Kal Patel’s mom always wanted him to be a doctor and while he didn’t follow that path, he will be fulfilling her dream vicariously by opening a new urgent care clinic this winter serving West Chester, Mason and surrounding areas. American Family Care® (AFC), owned by Mason residents Kal Patel and Jed Sherman, is now open in the VOA shopping center adjacent to TJ Maxx.
Both Kal and Jed got their start in the hospitality industry, Kal as a builder and manager of hotels in the late 90s and Jed as a manager for Marriott around the same time. Friends for 10 years, they finally joined entrepreneurial forces and started Crestpoint, a hotel development and management company in 2012. Bootstrapping out of a small hotel in Mason, they grew their business until merging it with a larger hotel company in 2018.
Along the way, Kal, a self-admitted accident prone, frequent urgent care user, noticed a wide disconnect between the experience he received and the one he expected when visiting a clinic. The missing patient care component happened to be the most important, the “care.”
Drawing from their extensive track record in hospitality management, Kal and Jed have set out to create the best possible patient care experience. Their goal is to lean on their ability to blend “hospitality” into “health care” and create a clinic that extends compassionate, courteous, and competent attention to patients who can expect to be treated like guests.
“The ability to partner with AFC was a no-brainer for us,” Kal shares. “All the hotels we’ve ever owned are franchised, so we’re already familiar with the process and systems.” AFC is the nation’s largest provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, occupational medicine and employer services. With more than 300 clinics and three million patients across the country, the network is massive. Kal continues, “Just based on my personal experience, there is definitely room for service improvements, and we believe together with AFC we can deliver.”
The clinic offers a full suite of services, including flu and COVID-19 testing and treatment, employment and school physicals, treatment of sports injuries, x-rays, and more acute services like stitches and wound care. Visiting AFC provides patients with a first option offering convenience, proximity to home, walk-in appointment availability with short wait times and most importantly, avoiding the emergency room.
When patients arrive they’ll notice unique features more commonly found in an upscale hotel lobby. “In keeping with the experience factor, we believe that care can begin before you see the doctor,” Kal states. The lobby, with its lighted blue-sky ceiling, fresh ground coffee/cappuccino maker, bottled water, availability of warm blankets and soft music is meant to soothe the ills of patients immediately upon entering. “Combine those subtle design elements with friendly staff in an inviting atmosphere and you begin to understand what we mean by adding hospitality to health care,” Jed adds. “This is what we deliver every day. We see absolutely no reason why it can’t exist here, and I’ve even questioned why it doesn’t already.”
Although it wasn’t intentional, they’ve completed their community connection for AFC West Chester-VOA by bringing on 14-year Mason resident Dr. Shri Rao to serve as medical director. Dr. Rao is also the owner of Ageless Integrated Medicine, a Mason-based functional medicine practice focused on identifying root causes of health-related problems. His medical philosophy fits perfectly with how owners Kal and Jed want to deliver health care. As Dr. Rao says, “While symptoms can and will be treated to help patients improve, the treatment of underlying causes of poor health in the most natural way possible, is far more critical to longevity.”
In the end, Kal and Jed simply aim to deliver an experience where every patient who enters the clinic leaves with the feeling that they made the correct healthcare choice. It’s the answer to “why we do it,” and their hope is patients will be more than satisfied with the how.
AFC Urgent Care-VOA West Chester
7570 Voice of America Centre Dr, West Chester
513.779.6600 | AFCUrgentCare.com/West-Chester-VOA-OH