Beyond Health Group - In business to serve others
Laughter, love, and hope may not be the first words that come to mind when describing a health care visit; but it may be different if you were treated by a member of Beyond Health Group (BHG), Statesboro Georgia.
Our team took a trip to meet with Nancy A. Hurlock, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, Owner, and Practitioner for BHG. Upon greeting her and Clinical Coordinator, LaRhonda Prescott, LPN, it was clear that these are two professionals who care deeply about their work and the people they serve. Nancy and LaRhonda met in 2010 while working for a home health care organization. Their commitment to the service of others, bonded them from day one.
“The day that I met her, she was just that person. She is such as inspiration,” said LaRhonda about Dr. Hurlock, “She is for the community, about the community; she puts people first professionally and personally.”
With a warm smile Nancy shared the praise, saying that a people-first and team-first mindset has helped her grow her business, “I could not do this without my team, LaRhonda Prescott as my Clinical Coordinator and Shona Joseph as my Office Manager. I am in the field every day. I am literally bag on shoulder, in and out of homes and assisted living communities. And the phone keeps ringing. They provide me that support system, so I can go out and provide quality care for my patients.”
Home-base for answering patients calls and providing support is the Business Innovation Group (BIG) at Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Georgia. BIG is an incubator that reports into the office of research. A mix of cross-industry companies benefiting from the amenities that are tailored to the stage of their business. It became the central location for BHG for answering patients calls and providing support to the business.
We caught up with Catherine Blake, BIGx Accelerator Manager while in Statesboro. Catherine collaborates with BIG clients that are further along gin their business. She helps small businesses by providing coaching, advising and professional development. Additionally, helping them connect with investors and preparing them to pitch.
“What I love about my role with BIG, is that we really get to meet clients where they are. Some of them are coming straight out of university, but the majority are job changers, second career, or veterans returning to civilian life,” shared Catherine.
During our time with the team at BHG, we toured BIG and learned more from Nancy about BHG services, vision, and her advice to other small business owners.
What inspired you to start BHG?
I founded Beyond Health Group because after 16 years working in the Home Health Care industry (while in every capacity along the way, RN Case Manager, Administrator),
I saw needs that were not being addressed by the industry and certainly not in my immediate community and it affected the way older adults were able to access primary care.
So, with that in mind Beyond Health Group was founded to address the challenges Older Adults in our community were having with accessing primary care.
We have an emphasis on meeting our clients where they are most comfortable –their homes. Our team provides primary care services to those who are homebound or require transitional care services when discharged from the hospital setting back to their home. Additionally, we offer primary care services for those who reside in assisted living communities.
How did you make the leap from working as a health care practitioner, to also owning a business?
Entrepreneurship is always something I aspired to be a part of. As a clinician I have always been interested in the business of healthcare This type of business was not necessarily new, but it was nonexistent in my community. So, when I founded Beyond Health Group, it was because I saw a problem, and I aimed to be part of the solution. I immediately I sought out the advice and expertise from Nurse Practitioners that were doing this in their communities. Patricia Gray-Smith, APRN-BC, a Nurse Practitioner in the Grayson, Georgia area became my mentor and inspiration to grow this business because she owned a Home-Based Primary Care business and was doing an amazing job. I drew upon her experience as the framework to build my business.
Also, it was important to me that my overhead costs were low, so I joined a business incubator- We partnered with Georgia Southern University's Business Innovation Group (BIG) to get the support we needed for having a dedicated workspace while benefiting from the business coaching and development available through BIG.
It sounds like you had some great resources to get started!
We certainly did, but we always are learning and growing. The nature of Home-Based Primary Care, which is the model that Beyond Health Group follows, is a dynamic industry. It is important to remain plugged in to national and state resources that enhance our growth and development. We are active with organizations like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Academy of Home Care Medicine, GA Rural Health Association, and National Nurses in Business Association.
What advice would you give others that want to start their own business?
First, tap into your passion and get the support you need from other professionals to make sure that you're on the right path.
It’s also important to align that passion with a problem that is not being addressed within your community or within your industry; innovate! Don’t be afraid to step out and be the one to present an idea that solves a specific problem.
My drive to start this business came from years in the industry and seeing the same challenges occurring over and over with the Older Adult accessing primary care. I believed then, as I do now that if I could start, implement, and grow a business with a PEOPLE first attitude, everyone ultimately wins.
Where do you see BHG in the future?
Beyond Health Group is pivoting the way health care is provided today. Our goal is to deploy our services across the state of Georgia to help our aging population. Additionally, I had a passion for Geriatric care and knew that Americans 65 and older represent the fastest growing population in our nation, so there has to be a specific focus on the older adult population in healthcare.
Our vision is to increase the number of nurse practitioners (boots on the ground) to meet the needs of our loved ones.
Interested in Learning more? Connect with Nancy and Beyond Health Group at https://beyondhealthgroup.com/
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