In this Founder's Corner episode, Ajay shares his marketing expertise on targeting patients with different cultures and demography for a medical clinic with Dr. Walid Michelen, medical director of Alegria Health and Wellness Center.
Dr. Walid Michelen, Chief Medical Officer of Alegria Health and Wellness. Dr. Walid has been a key proponent of many initiatives that have led to a significant decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits, while improving patient satisfaction and medication adherence.
Speaker: Hello, and thanks for joining today's episode of The Founders Corner podcast hosted by Ajay Prasad. Join Ajay as he sits down with healthcare professionals to discuss ways of improving their marketing efforts. As an entrepreneur and proud owner of several seven-figure web-based businesses, Ajay has now dedicated himself to helping healthcare professionals in building out their practices. If you would like to contact Ajay and become a guest on The Founder's Corner podcast, fill out the form on our website.
In today's episode, Ajay will be speaking with Dr. Walid Michelen, chief medical officer of Alegria Health and Wellness. He is a key proponent of many initiatives that have led to a significant decrease in hospitalizations and emergency room visits while improving patient satisfaction and medication adherence. Enjoy the show.
Ajay: Dr. Michelen, why don’t you tell us something about your business so that our audience can relate to whether it is relevant for them or not?
Dr. Walid Michelen: So, my name is Walid Michelen. I'm a physician. A Dominican, came here very early. I'm a graduate of Cornell. I trained in primary care and in rheumatology at Montefiore Hospital. And I've had – besides clinical practice, I've been in numerous leadership positions in healthcare as a medical director of a number of hospitals as well as an HMO, and the chief medical officer, actually, for New York City's Health and Hospital Corporation, and as the founder and CEO and chief medical officer of Gotham Health.
Dr. Walid Michelen: So, now, on a part-time basis, I'm the medical director of Alegria Health and Wellness Center, which is a health center located in the South Bronx which I'm sure many of the listeners know is one of the – not just the poorest but one of the sickest counties in the country. For example, the highest incidence of asthma and COPD, etcetera. And we did that on purpose because we want to not just serve that population – because they're very much underserved, we did a marketing analysis before we picked the site – and tailor our services around the needs of that population.
So, of course, we have internal medicine. We have prenatal care and GYN services. We do have pediatrics services as well because it's a relatively young population. And we also have dental services because that's a huge, huge need there. And another huge need is that there's a high incidence and prevalence of cancers, many undiagnosed, so we have a full-fledged oncology service as well as infusion suite for rheumatic diseases and oncological diseases and other diseases as well. And we have a number of multi-specialties there.
Dr. Walid Michelen: So, we're new in the neighborhood and we have quite a few challenges that we're hoping our marketing could help us, which is why you and I are talking at this point.
Ajay: Okay. Perfect, perfect. So, it looks like you have really comprehensive healthcare services that you are providing there. So, are these all – just I'm curious. Are these all – do you have full-time people or do you have part-time or volunteers? How does it work, your organization in the Bronx right now?
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yes. It's not volunteer. The bulk – our main services, internal medicine, GYN, and pediatrics – is full-time staff. The specialties that I described are part-time and based on the needs of that population and the referrals that we get. As the volume increases for specialty care, then they will become part-time. But otherwise, right now, it's only our basic primary care services that are full-time.
Ajay: Okay. Perfect, perfect. Good. So, we understand your business. The first thing, I must say that I'm very impressed that you have deliberately opted to go and work on the underserved area because being, as we know, the richest country in the world, still we have a very significant percent of population who don’t even have basic healthcare services. So, I must say congratulations. I'm very impressed with what you're doing.
So, having said that, Dr. Michelen, let's go to your questions.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Sure. So, we're brand new there and we have to get ourselves known. And plus, the population is culturally mixed, so it's primarily African American and Latino, but the Latino population is a mix of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Mexicans, and Central Americans. And there's also a West Indian population and I think a small group of Southeast Asians as well that's just starting to come through. So, to start with that question, how do you market to a multicultural patient population in a way that's not super?
