her.”
Words to live and work by: Patience is the companion of wisdom.
Clinical Medical Assistant
Rafaella is the newest addition to the staff having joined Dr. Pfeifer in the spring of 2014. She primarily assists during surgery and takes care of patients in recovery. “I love every aspect of plastic surgery, but my favorite part is being with patients in the recovery room. I’ve been told I make them feel taken care of and at ease when they are most vulnerable, and that means everything to me.” Rafaella finds post- op appointments to be particularly satisfying–seeing the transformation not only aesthetically but in a patient’s disposition. “The confidence they show and gratitude they feel is such a boost for us as well as them.” As someone new to the practice, Rafaella was impressed by the time Dr. Pfeifer takes with each patient and the extreme care that all receive. “I’ve never seen Dr. Pfeifer rush a patient or even interrupt their story. This is the opposite of an assembly line–Dr. Pfeifer sets the tone and we all perform at our highest level and go the extra mile.”
Words to live and work by: Work for a cause not for applause; live life to express not to impress; don’t strive to make presence noticed, just your absence felt.
Insurance Specialist/Patient Advocate
Judy has worked with Dr. Pfeifer for 4 years but brings over 25 years of training as an analyst in compliance and coding. “I fill the role of patient advocate when it comes to handling insurance matters–from beginning to end.” The majority of cosmetic procedures do not qualify for reimbursement, but if the patient’s condition is considered functional or reconstructive in nature, Judy’s help is invaluable. One group Judy often helps are patients having breast reduction. “The value I offer Dr. Pfeifer’s patients is keeping up to date with the insurance system. Every day there is a new minefield to contend with.
The average person is set up to fail. I know all the traps and love the challenge of navigating through the sea of compliance. It’s never dull.” From updating authorizations, submitting claims and assuring each is finalized and paid–Judy is on top of it. Judy draws a parallel between her approach and Dr. Pfeifer’s–“We are both detail oriented, tenacious and precise in our work. All the attention is focused on the patient. Dr. Pfeifer pays me to be their voice.”
Words to live and work by: Be encouraging to others and always have a new project going.