A Conversation With Anita Liberman-Lampear, MA

In this issue, O&P News poses five questions to Anita Liberman-Lampear, MA, administrative director of Orthotics & Prosthetics at the University of Michigan Health System.

Liberman-Lampear holds a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from Wayne State University and a master’s degree in Allied Health Management from Central Michigan University. After many years working in the Pathology Department at the University of Michigan (UM) Medical Center, Liberman-Lampear became the Medical Center’s assistant department administrator in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). In 1992, she was asked to manage the university’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Center (UMOPC) and revitalize the division as its administrative director.

Liberman-Lampear has consulted and taught in areas of managed care, accreditation and other health system and O&P-related topics. Liberman-Lampear was a longtime board member and treasurer of the Michigan Orthotics and Prosthetics Association, as well as their liaison to Medicaid and a member of the Medical Care Advisory Council to the director of Medicaid. She was a member of the American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association (AOPA) board of directors for 9 years, is a past president of AOPA and is active co-chair of the O&P Political Action Committee Wine Auction Fundraiser.

Liberman-Lampear is a member of the O&P News 175.

O&P News: What are your hobbies outside of work?

Liberman-Lampear: I have two hobbies — quilting and scrapbooking. While my time is limited, I tend to spend more of my spare time on quilting. My latest interest is in art quilting (not quilts for beds), as it combines a bit of scrapbooking into quilting. Of course with a grandbaby on the way, I will be spending some time on quilting for my grandchild.

O&P News: Who has had the greatest influence on your career?

Liberman-Lampear: There are several people who influenced my O&P career. First, a former chief executive officer (CEO) of the UM Health System, Larry Warren, who believed in my abilities and convinced the chair of PM&R to let me lead UMOPC. Next, were the then clinical department administrator Douglas Duwe, MBA, and the subsequent chair of PM&R and medical director of O&P James Leonard Jr., MD. While they might not have been totally on board at first, they gave me the chance to prove that I could take the failing unit and make it successful. Finally, the orthotists and prosthetists at UM and throughout the state of Michigan who helped me understand what this field was all about — to them, I tip my hat and offer many rounds of thanks.

O&P News: What was the defining moment that led you to your field?

Liberman-Lampear: When the CEO of the hospital suggested that I be given the opportunity to manage and lead the O&P division at the UM Health System.

O&P News: What advice would you offer O&P students today?

Liberman-Lampear: Learn your field well, but do not lose sight of the fact the business end is as important as the clinical end. If you think that you will be successful by being the best provider there is and forget you have to get paid for what you do and understand how to lead, manage and run a business, you will not.

O&P News: What is up next for you?

Liberman-Lampear: It is no secret that I will probably retire in the next couple of years from my current job at UM — 45 years already and it has been a fabulous run. I have been more then fortunate to be here. Not only have I had the opportunity to learn, lead and manage, but I have been given the chance to give back so much. I do hope that I will find some part-time work to keep myself busy — we type As do not do well without another project in front of us. Maybe I will consult or do some project management for shorter-term projects somewhere in the O&P profession. And of course, I will get to spend more time with my family, more quilting, scrapbooking and of course, traveling with my husband, Alan.

I do want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone I have met during the last 25 years that I have been associated with this incredible profession. I want to thank them for all their support, mentoring, teaching, and friendships and for letting me be a part of this profession.

Disclosure: Liberman-Lampear reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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