Ajay: Yeah. I can see what challenge you are facing. So, I will tell you that the first thing is you will need to have outreach to those individual segments because unfortunately – and I, being an immigrant myself, I understand that many of the immigrant sections, it's not only that you have the population of a certain ethnic group or from different areas, but they also don’t mix. So, it's not like they have a tendency – and I'm assuming it's very similar there, where you see Hispanics are generally living closer to the Hispanic population and African Americans are living – African Americans probably are more spread out because they are an ethnicity but it's a new immigrant population.
At least in Southern California where I am right now, there's a very high concentration of – you will see the Hispanic or African American, even Asians have started to become very concentrated in one area. So, is it – do you have a similar situation there also?
Dr. Walid Michelen: I didn’t hear the last part. Do we have a what there?
Ajay: So, are the people of different ethnic groups, they are living much closer to each other, like it's more like it's a community of their own? Or –
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yes. Yes. So, they're in sort of clusters. Yes, they are.
Ajay: Yeah, okay. So, there are a couple of things. So, one thing is that, generally speaking, you will always have a group of – you can say – I'm trying to find the right word. It keeps on coming, leaders, and I don’t mean the leaders in the traditional sense. But there are always – you have ethnic organizations. They have activities. Organizations with very targeted activities to specific ethnic groups. So, you could – you may want to definitely identify that group so that you can reach out to them.
And by the way, obviously, you will have to have your website in all the languages because if you have new immigrants, English may not be their primary language and they may not understand that. But the idea is that first you want to prepare yourself, your business, and make sure your website is multilingual so that anyone has access to it. You have to make sure that, in your operation, you have someone who can speak different languages for when you have all that – for the ethnic groups. And once you – so, that is almost like a basic that you have to have.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: And then after that, you see if you can identify the community groups, associations, activities where you can go and address. I mean, the good news is that you are not selling some kind of gadget. You are offering something that is very important. So, I can very easily see that you're organized and you can go as a speaker and to those whenever they have these gatherings, which always happens in the ethnic groups. African American population will be a little bit hard, but I'm sure that you can find some local leaders to reach out to them.
So, that would be the – I would say you have to use the community. All these communities, you will find that they will always have some sort of newspaper. It's surprising how much the newspaper is – you know, you have community-based newspapers. So, someone will have to identify those. And you can either have articles written there, you can do some press releases, and you can even advertise to announce yourself there.
And so, I think that that's how you have to – you almost have to have, Dr. Michelen, a strategy for each community. There won't be a shortcut that you say, okay, this is a blanket plan and we will do it. You almost have to say, okay, let's look at this community and see where they congregate, what is the best way to reach out to them. And you'll need to do that research and – yeah.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yeah, I think you're totally right. If you take the Latino population, people assume that it's very homogenous, but you can't market the same way to let's say a Dominican that you do to a Mexican necessarily.
Dr. Walid Michelen: You have to be very target specific with them. So, I think you make a very good point.
Ajay: Yeah. I mean, this is – I think the first-generation immigrant, that is how they in America. I mean, I noticed – I'm a first-generation immigrant from India.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Me, too. I mean, from – I'm a first generation also, so.
Ajay: Yeah. From India?
Dr. Walid Michelen: No, no, no, from Dominican Republic, but first generation.
Ajay: Okay. Great. So, now you would see that when you are the first generation, even there are subcommunities, right? For India, for sure, because there a lot of people now from India, so there are even subcommunities within even the Indian population. So, just it's kind of – so, again, understanding each segment that you want to address and reaching out.
Now, I'm telling you, it sounds very complex what I'm saying. It probably is not. Because it's not like you have hundreds of ideas. But you would need someone who understands the local community who can guide you in terms of reaching out and how do you reach out to them. But, yes, like I said, your standard almost starting point needs to be someone who can speak the language and your website that they can read in their language. And then have a program to reach out to them.
The newspapers would be ideal if you have it. And also, it depends on how much you are comfortable or someone from your organization can go and talk to them and do some volunteer work during the gathering. I mean, ultimately, people just need to know and that's all. And once they know that you are there and what's your focus, then the word of mouth will start to do the rest of it. But you need to introduce yourself first.
