Open for Business!
Mon, Jul 19, 2021
It’s hard to believe this is finally happening! Not happening, this has HAPPENED! Sunflower Direct Primary Care (DPC), the first DPC in our area (I think within at least 30 miles??) is OPEN and taking new patients! Here’s the brief history:
I’ve always wanted to open my own Family Medicine practice, but due to some life circumstances I wasn’t ready to make that commitment. Over time I’ve realized that I wanted something where I could provide care in a way that was good for the physician and the patients. I wanted long visits, transparency, affordability… I wanted to provide care to those that can’t access the kind of care they want and deserve in the usual model. Direct Primary Care – a membership-based model of care with a low monthly fee would allow me to set up my own micro-practice and do things the way I felt was right was a perfect fit for me! One thing I LOVE about my job is forming relationships with patients (and this is even more possible and important in the DPC model) and I did NOT want to set up shop and form relationships and have to up and leave. THEN – in Nov 2018 life changed and I had the freedom to stay in Henderson, NC where I wanted to open my practice. Smooth sailing from there, right? HAH!
While I worked on a name and other necessary details I started looking for a location. It was incredibly important for me to open downtown because supporting and promiting Downtown Henderson is a secondary goal I have. At the time that left me with a small number of options which did not fit my needs very well. I wasn’t in a huge rush so kept an eye on things that came available and put the word out to my local friends. THEN a local business had a small space that needed some upfit (which they were willing to do!) and I thought it was a match made in heaven! They could have a renter, I could have a space downtown, AND I could pay rent to a group I felt very good supporting. Note that a few months before this COVID-19 became a THING. As medical director at my local health department I was a little busy so things got put on hold for a bit but that was ok because my space was taking longer than expected to be ready anyway.
Fast-forward to late 2020 when I was notified that because of a series of problems with the building and the way the upfits had been done there was going to be a HUGE delay. They were great and essentially said if I wanted to move on to something else they understood, but if I wanted to stick with them they would get everything done that needed to be done, despite knowing it would be a big cost for them. After thinking on it a couple days and talking with some friends I opted to not move forward with this option.
In early 2021 COVID-19 vaccine was released and things were BUSY again at the health department so I rolled with that for a bit while looking at some places to rent but not coming up with much. In the meantime a friend had opened her own traditional medical practice in the same area and was able to let me use her space for a couple months to give immunizations so Sunflower Direct Primary Care got a bit of a soft opening while I found my own space.
One day early in 2021, I found just the right space which didn’t require any significant upfit, was a great price, and the landlord came highly recommended by one of my friends. I had a great experience getting set up at my current location and my landlord even repainted the outside!
So when did I open? That’s oddly hard to say. Let’s say April 26th, 2021. I feel like I’m still in the process of opening and I make little changes here and there all the time, BUT I am now taking new patients and in the near future I’ll have an actual ribbon cutting! I welcome all of you to visit, just give me a call first as for now at least I’m only here by appointment.