A modern healthcare facility with the feel of a small-town doctor’s office.

Article by Christian Owen

Photography by Sarah Bell, Sélavie Photography

Originally published in River City Lifestyle

ZüpMed is white-glove patient care. Shannon and Lloyd Finks began planning the concept of ZüpMed in 2018. The day after they received their certificate of occupancy, the mayor shut the city down due to COVID. The original concept, a pairing of medicine with pharmaceuticals, was put on hold. But what appeared to be an unwelcome delay was ultimately a silver lining. ZüpMed became the COVID testing site for thousands of people. Shannon says COVID provided the “best open house we could never have paid for” by getting customers in the door.

Post-COVID, they have spent more time on ZüpMed’s initial mission, founded mainly on the couple’s list of grievances related to visiting doctors’ offices. ZüpMed is for busy people who don’t like to wait, don’t like to answer the same questions several times, and want providers to care about their well-being genuinely.

The term concierge medicine is not brand new, but this clinic’s definition is slightly different. “Concierge medicine practices typically require an annual retainer,” but, they describe, ZüpMed’s concierge approach is unique in that they offer the same services to both members and guests alike. They don’t process insurance there, but individuals can pay their ZüpMed bills and then file with their insurance companies for coverage on the backend. Shannon says patients routinely do this with success.

The Finks envision ZüpMed as a modern healthcare facility with the feel of a small-town doctor’s office. This combination is a natural fit for Lloyd Finks, M.D., who worked as a senior living and nursing home administrator before attending Cornell University’s hospitality program. Later, he pursued the study of medicine at St. George’s University School. He then moved to Memphis and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Methodist University Hospital. Lloyd and four others formed Methodist’s first inpatient Hospitalist division in 2004, and he was appointed as Divisional Medical Director for Methodist Affiliated Services in 2016. 

Shannon Finks, Pharm. D., is also a professor of clinical pharmacy and translational science at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. She is board certified in pharmacotherapy (BCPS) and cardiology (BCCP). She has received prestigious awards, including the Most Influential Professor Award from the UT College of Pharmacy. At ZüpMed, Shannon oversees an on-site pharmacy and clinical pharmacist. This helps ensure patients receive the safest, most effective and timely medications at an affordable price. ZüpMed also incorporates a modern approach to understanding prescription drugs with their pharmacogenomic service, which analyzes patients’ medications. They look at many factors, including risk genes and nutritional deficiency related to prescribed drugs. Alternatively, research shows that in a typical clinic visit, doctors spend less than 40 seconds discussing a medicine prescribed during that visit. 

Both Shannon and Lloyd live life fully. When they are not “doctoring,” the Finks play in a jazz trio! Lloyd says he has had nine “career lives” ranging from hospitality to radio talk show host to Special Olympics organizer, all of which, he points out, inform his current role at ZüpMed. Shannon has been fine-tuning her ability to compassionately educate and instruct since childhood, as her mother was a professor.

In ZüpMed’s relaxed, spa-like and even pet-friendly setting, there are always fresh flowers on display. Patients are greeted by a staff member who is happy to see and help them, which is rare in today’s customer service atmosphere. As one Google review states, “I never expected to be writing a review about how much I enjoy going to the doctor, but there it is. I love it because it’s the very best kind of self-care: protecting my health and feeling pampered all at once.”

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