Dr. Walid Michelen: The other question I have is that we're catering to all different age groups, so from infancy – so, you focus on the others. From infancy all the way to seniors, and we have different services for each. So, how do you develop a marketing strategy that's targeted to those specific groups of people? So, which respond better to social media? Which respond better to print? Which respond better to meetings? That kind of stuff.
Ajay: So, the first thing I will tell you is that before you even target – so, when you are targeting infant, it's as you are saying, literally, starting from birth. Right? And then pediatrics and then if there's – all these services. I would suggest that instead of trying to focus on the specific age group – because when you have – it's complicating it way too much. I would say you focus on the services. So, whether it is gynecology or pediatrics or the cancer treatment – so, we are talking mostly the marketing aspect of it, right?
So, the typical process now is that when people have a specific need, they will want to go and check the – they will go on the website to find out. Right? Either they will have someone who recommends it to them, either the friend, a relative, or their primary physician. So, they would either do that or – and if they do that, they would still go and check on the website anyway.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: So, you want to make sure that if you are – instead of breaking down your services by the age group, you could do that by the procedures. Right? For the specific requirements, like pediatrics or cancer. You have so many groups and you already said – so, all the services that you are offering, from dental to eyecare to – exactly like you just said in the beginning. That is how I would position. And it will automatically fall into it because, as you know, certain diseases are more prevalent in the older group but certain would be for a very young group or for the young people or kids.
So, that is how I would suggest because for the smaller communities, targeting by age group will become – again, you are just doing – there's too much analysis. Those strategies work, by the way, if you have something that is on a national level. You know, if it was a large because then you know what TV programs they watch and what newspaper they read. In a small segment area, that won't make sense for you.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: But some area, you will already cover it. And obviously, when they – if someone goes to the website and they're looking for pediatric services, then obviously you want to make sure they have kids. So, something that they can relate to and then you should be fine. Don’t worry too much about targeting a specific age group. Just focus on the services that you are offering and a preferred age group will find you anyway.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yeah. So, I think that's good advice and I appreciate it. Traditionally, at least in the U.S., it's the woman in the family that determines the healthcare and makes appointments and encourages her family to get treated. It's been very difficult, especially in poorer neighborhoods, to get men to get to care for a lot of reasons. It's usually presumed that it's because they're afraid or they don’t want to go to the doctor or admit that they're weak, but there's also some very valid reasons like they're working hard.
Dr. Walid Michelen: And I know we've made our hours accessible because we're opening later during the week and we're opening on Saturdays and we're looking at eventually even opening on a Sunday. But my question is how do you – what strategy would you use to get more men into our practice? Do you target the woman in the family? Do you target the men? Do you target both? What would you recommend?
Ajay: That you have to target the women in the family to start with, because like you said, they are also – they are the ones who are more worried about these kinds of things. I would say the older people probably are fine, but the younger people, they also don’t feel like they need to see the doctor. Right?
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: They're not unhealthy. So, definitely, for regular checkups, you want to reach out to the women. But having said that, again, when someone is – you know, you get their attention, they should feel like, okay, this is a service that is designed for them. So, how you are positioning the site and, of course, as simple as what kind of pictures are there on the site. So, do they feel like, oh, this is for me also?
A lot of things will take care of it, but in terms of targeting, you want to start, definitely, by women but then if there are areas where – if you find out that there's this community, this community's males, if they congregate somewhere, whether it is a game or whatever, something, then that's where you can reach out and you can see if there's a way for you to talk to them.
And again, one good thing about you is the kind of service that you're providing, you are going to be most welcome at most of the places if you want to reach out to them, either by in person or video or even the paper or sending someone a flyer and just distribute it. The service, people are going to.
Dr. Walid Michelen: So, using again men as an example, what kind of language or tools would you use to try to convince them to come and get care? Because I'm not a big believer in fear, like if you don’t come, you're gonna die from hypertension kind of thing, but I may be wrong. What would you recommend?
Ajay: So, that is where testimonials and reviews from other men will help you. So, it's just about, again, finding – I'm sure that, in any event, not 100 percent of the males will show up. So, when you have someone there, someone in the clinic, you can just – it's as easy as just getting a video of them on your iPhone. Just do an interview and say, "Sir, can you share with the community why they should be getting this testing? What is the benefit you have?"
