Practice Administrator for BronxCare Dental Services
Viva Rivera takes special pride in the Department of Dentistry’s exceptional growth and her contributions to it. When she first began her Bronx Lebanon career as a Receptionist /Registrar in 1990, the Dental Department had only five dental chairs. Today, this department provides more than 90,000 visits annually, with 69 dental chairs at six locations in the Bronx.
As Practice Administrator for the Department, Ms. Rivera assists Dr. Paul Gates, Chairman, Dentistry, in his daily activities. “Dr. Gates is an amazing leader that has transformed our Department into one of the best in the Bronx, New York City, and the Nation,” stated Ms. Rivera. She and her staff are also responsible for the patient appointment and registration process, in addition to monitoring the schedules of dental attendings and residents, as well as technicians and other employees.
Ms. Rivera is continuously striving to achieve high levels of patient and employee satisfaction. “There are certainly many challenges associated with providing optimal and responsive dental services to our ever increasing patient population. But, we are consistently succeeding in delivering the highest quality dental care, and that is what matters,” stated Ms. Rivera.
One of Ms. Rivera’s most important accomplishments involved the relocation of the Department of Dentistry’s main site into expanded space at 1775 Grand Concourse. “We were able to overcome the many logistical obstacles, while maintaining services, minimizing disruptions, and informing our large patient population regarding the move and benefits of our new state-of-the-art facility,” stated Ms. Rivera. She also continues to be actively involved in the administration of three dental residency programs, assisting in educational activities, and organizing special functions.
In terms of her education, Ms. Rivera received a Bachelor’s degree in Administration from Concordia College, and also earned a Practical Nursing Degree from the BOCES Training Program. She attributes the combination of these degrees and administrative experience as contributing factors in her promotion to Practice Administrator. Ms. Rivera credits Dr. Gates as the individual that inspired her to advance academically and professionally. He encouraged Ms. Rivera to continue her education and also provided on the job training regarding health policy, medical education, and reimbursement issues, among other areas. Another key to Ms. Rivera’s success is her family. Her grandmother, mother, and two aunts previously worked at Bronx Lebanon. An aunt and cousin are currently employed at the hospital. “My family has always considered Bronx Lebanon as our family and encouraged me to continue my career here,” stated Ms. Rivera. Her son, Anthony, is now continuing the “Rivera” tradition. He is working as a Registrar in the Department of Medicine and also attended the BOCES training center. Ms. Rivera and her husband, Derek, a retired New York City Police Detective, have two other children, Derek and Madison. Derek is enrolled at Iona College, and Madison is now in high school.
When she is not on the job, Ms. Rivera enjoys traveling with her husband. She also assists him in his new business venture, an Activity Program for children’s birthday parties and events. Of course, there is also the enjoyment of being with her ever growing family at weddings, birthdays, and holiday festivities.
In looking back on her 25 years of service, Ms. Rivera views it as a time period where career growth, job satisfaction, and the opportunity to help others became among the most important parts of her life. And she also sees a positive future for herself, the Dentistry program, and her Bronx Lebanon family.