So, when you have those kind of testimonials, especially the video ones but even the written testimonials, that will help you communicate with the other males because they – you want to bring something to their attention that they can relate to. And they will definitely relate to someone like them talking about and telling them why they did that and what kind of benefit they got.
Dr. Walid Michelen: So, we should put that up on our website?
Ajay: Oh, yeah, definitely. The website, you should put them up, and then also see if you can promote it in that – those videos and recommend that they check out those videos on the website, for sure. And so that they can – and suppose you've got five ethnic groups that you're targeting. If you have spread out the testimonials from all sort of people – so, if you can – if you have a picture and – and any testimonial at all is good, right?
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: But if you have a picture and testimonial, it is better than just testimonial. If you have video testimonial, nothing competes with that. So, that's what I would definitely want to do, and you want to put it on the website so anyone visiting there can immediately relate to it.
Dr. Walid Michelen: And what about when we go out and speak to them to inform them of their illness? Besides the testimonial, is there a particular way we should address people that either have false beliefs, let's put it that way, or are fearful of getting medical care? Do you have any advice for that?
Ajay: Yeah. So, there, one of the best things you can do is just, again, financially, if it is feasible, to – I would say if you offer them free testing of any kind. That helps because that reduces their resistance. You want to reduce their resistance. And it's just a matter of people starting to realize that, okay, this is helpful. When you are trying to break the traditional mindset issue, you know that it won't happy in one day anyway. It will – you almost have to convert one by one.
But the first one will generally be much harder than the second, and the third will be much easier than the second and fourth and so on. So, you do get a snowball effect where, all of a sudden, everything falls into place. The first one is the hardest. So, I mean, I don’t – it all depends on what you're addressing, but offering a free test would be one way to break that barrier. And once you have done it to some people, now you have their testimonial, you encourage them to go and tell other people. You have their testimonial on the website. So, that's what I was saying. It will – eventually, it will have a snowball effect where this will be a non-issue.
Dr. Walid Michelen: And if you wanted to market based on an illness-based approach, how do you figure out should I do diabetes, should I do hypertension, you know what I'm saying?
Ajay: Yeah. So, again, if you're talking about hypertension, the first thing is educating people about hypertension and we always lead about. But it's the most silent killer, right? Hypertension, you don’t even know you have hypertension. But educating there will be very helpful. How do you educate them about testing? Checking whether they have hypertension or not. They can certainly walk into a CVS store and get it for free, but can they come to your office to check it?
But there, it will take some education, Dr. Michelen, because otherwise, it will be – just telling them that you could have – the scare doesn’t work even for this. So, just scaring them that if you don’t have it, you will die – it's more like an educational thing. And again, these are – you are trying to change someone's mindset, so this is not going to be instant. But, yeah, generally speaking, for a disease, if you educate them – so, I'm sure that your website has a lot of educational materials so that they can go and find out. They go to the website and say, oh, do I have any of these symptoms and should I get it checked.
And maybe you can even create a quiz that they can take a quiz and say, do I have this, do I have – you know. And then based on that, it just makes a suggestion, like get your free testing done or somewhere along those lines. And you want to educate – you want them to identify comfortably on their own so that they can – they don’t feel like anyone is watching them. Right? And then after – once they have seen it, then hopefully enough people will say, okay, I want to go and get the free test and get it done.
So, I would definitely do that. If you have created a quiz where someone can just answer some questions and say, hey, this should is – this should either – if you have this many yes/no, then you have – you should get checked or something. Just make it – again, make it easy for them to identify whether they need your service or not. Because like we already established at the very beginning, you have this group where a lot of people don’t feel like they need any healthcare services.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: So, it's just persuading them to get it done. It's just help them identify does it work for them or not.
Dr. Walid Michelen: That's a great suggestion. I like the idea of giving them a quiz that they answer themselves and that we could talk about and they can realize that they have a particular issue. In making a website for a health center, what do you think are some of the mistakes that we should avoid?
Ajay: So, first thing, you don’t want to make it very generic. You want to make sure that you – a lot of the people, they don’t put a lot of heart when they're doing a website. So, you are in a business, you have your own philosophy. You already shared with us your qualifications, why you decided to have your health center in the Bronx. You need to express that right there. Not like I'm here as your savior, but just it's my philosophy, we are focusing on this area.
So, first thing first is you're going to a website, I should immediately know who you are, what your beliefs are. Right? And why you are different. And very few websites do that. So, if you just said we are a burn center or we have orthopedic practice or we have six gynecologists, that again is not conveying to me how you are different from other people. So, you want to sit down and say, okay, this is how I'm different, this is my philosophy, and express it very clearly.
Because what will happen is people who will agree with their philosophy, you don't have to sell them anymore. They're like, okay, I'm the right – and not everyone is going to agree with your philosophy, but you cannot convert them anyway.
Dr. Walid Michelen: That's true.
Ajay: I mean, we have a saying in marketing that I'm not looking for 100 percent market share. It's just not available because whatever you do, some people won't come. So, yeah, that I would – so, No. 1, you want to make sure that people going there, they know immediately why you are different from everyone else and what's your basic philosophy.
And then you want to share what are the areas – like you already talked about what sort of disease that they can come to this location for for treatment. And then within that, you also want to show them the expertise so that they feel like, okay, if I have – if I have a backache, I can go there and they have this expertise that they can take care of me. Right?
So, you want to make sure you talk about – which means that you want to also talk about your physicians in there. You want to talk about – in the specific sections, you want to talk about any equipment that you have that makes people feel like you have the latest. So, anything you can do to make people feel like, yes, you have the expertise in the area. So, that's the second thing.
And third is – which almost all the people I see make that mistake – is if you have – if you are in an area with a lot of ethnicities, you have to have a multiple language website. It's not like you need six websites, but someone should be able to quickly – when they go to the Spanish or whatever, Hindi, or whatever the language, that whatever the kind of people are there, they should be able to find it. So, yeah, I mean, just don’t make it too generic. Just like, "We are a hospital."
And the other thing is that people always talk more about themselves. Instead, you want to talk about your audience and what kind of benefit they can expect. So, again, so long as you are clearly talking about to your philosophy to healthcare. So, if you are talking about – even when it comes to we talked about hypertension, we should just – if you talked about how prevention is critical and how easy it is and your belief in prevention led you to this test that you can test up front and that either you have a peace of mind that says I don’t have any problem, or if I find something, I should go and get treated.
And again, just express yourself like you are who you are, and the people who agree with your approach, with your philosophy, you have them. And then you don’t have any competition.
Dr. Walid Michelen: That's excellent advice. And I'm thinking that maybe we could even put the quiz up on the website.
Ajay: Definitely. You want to do that on the website.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yeah, that's –
Ajay: The quiz.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yeah.
Ajay: Because right there your advantage is that suppose someone – I take a quiz and I score – I'm just throwing a number – 10 out of 25, which means that I should get checked because I have XYZ. Right? There is a potential, whatever probability, that I may have – I should get checked for these things. Then right there you can also put a form – and you're not telling them to do that, but you say, if you want, right here, fill out the form and set up your free, whatever, meeting. If that's what you're offering. I'm just saying that you do free. Or if you say just fill out the form to get an appointment. So, whatever the next step.
So, on the site, it will be much easier because then you can even see how many people took the quiz. Your analytics will tell you. And then you'll know how many people set up the appointment. And then that will give you an idea, again, about where maybe you need to make some changes to improve if that requires improvement.
And then, of course, even when you do this – suppose a brochure or a sheet that you go and distribute, make sure that that is a very easy call to action. Either it's a phone call here and set up an appointment or just go to this website and set up an appointment. But the call to action is very important. After they have taken a quiz, there should be a very well-defined call to action.
Dr. Walid Michelen: And in terms of social media, how do you know whether to go to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok? It's like such a pain.
Ajay: So, that is really driven, Dr. Michelen, by where your target audiences are. Right? So, if they – and that typically requires, especially with the new communities, it may require a little bit of research to find out. Facebook, it seems like everyone is there, but then among the small communities, are they there or not is a very interesting question. How active they are in social media in that area. So, someone will have to do a little bit of research.
But there is no magic, I would say, platform. it doesn't matter, do this one, because even something like Facebook where it looks like everyone is there, but then you know the younger people are not active on Facebook.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: So, they are more active on Instagram, actually, than Facebook. And then even for the younger people now, they go to TikTok. So, it will totally depend on your target audience, where they are, and then you can have a strategy, a social media strategy to reach out. But one thing I will tell you that – don’t plan on just bombarding every social media. It is, generally speaking, not effective.
Dr. Walid Michelen: No.
Ajay: You want to be very specific and you want to conquer one at a time. Even if you find out that there's these three platforms where your target audience congregates, you want to pick up one at a time and just go after one. Make sure that you have totally optimized that. Only then you'll go to the next one. Obviously, if you are a large company, they will say, okay, these are the five areas I want to go immediately. But they also have a lot of money. In your case, you want to go slow, make sure that it is effective, then once it is effective, then you'll go to the next one and the next one and the next one.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right. That's excellent advice. And I appreciate this.
Ajay: Thank you.
Dr. Walid Michelen: You want to – you're right, you can't be generic and go all over the place. Otherwise, it's not going to work and you lose focus to some extent also. What about getting people – so, I know you had mentioned that getting testimonials is very helpful. But we have people that, for example, don’t want to get the covid vaccine for a lot of myths that are wrong. How do you reach out to those people? Any other suggestions in addition to the testimonial?
Ajay: Yeah. So, obviously, when – no matter what community you pick up, you will always have some people who have already taken covid. So, the idea here is that you have to persuade them. Right? And this is why I've always said that, unfortunately, our policy of scolding people and saying that you are stupid, you're not taking the vaccine, doesn't work because that almost turns people into a kid. You know? And when you start telling your kid, "Don’t do that," their first reaction is they will just fold their hands and be like, you're not going to make me do this. So, that.
And then there are misconceptions and that's where the education comes in. Right? So, we have to persuade. They have to be educated. I mean, myself, I'm just baffled that, even nationally, I see all this news media always talking about these people, they are stupid, they are not doing the vaccinations, and they don’t share the stats. Right? Which is so out there.
I mean, I was just talking to our friend who happens to be a nurse in a fairly large local – it's a community hospital, county hospital. And I was asking her, like, okay, how bad is it? This is a couple of months back when Delta was full blown. And she told me that 99 percent of our hospitalized patients are the ones who have not taken the vaccine. I don’t think that that is talked about as much. I'm sure that that is the stat.
But if the same media, instead of scolding, if they were talking about here's a new stat. We had 100,000 new hospitalization. Out of this, this is the breakdown. And just be very honest so that at least some people are – so, if it turns out, well, if you are not vaccinated and you are over 70 and you have asthma, you've got to get it immediately because 80 percent of patients will die because of that. At least you will have that community say, okay, I better do that. Right? So, persuading.
By the way, the best way to persuade is share the facts. And treat people like they are not dumb and treat them like they're intelligent people and they know what's good for them. And that would be my suggestion. Again, Dr. Michelen, you will never convert 100 percent of the people to become a big believer in the vaccine. Some people are not going to buy it if they don’t want to buy it. But the best way to do that is through persuasion.
I'm telling you, we're talking about the same whether – if you had the right kind of information that you are able to share, simply, in your hospital that you are associated with, it's like, hey, I don’t know about the whole world, but I'm in New York, I'm involved in these five hospitals, and here are the stats for these hospitals. That will open eyes, and hopefully, every time someone sees that, out of 100, three or four people will say, well, I think I should get this vaccination.
Because I don’t believe that we have really emphasized the cost-benefit ratio. Right? If someone is saying I can have this disease, then telling them that the risk of that versus the risk of not getting vaccinated, why it is bad, and it has to be the real answer.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Right.
Ajay: So, I know – I mean, I know, by the way, some young people here and there, nothing – they're not really antivaxxer or all those things that I keep on hearing on the radio. They don’t know – they are not vaccinated. They're like, "I'm very young, I don’t need it." Right? And there's one guy I know that – I already got it, I had covid, so why get vaccinated? I don’t know if there's anything that you can – if there's – but I'm telling you, if there was a logical reason why they should, some of them could definitely be persuaded.
So, I would – my suggestion for vaccine, any kind of – when you see the resistance around the people, you have to treat them like they are intelligent people and just try to persuade them. You will never persuade 100 percent, but if you have done your – if you can even get 15 percent to move in your direction, that's how much you have helped humanity anyway.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yes. That's great advice. I really appreciate it.
Ajay: So, Dr. Michelen, I know we have – I think we have five more minutes. So, I just wanted to make sure that if you have any questions, any major questions, I don’t want that to be left out.
Dr. Walid Michelen: So, Mr. Prasad, I think you've answered all the questions that I've had. This has been extremely, extremely helpful. I've been taking notes as you were speaking and giving me this advice because I find it to be right on target.
Ajay: Okay. Wonderful. And by the way, I'm telling you that the relationships don’t end just with the podcast. So, say a month from now, you have tried something and you are kind of intrigued about what's working or is it working or is it not working, feel free to call us. I'm very fascinated by your community. And we don’t charge money. It's not like if you came and said, "You know, we talked about this particular action, but when I'm trying it, this is what is happening," I'm all ears and I will give you my two cents. Marketing, as you know, is – a lot of it is art. It's not a science. So, there's a trial-and-error aspect of it. But anything.
And also, it educates me. So, feel free to contact us if you ever need something, some advice on what – if you are trying to do something or even if you have something new to do. Even if – it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t need to be another podcast. That way, if I have helped you, then next time when someone asks that question, I can answer that.
Dr. Walid Michelen: That's great. I really, really appreciate that. And you may get a call, at least one call from me. Because I'm a little bit –
Dr. Walid Michelen: Yes, definitely. So, I really appreciate that offer.
Ajay: I'd love to talk to you on that. Okay.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Thank you.
Ajay: All right. Then thank you, Dr. Michelen.
Dr. Walid Michelen: Alegria Health and Wellness Health Center is located in the South Bronx, one of the poorest and sickest counties in the nation. We chose that area specifically because we're dedicated to treating the underserved and because our focus is not just on the organ that's sick in a person but in treating the person as a whole human being so that we focus not just on the heart in a patient that has heart disease, but what is the impact of that disease on the person. That is, what is the illness and how does it manifest? What are the things they can and cannot do and how we can help them with that?
And we also focus on other social issues that the person may have that may impair the way that they're able to take care of themselves. So, be it whether they have issues with their rent, whether they have problems with their significant other or with their kids or relatives, whether they are depressed, all of those things impact the wellness of a person and how well they can manage their illness.
And in order to do that, we provide not just traditional medical care – pediatrics, OB/GYN, internal medicine, subspecialty care, dental care, and behavioral health care, which is crucial, too, because anyone who has more than one or two chronic illnesses is bound to have some level of depression – but we also have a care management team that reaches out to the person to identify all those types of issues that I had mentioned.
We also believe in patient-centered care, so if the person wants to take care or have care given at home, we're able to do that, not just with telehealth but with a portable medical kit that anyone with some training can wield remotely – can wield a stethoscope that's Bluetooth enabled that the doctor can listen to remotely, which is very helpful as well.
So, we also believe in our center that instead of having the patient go to different areas, that once the person is in the exam room, everything happens in that exam room so they don’t have to be shuffled off to blood tests or an EKG or to finish the appointment. Once the physician or nurse practitioner or PA provides the care, the medical assistant comes in, draws any blood or EKG that needs to get done, and exits the patient. If there's any medical or patient education that needs to get done, the nurse enters the room and then is followed by the medical assistant.
So, we really believe in patient-centered, people-centered care. That is Alegria Health and Wellness.
Speaker: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Founder’s Corner Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and SoundCloud. If you are interested in being a guest, be sure to visit our main page at www.gmrwebteam.com/thefounderscorner.
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